Tallulah Academy tries to keep playoff talk to a minimum|PREP FOOTBALL

Published 12:00 am Friday, September 19, 2008

From staff reports

Tallulah Academy’s first three-game winning streak since 2004 is stirring thoughts of something else the team hasn’t seen in a long time — the playoffs.

In some circles, at least.

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“I know it’s boring to say, but we’re not looking ahead. There’s so much that can happen between now and then, we can’t look ahead,” first-year Tallulah coach Doug Branning said. “We just haven’t given any talk at all to the playoffs yet. If we get eight games into the schedule and we’re in playoff position, we’ll talk about it then.”

While it may be too early to write anything in stone, the Trojans (3-1, 2-1 District 6-A) do begin a crucial two-game stretch tonight at Riverdale. A win this week, and another next week at home against Wilkinson Christian, will put them at 5-1 heading into a rough second half of the schedule. Tallulah plays Class AA power Trinity, district rival Huntington — a playoff favorite — and a strong Briarfield squad in its last five games.

That makes winning these next games important for Tallulah’s chances. At worst, a pair of wins would put them in contention for a wild card berth. Tallulah is currently fifth in the power point rankings that determine the wild card teams.

Central Hinds at Manchester

Central Hinds begins perhaps the toughest part of an unforgiving schedule tonight at Manchester.

The Cougars (3-1), who play six Class AA teams in seven non-district games this season, play AA teams Manchester (2-2) and River Oaks (3-1) in back-to-back weeks. After that, they play at Benton in a game crucial to their playoff hopes, on Oct. 3, and District 5-A favorite Porters Chapel — currently undefeated and ranked No. 1 in Class A — on Oct. 17.

Hinds AHS at Madison-St. Joe

The War Dawgs recorded one of their most emotional wins in recent memory when Chavez Johnson booted a 22-yard field goal in the closing seconds last Friday to beat archrivall Raymond.

Hinds is scheduled to battle a Madison-St. Joseph team that has lost two straight games, including a 21-0 setback to Raymond.

Hinds AHS is led offensively by Darius Newton, who is second in the area with 318 yards rushing on 48 carries and two touchdowns.

West Bolivar at South Delta

The Bulldogs lost to the eventual Class 2A state champions twice last year in Rosedale. Tonight, South Delta has West Bolivar in Rolling Fork.

The Bulldogs (2-1) won their second straight, pounding Port Gibson 52-0 last week. West Bolivar is 1-2 with one of the losses to Class 4A Cleveland. The Eagles, who beat South Delta 20-14 in the regular season and 22-0 in the 2A quarterfinals, were hit hard by graduation.

SIA at Humphreys

The Confederates broke a 15-game losing streak with an impressive 48-6 rout at North Sunflower last week. Tonight they head to Belzoni to meet the Rebels (1-3) in a Highway 12 battle.

Greenville Christian at Briarfield

Last week’s trip to Webb resulted in Briarfield’s first loss of the season to Strider Academy, 16-14. The Rebels (3-1, 2-1) try to get back to their winning ways tonight when Greenville Christian visits in Academy-2A play.

Fullback Jeffrey Graham leads Briarfield.