Wildcats to be tested in Hartford

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, September 5, 2012

The Wildcats will travel to face Geneva County in their first region game Friday night. Florala is entering this week’s contest on a two-game win streak. | Andrew Garner/Star-News

Florala will get its first big test this week as the Wildcats travel to face Geneva County in region play on Friday night.

This week starts the ever-important region play for football teams. GCHS enters the game after falling 14-12 to Wicksburg, a Class 2A team, in week one. Florala beat Central Hayneville 52-26 last week.

The Wildcats, including the jamboree game victory over Rocky Bayou, Fla., are riding a two-game winning streak. The last time FHS had a winning streak was in 2007.

FHS head football coach Justin Jones said the GCHS Bulldogs is a “good football team” to start Class 1A, Region 2 play.

“They’ve got good skill players,” Jones said. “A year ago, they went to the second round and they’ve got most of their kids coming back.

“We’ve got our work cut out for us, but we’re up for the challenge,” he said.

FHS led 23-20 at half time over Central Hayneville last week and went on to outscore the Lions 29-6. In two games, the Wildcats have outscored opponents 67-12 in the second half.

Though that may be a good thing, FHS has to play a four-quarter game, Jones said.

“Why aren’t we doing that in the first half?” he said. “We want to be, again, a four-quarter team. I’m anxious to see how we respond on he defensive side of the ball and how our offensive line responds this week.”

Jones said the Bulldogs’ defense hasn’t given up many points.

“They play good defense,” he said. “They run the Wing T (on offense), and they run it well. They’re a quality opponent for us. I’m anxious to see, No. 1, if our guys up front (on the offensive line) can continue to move the football against a good football team.

“If I can challenge one group, I’m going to challenge our offensive line,” he said. “On the other side of the ball, I’m going to challenge our whole defense.”

Having a winning streak of any kind is a good thing for teams, but the Wildcats will not let it get to their heads, Jones said.

“We’re still learning,” he said. “Yes, we won two games in a row and don’t get me wrong, that’s been a long time since that’s went on. But, at the same time, as a coaching staff, we’re not satisfied with two wins.

“We’re preaching that to our kids,” he said. “They know that two wins will not satisfy us. We’re ready to go on and take the next step and be a good, quality high school football team. We want people to know when they play Florala, they’re going to get hit in the mouth.”

Kick off in Hartford on Friday is at 7 p.m.