Thursday, November 6, 2008
Patriots face Kirk in opening round
By BARRY BURLESON
Marshall Academy will see a familiar foe when the Mississippi Private School Association football playoffs kick off Friday night.
The Patriots (6-4) visit district rival Kirk Academy (9-2). The Raiders beat MA 20-0 in the second game of the season.
It will be their fourth meeting in two years. In 2007 Marshall beat Kirk twice, once in the regular season and again the playoffs.
The Raiders’ only two losses this season, both by just three points, were to unbeaten Winston Academy and Class AAA Pillow.
“They’re a very good football team,” said MA coach Keith Wicker. “They love to run that fullback trap. They have good running backs and their quarterback throws well.”
In the meeting August 29 between the two teams, Kirk dominated up front. The Raiders had 317 yards total offense to Marshall’s 105.
“They out-manned us on the line of scrimmage, and we have to stalemate that,” Wicker said. “I believe we’re blocking a lot better than before.”
He said his Patriots must have a good week of practice and play error-free football to have a chance.
“We had a good run in the playoffs last year (all the way to a state runner-up finish) and we know the mental preparation it’s going to take,” he said. “They will get after us, and we will get after them. It’s going to be fun. We’ll be ready.”
The game kicks off at 7 p.m. in Grenada. The winner advances to a quarter-final game against the Canton Academy-Leake Academy survivor.
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