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Florala, Pleasant Home face off for bragging rights

Florala coach Stan Gooden said his team is ready for their last region fight tonight as the Wildcats hit the road to play Pleasant Home.

This is a significant game for both teams because it will end region play and it will be Pleasant Home’s last game of the season.

“I’d say it’s a big game,” Gooden said. “I know it’s their last season game and I know that they are not going to the playoffs. So, they’re going to treat this like a playoff game. “We’re excited about it and we feel like we have a great opportunity (tonight),” he said. “We’ve had a good week at practice and we’re ready to go.”

Gooden said at practice this week, his team was still touching up on the “basics.”

“We’re still working on fundamentals — blocking, tackling and taking care of the football,” he said.

“We improved a lot last week in a lot of areas. So, we’ve just got to do the fundamental things to have a chance to pull out a victory (tonight).”

Last week, Florala (1-7, 0-6 in Class 1A, Region 2) fell to Ariton, 24-8.

Gooden said controlling Pleasant Home’s running game would be the main key tonight.

“We have to be able to control the ball offensively and not have any letdowns in the kicking game — punts, kick returns and kick coverages are going to be real crucial,” he said. “I think there is going to be a good chance of rain, but hopefully it won’t get us. Whether it rains or it doesn’t, we’re still going to play. If we can control their running game and control the ball on offense and not have any turnovers and penalties, then we’re going to have a chance.”

In addition, Gooden said he hopes to see a good showing from the Florala community tonight.

“We expect a big crowd to come out and see both of these schools,” Gooden said. “I hope everybody can come over and give the support that these kids deserve. We had a good crowd last week and a big spirit line. Hopefully we can have that this week.

“The kids notice that because they played with a lot of heart and desire last week,” he said. “They need some support right now, so we just hope the crowd will come out and support these kids. Win, lose or draw, they’re going to play hard.”

Pleasant Home coach Robert Bradford was not available for comment as of press time Thursday.