Wilkinson Co. clinches playoff berth

Published 12:59 am Saturday, November 1, 2014

Two weeks ago, it looked like Wilkinson County High School was on the outside looking in as far as the postseason. The Wildcats were 0-3 in MHSAA Division 7-3A and tied for last place with Crystal Springs High School.

Then the Wildcats did the impossible. First, they beat Crystal Springs last week. Then on Friday night, they went on the road and took care of the Wesson High School Cobras 33-6 to clinch not only a playoff berth, but the division’s No. 3 seed.

That’s because Wilkinson County (4-7, 2-3) defeated Wesson by at least 12 points and got some help when Jefferson County lost to Franklin County. Even in defeat, Wesson claimed the No. 4 seed.

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“I don’t know what the scenario is,” Wilkinson County head coach Kenneth Brown said. “Jefferson County beat us by three at our place. We beat Wesson (by 27 points). Wesson beat Jefferson County.”

Brown credited his players for limiting the turnovers and penalties that have plagued the team for much of the season – and that includes some of the Wildcats’ wins.

“We didn’t have the turnovers we usually have,” Brown said. “We took good care of the football. We stayed away from the penalties that have killed drives – false starts, holding. Overall, we played better than we’ve been playing,”

The Wildcats scored three touchdowns in the first quarter to jump out to a 19-0 lead. The defense pretty much did the rest, not allowing the Cobras to get back in the game. Even though Wesson did score what turned out to be its only touchdown in the third quarter, Wilkinson County was still in command of the game.

“We were able to create holes in the running game to compliment the passing game,” Brown said. “As long as we don’t hurt ourselves, we’ve got a chance.”

Lamar Jackson finished with 17 carries for 72 yards. Desmond Hunter had his best game at quarterback, completing 10 of 19 passes for 189 yards with two touchdowns and just one interception. Travion Jones and Jaquoris Stewart each had a touchdown reception.