Jefferson County looks to hold off Franklin County Friday

Published 12:00 am Thursday, October 26, 2017

The Jefferson County High School Tigers will host the winless Franklin County High School Bulldogs in a MHSAA Region 7-3A game.

Kickoff between the Bulldogs and the Tigers is set for 7 p.m.

Jefferson County fell to 2-6 overall and 1-2 in Region 7-3A after the Tigers’ fourth-quarter rally fell short last Friday night at region co-leader and Class 3A No. 5 Hazlehurst, 28-26.

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“We are just very frustrated,” Tigers coach James Herrington said. “It sounds like a broken record. Turnovers and penalties hurt us in key situations. The mistakes made early came back to haunt us. But, the kids played with resiliency (in the second half).”

The resiliency after being down not only at halftime, but also 22-6 at the end of the third quarter, is what Herrington said he was most pleased with.

“To still have faith in our ability and our system and to go into the half down 16-0 and come back the way we did, we’re a better team than our record states,” he said. “If we can win Friday night, it will show what kind of team we are.”

Even though Franklin County is 0-9 overall and 0-3 in region play, there are two scenarios in which the Bulldogs would get in the Class 3A South State Playoffs due to a three-way tie between the Bulldogs, Wilkinson County and Jefferson County.

“If Franklin County wins by two points, they’re in with one win and the No. 4 seed, Wilkinson County will be the No. 3 seed, and we’re out. If Franklin County wins by three points, they’re the No. 3 seed, Wilkinson County will be the No. 4 seed, and we’re out,” Herrington said.

But the playoff scenario for Jefferson County is much simpler — win and the Tigers are the No. 3 seed and will play either Morton or Kemper County while Wilkinson County will be the No. 4 seed.

“We’re looking at only one scenario and that’s us winning,” Herrington said.

The Bulldogs were off last week after Port Gibson rallied from 13-0 down to escape with a 14-13 win on the road two weeks ago.

As for what challenges the Bulldogs present, Herrington said two things.

“Number one — size. They are huge,” he said. “When a player gets a ball club with the size they have, it causes a problem. Number two — being 0-9 and having an opportunity to make the playoffs. That makes for a dangerous team. They’re going to come out with everything they’ve got. We’re going to have to put our best foot forward if we are going to win.”