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Florala, Red Level to battle for rivalry bragging rights

The Florala Wildcats are looking for their second win this season as they travel to Red Level tonight to play a county rivalry contest.

Last week, Kinston broke a 28-game losing streak by beating Florala, 52-20.

Red Level lost at Millry, 45-6, in a region contest. The Millry loss put Red Level’s record at 1-3, 0-3 in Class 2A, Region 1.

Florala has the same record at 1-3, 0-3 in Class 1A, Region 2.

Florala coach Stan Gooden said the game tonight would feature two teams that are similar in playing style.

“We’ve had some tough ball games early on with some tough opponents,” Gooden said. “Watching Red Level on film, they’ve had a little trouble holding on to the football and we have too the past couple of weeks. I think the team that doesn’t turn the ball over Friday night is going to have a good chance to come out of there with a win.”

Red Level coach Tony Ingram said he wishes it were a different set of circumstances for his team tonight.

“I’d rather face a team that’s on a winning streak than being down right now,” Ingram said. “We’re similar in numbers and everything else. We’ve still got to put a game together — four quarters of it.

“I saw flashes last week of what we can do,” he said. “Then, we’d regress and blow assignments and give up points.”

Ingram said he has had to “scale” down the offense to get ready for the game tonight.

“We’re trying to make sure we know what we’re doing out there,” he said. “I think it paid off last Friday night. I’ve seen flashes of the old Red Level.”

Gooden said the team that will execute on defense would also come out with the victory.

“If we can contain their speed a little bit and not turn it over, then we’ll have a chance in the fourth quarter,” Gooden said. “Last week, we had four crucial turnovers that led to 28 points for Kinston. We played a lot better last week, but we really shot ourselves in the foot with turnovers. We’ve got to correct that.”

Ingram said in order for his team to pull out a win tonight, they will have to limit turnovers.

“We have to limit turnovers and penalties,” Ingram said. “We have to know our assignments and go get them and that’s what this game is about.”

Gooden said it has been a good week at practice.

“We’re still trying to improve this week,” he said. “It’s a big game because both of us are from the same county and the same system. So, it’s a little bit of a rivalry game. If we come out with a win (tonight), we’re sitting at 2-3.”

Gooden said he hopes that there is a big crowd at the game tonight.

“I think you’re going to see that our team is going to play hard (tonight) in Red Level,” he said. “I hope there is a good crowd there and the folks in Florala will come out and support these guys. They need all the support they can get.”

Ingram said he hopes it will be a “dry” game tonight, having played in four straight wet games.

“We hope for a dry Friday night for once and we want our folks to turn out and get loud,” he said.