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Heated playoff matchups will be on Friday

Rap artist Nelly had it right when he wrote the song, “Hot In Herre.”

It’s definitely getting “hot” in Covington County as only two area football teams remain for the second round of the state playoffs.

Straughn and Opp have driven their way out from the season’s challenges and right now are sitting right where they need to be.

On Friday night, Straughn will host Bayside Academy and Opp will host Jackson.

This will be the first time that Opp will face the Region 1 powerhouse, who defeated Andalusia, 33-6, on Sept. 18.

In that game, Jackson’s Jessie Beck had 12 carries for 102 yards and scored four touchdowns.

In passing, quarterback Ransom Hare was 5-for-6 for 102 yards and had two touchdowns.

I believe for Opp to be successful, stopping Jackson’s running game and limiting turnovers are the keys for the game Friday night.

The other matchup between Straughn and Bayside Academy is an entirely different story in so many ways.

Straughn is coming into the second round this week on a six-game winning streak — five of those wins were at home — and have only one thought on its players minds — to win.

On Sept. 18, Bayside Academy hosted the Tigers in a region contest and blew them out 27-0.

Straughn lost that game amidst four turnovers and Bayside Academy’s Thomas Buchanan and Ryan Owens rushing for a combined 262 yards on 32 carries and four touchdowns.

Again, it’s the same story with Straughn as it is with Opp; they have to control its opponent’s running game and hang onto the ball in order to win.

Another factor that has certainly affected each team this week is the weather.

Tropical Storm Ida has poured huge amounts of rain over the county in the last few days, which can limit practice time on the field.

However, teams do use gyms to go over formations and plays that need a little bit of brushing up.

I am sure that both Straughn and Opp have taken the weather into account this week in their preparation for the game Friday night.

But can they weather the storm that is the second round of the state playoffs?