Wilkinson County travels to Hazelhurst Friday night
WOODVILLE — The Wilkinson County High School Wildcats can put themselves in the driver’s seat in MHSAA Region 7-3A with a road win over the Hazlehurst High School Indians. Kickoff today is at 7 p.m.
Wilkinson County is 6-1 overall and 2-0 in region play after holding off Jefferson County High School 34-20 in the Wildcats’ homecoming game. In that game, Freddie Byrd III threw for 245 yards and two touchdowns, Terrell Coleman Jr. had 139 rushing yards and two touchdowns, and Treveon Miles had four receptions for 145 yards and two scores.
But there was something else that Wildcats head coach Kenneth Brown said was his biggest takeaway from that game that will be imperative against Hazlehurst.
“We’ve still got to minimize our penalties. Especially the big penalties, the 10- and 15-yarders. We’ve got to get rid of that stuff,” Brown said. Despite racking up 436 yards of total offense, the Wildcats were penalized 12 times for 100 yards.
Hazlehurst won its region opener with a 40-19 win over Franklin County High School. It was also the Indians’ first win of the 2018 season. They are now 1-6 overall and 1-0 in region play. They were led by Larry Wilson, who 131 rushing yards and four total touchdowns – three rushing and one on the opening kickoff that went for 88 yards.
“They’re still Hazlehurst. Believe me. Playing there, too,” Brown said about what concerns him the most about the Indians. “They are a good 1-6 ball club. They’re big. They’ve got good athletes. They’ve still got good speed. They didn’t look like a 1-6 ball club against Franklin County. We haven’t beaten them in a number of years.”
The Wildcats will be looking for revenge after last year’s 34-12 loss at home to the Indians. But in a hostile environment like Hazlehurst, that will not be easy.
“We have to minimize the penalties. We have to get off the field on third downs. Make plays and make tackles. Not give up 4th-and-long. Continue to lay sound defense,” Brown said. “We have to jump on them early. Take away what they do best, which is running the football. We’ve always had problems containing speedy, quick backs.”