One regular season test remains

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, October 24, 2007

The Selma Times-Journal

Going on the road to face a bigger team a week before the playoffs, life doesn’t get any easier for Meadowview.

“People are going to look at Edgewood’s record and think they’re not very good,” Meadowview coach Rick Jackson said. “They’re in the 3A class, and they play week in and week out the top football teams in this association. They may not be winning ball games, but they’ve been in ball games. They lose a lot of games to turnovers.”

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The Wildcats (2-7, 1-6 AISA 3A Region 2) have the two things that worry coaches most – speed and athleticism.

But in three different games this season, they’ve given the ball back to opponents five times or more.

It’s an advantage for the Trojans (7-2, 5-1 2A Region 2), but only if they contain Edgewood’s attack. And it would be nice if some points came from those mistakes.

“Their reputation comes from having great athletes,” Jackson said. “They do a great job with their blocking schemes and protection, and they play pretty good defense. We’re going to have a difficult time matching up with them man-for-man. I know they’re going to come ready to play. This is the first time in a long time I can remember them not being in the playoffs, plus it’s their homecoming.”

Meadowview is no stranger to big situations, though. They’ve usually answered the call this season during crucial games.

With offensive performances like the ones in recent weeks, the Trojans look like they’re over the slow-start syndrome that plagued them earlier in the season.

“I was surprised with the way we were able to move the ball last week against Cornerstone,” Jackson said. “We did a great job of blocking up front. All week we worked on staying on our blocks longer. We were also able to throw it well. I was surprised with the way we started, but it was a pleasant surprise.”

Like other teams, Meadowview has had to factor the sudden change in conditions into its practices. But it hasn’t been a major concern.

“I know it’s late in the season, but we’ve been pushing them hard because of what we’ve heard about the weather,” Jackson said. “We’ll just see how it goes the rest of the week.”