FHS faces Kinston Friday

Published 11:59 pm Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Florala coach Stan Gooden said in order for his team to have any chance at they playoffs this season, they must do a better job of controlling the football.

The Wildcats are coming off consecutive 55-0 losses to Ariton and Brantley.

Florala will travel this week to face Kinston, which is also struggling this season. Unlike Florala (1-2, 0-2 in Class 1A, Region 2), Kinston is still looking for its first win of the season.

Gooden said the key for the game Friday night will be turnovers.

“The biggest thing for us is to control the football and not turn the ball over,” he said. “Of the 55 points scored last week, Brantley’s offense only scored three of those points.

“They scored three times off turnovers and once on their kicking game,” he said. “Special teams is going to be a huge part of the game Friday night. I feel like we match Kinston pretty well.”

Gooden said Kinston has a new coach, Jason Wambles, who played for Gooden when he coached at KHS.

“I know Jason real well,” he said. “I coached him when I was in Kinston in the early to mid 90s. He was a great person and player and he’s doing a good job with those guys over there.”

Gooden said Kinston feels as if they have a good chance at winning Friday night.

“They’re going through some rough times the past two or three years and they feel real confident about breaking their losing streak Friday night,” he said. “They’re pretty jacked up about us coming over there. They feel like they have a good chance of winning.

“Now, if we play like we have the past two weeks, they’ll have that chance. We have regrouped and our kids are excited about going over there as well.”

Kinston is having its homecoming this week, which Gooden knows will keep the Bulldogs pumped up.

“The fist five minutes of the game is going to be very critical of who comes out and tackles the other,” Gooden said. “We’re not going to let up. It’s probably going to come down to who has the ball last and who’s going to make the fewest mistakes and I hope it’s going to be us.

“It’s their homecoming. It’s a big game for them. They’re feeling confident,” he said. “This is a big step in our schedule. If we’re going to make a run at a playoff spot, it starts with Kinston. They are in the same boat as we are. Pleasant Home has got McKenzie and I know Pleasant Home has played three close ball games. They’re looking for a big win Friday night.”

Kickoff in Kinston is at 7 p.m.

“We’ve worked hard this week and we’ve got a plan for this week, and whatever happens, happens,” Gooden said.