Ready for round one

Published 12:00 am Thursday, November 2, 2006

The Selma Times-Journal

A two-year absence from the playoffs has Wilcox Academy hungry this year.

The team’s first test will be a road contest against Class AA Region 2 runner-up Kingwood Christian (8-2) Friday night.

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For a team used to going to the postseason, there won’t be too much shell shock when the game kicks off.

“Our goal is to go to Troy (for the state championship,” Wilcox coach Chris Burford said. “We’ve tried to stick with that goal. Basically, we’re thinking about winning the next game. If we play well, we can play with anybody.”

Burford saw the same thing in Kingwood that every other opponent has seen – a lot of passing.

Kingwood’s offense is more jump ball than precision, and when it’s working it’s very difficult to stop. But this team also does a good job running the ball and has been doing more of it recently.

Stopping their offense starts with the guy under center.

“We’re going to have to move the defense around,” Burford said. “We’ve seen teams play man-to-man on them, and their quarterback will find the open guy. If you’re in zone, they’ll find the cracks in the zone. We have to put pressure on the quarterback. He’s a really good quarterback. They’ve had success throwing it up and letting the receivers go get it.”

Although talented defensively, Kingwood may not be quite as aggressive on that side of the ball.

The Wildcats (8-2) are just hoping their strategy of ball control, clock-eating offense will be enough to come out on top.

With potentially three games left in the season, it almost seems Wilcox is back where it belongs.

“We’ve been in (the playoffs) four out of the six years I’ve been here,” Burford said. “They’re used to it. They’re glad to be back in it. I don’t really think (inexperience) will be a factor.”