Who wants it the ‘worst’?

Published 12:00 am Thursday, September 16, 2010

Pleasant Home’s Cameron Hill gains yardage during last week’s game against Kinston. The Eagles will play Florala Friday night in region play. | Derrick Bass/For the Star-News

“It’s going to be a matter of which team wants it the worst.”

That’s what Pleasant Home coach Robert Bradford said Wednesday to describe the region rivalry rumble between the Eagles and the Florala Wildcats Friday night.

“We’re two very similar teams,” Bradford said. “It almost sounds exactly like what I said last week. With us and Kinston, it was a pretty good game. It ended up being a four-point game, and this one will be pretty close as well.”

Last week, the Eagles (1-2, 0-2 in Class 1A, Region 2) are coming off a 38-34 loss to Kinston, and are looking for a bid for the third or fourth spot in the playoff race.

Bradford said his team’s effort in the second half last week was the best he’s seen this year.

“Last week, we came out pretty lethargic in the first half, and before we knew it, it was 38-14 with Kinston up, and then our kids decided they wanted to play in the second half,” he said. “We cut the lead to 38-34, and had a 96-yard touchdown called back on us on a penalty. It was probably the worst first half we’ve played all year, and then it was probably best second half we’ve played all year.”

Florala (1-2, 1-1), on the other hand, is also coming off a 54-0 home loss to second-ranked Brantley. The Wildcats couldn’t post a score in their fight with the Bulldogs.

Bradford said the players are ready to get back on the field to show they can keep last week’s second half magic alive in the game Friday night.

“We definitely found some new stuff that we can do pretty well,” he said. “We threw the ball really well. Of course, our running game is pretty much like it always is.

“In the first half, we didn’t do a good job of wrapping up and tackling, and in the second half, we did,” he said. “That was really the big difference between the first and second half.”

Bradford said the keys to this week’s game lie in tackling, and the players doing what they are told to do.

“They need to form tackle, and really play from whistle to whistle,” Bradford said. “With Florala, it’s a pretty good match up all the way around. It’s not like we don’t really think Florala has a distinct advantage. We’ve just got to go out and play our style of football, which we’ve done in glimpses.

“In my opinion, we haven’t put a full game together yet,” he said. “I think our kids are hungry, and they’re definitely ready to go out and try to get redemption on last week.”

Kickoff in Pleasant Home is at 7 p.m.