Lamar County, ranked fourth in the state in Class AA, improved to 10-0-1 with its 51-13 home playoff win over the Cook Hornets last week while Region 2-AAA No. 3 seed Pike County lost big to Region 3-AAA No. 2 seed Washington County 55-7 to end its season with a 6-5 record.
Pike’s two-game winning streak came to a screeching halt as the Pirates could only muster a 10-yard touchdown run from Donald Brown in their third playoff game ever.
“Washington County was a solid team and they truly beat us,” said Pirates head coach Brad Webber. “I’m proud of my guys for their hard work this year.”
And speaking of solid teams, the Trojans put on a strong performance as they swatted the Hornets out of Barnesville last Friday night. Trojans quarterback Lance Austin had two touchdown runs and his twin brother Lawrence also added one in the first half sandwiched around a Tyler Scandrett field goal and a 19-yard fumble return TD from Quay Searcy to take a 30-6 halftime lead and they never looked back.
Antwan Wallace scored two TD runs and Jeremy Fletcher added a 40-yard TD run to complete the scoring for the Trojans.
First-year Lamar head coach Franklin Stephens now has to get his team ready for Benedictine Military School, the No. 3 seed from Region 2-AA, Friday evening in state second-round action at Trojan Field at 7:30 p.m. Stephens said his team has to continue to find a way to get wins during the playoffs.
“We have to find different ways to run the football and execute to the best of our ability, just like we did last week in all three phases of the game,” Stephens said. “We have to limit their possessions and do our best to be one-point better than them.”
Stephens said the Benedictine Cadets (8-3) are a pretty balanced team. They like to run and throw and they are big up front on both lines and he said the Cadets are playing very well at this time of the year.
He said Benedictine has a good young quarterback, but the Cadets player the Trojans will have to neutralize is their 6-foot-2 wide receiver (#11), who Stephens said has tremendous ability.
“Their sophomore wide receiver is definitely the best wideout we’ve seen all year. He has great hands, great body control and the ability to go get the ball,” said Stephens. “We will really have to keep him in check.”
Stephens praised his team for creating several Cook turnovers last week, but it will be difficult to do that to Benedictine.
“Benedictine is a military school and they don’t make many mistakes,” he said. “We have to remain focused on the task at hand since this is Thanksgiving week. We can’t fall prey to distractions.”
If Lamar wins Friday, it will play the Lovett/Manchester winner on Nov. 30. If No. 2 seed Manchester wins, No. 1 seed Lamar will host the game. If No. 1 seed Lovett wins, a coin flip will determine which team gets the home game.