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WCCA hosts Briarfield in 8-man semifinals

WOODVILLE — Two of the three undefeated teams in MAIS 8-Man Class 1A will clash Friday night when the Wilkinson County Christian Academy Rams play host to the Briarfield Academy Rebels in the semifinals of the Class 1A Playoffs.

Kickoff between No. 3 seed and defending state champion Briarfield (9-0) and No. 2 seed WCCA (11-0) is set for 7 p.m. The Rams are coming off a 49-8 win over No. 7 seed Calhoun Academy while the Rebels beat No. 6 seed Tensas Academy 50-26.

In its win over Calhoun Academy, WCCA racked up 423 yards of total offense while its defense held the Cougars to 178 yards of total offense, including minus-4 total rushing yards. The Rams will have to have another performance like that from their defense to defeat Briarfield.

“We’ve been practicing trying to contain their highly-skilled skill players. They have a lot of size and speed on offense,” WCCA head coach Randy Holloway said. “We’ve been spending a lot of time trying to contain their playmakers.”

As to what concerns him the most about Briarfield, Holloway said, “They’re experienced players. They won the state championship last year and have all of their players back. They’re an experienced team. They know what it’s like to win it all.”

Holloway said the Rams cannot turn the ball over if they are to dethrone the Rebels and advance to next week’s Class 1A state championship game at Jackson Academy’s Raider Field.

As for the other keys to victory for his team, Holloway said, “We can’t make any mistakes. We have to be efficient on offense and be efficient on defense. We have to get our playmakers in space so they can make players on the perimeter.”

Standouts to watch for that Holloway said need to have a big game are KeKe Anderson, RJ Fisher, Roderick Bailey, Ben Sessions, and Andrew Sessions.

Holloway said that having the home-field advantage will be a big factor in the game as well.

“The stadium will be electric. We will have a packed crowd,” Holloway said. “We will build on the momentum and the excitement. We will look to build on that momentum from the start of the game.”