Franklin County set for playoff matchup with defending 3A state champion

Published 12:19 am Thursday, November 2, 2017

The Franklin County High School Bulldogs needed a win over the Jefferson County High School Tigers in a twice-postponed game over the weekend to make the playoffs.

Despite going in without a win to its credit — 0-9 overall and 0-3 in MHSAA Region 7-3A — the Bulldogs shut out Jefferson County on the road 31-0 Sunday afternoon.

FCHS coach Trey Woodard said he is not surprised his team advanced to the postseason, however.

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“We knew the situation coming into Jefferson County. We finally played a good game,” Woodard said. “We’ve been getting better. We’re finally getting healthy from injuries. It’s kind of crazy to be 1-9 and in the playoffs.”

Not only did the Bulldogs make the Class 3A South State Playoffs, but they also earned the region’s No. 3 seed by virtue of beating the Tigers by at least three points. Now they will travel to DeKalb to face defending Class 3A state champion Kemper County in the first round. Kickoff is slated for 7 p.m. Friday.

Woodard said it will take the same kind of effort that Franklin County had last Sunday for the Bulldogs to beat the Wildcats.

“We didn’t turn the ball over. We forced four turnovers. The big thing is not to give up the big plays and not turn the ball over. Make a few plays on defense,” Woodard said.

Even though Kemper County finished the regular season at 2-8 overall, the Wildcats won a point-differential tiebreaker for Region 5-3A’s number two, three and four seeds with Southeast Lauderdale and Morton after all three teams went 2-2 in their region.

“Their defensive front is pretty good and they’ve got a ton of speed on offense,” Woodard said about the biggest challenges that the Wildcats present.