Needing a region win

Published 12:00 am Thursday, September 2, 2010

Florala’s Hunter Oswald gains yardage against Samson last week. The Wildcats are searching for a region win this week against Georgiana. | Heath Harrison/For the Star-News

A region road win this Friday against the Georgiana Panthers would give the Wildcat football program great momentum, Florala coach Chris Buckler said.

“If we can win this game, it can give us momentum,” Buckler said. “We have Brantley next week, and we’re not even worried about next week. Hopefully, we’ll get a ‘W’ on the board.

“This is huge for us,” he said. “I know that both of us are fighting for one of those playoff spots. The outcome of this game will go a long way in determining who’s in those top four spots.”

Last season, Georigana finished 5-6 overall, and 4-3 in Class 1A, Region 1.

Last Friday, the Wildcats (0-1) fell to the Samson Tigers 33-14, trailing 25-0 at one point during the contest.

In that game, Florala’s Zac Fleming scored a 65-yard touchdown in the third quarter, and then Hunter Oswad scored on a 12-yard run in the final minutes of the game.

In order to be successful this week against the Panthers, Buckler said his team must avoid making critical mistakes like those seen in the Samson game.

“Realistically, we’ve got a good fighting chance on Friday night,” he said. “As long as we don’t shoot ourselves in the foot like we did last Friday, then we’ll have a good opportunity to come out on top this week.

“Georgiana, they’re really good and they’re really fast,” he said. “If I had to say their weakest point would be up front just kind of like it is for us. We both have good skill guys. Their quarterback (Devin Bonner), he’s probably the best we’ve seen this year, at least running the ball. His arm’s not as good as the guy from New Brockton, but his legs are definitely pretty good. We’ve got to contain their speed.”

In Florala’s loss to Samson, Buckler said his team did well making tackles.

“I think our tackling got better,” Buckler said. “I think the errors we made are what we’ve got to work on — the turnovers.

“We killed ourselves last Friday night, not so much we got beat by the other team, but that’s a part of the growing pains of being such a young team.”

Kickoff in Georgiana is at 7 p.m.

For the last two weeks, the gate collection has been good, Buckler said.

He said he hopes the community will still support the football team.

“The one thing is that we’ve had tremendous support these first two weeks,” he said. “We had people sitting on the fence line (last Friday night). I hope our community stays supportive.”