Florala eyes upset against Brantley

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, September 30, 2015


After a week off, the Florala Wildcats (1-3, 0-2) hope to come out reenergized as they hit the road Friday night for a Class 1A, Region 2 battle in Brantley against the Bulldogs (3-2, 2-1).

The Wildcats will look to revenge a 35-21 loss last season when the Bulldogs visited Matthews Stadium. Brantley leads the all-time series with a record of 18-2-1.

“It’s a great opportunity for our guys to compete against a very good football team and a very good program,” Florala head coach Brad Rhodes said. “The guys are really looking forward to playing Brantley.”

Brantley is tied with McKenzie for second place in Region 2, and the Wildcats are seeking their first region win in 2015.

Brantley’s lone region defeat came in week four when Georgiana knocked off the Bulldogs 29-18. Brantley’s other loss came in the first game of the season in a 26-12 road-loss to the Class 2A Luverne Tigers.

The Bulldogs are coming into the game on a two-game win streak after slipping past Red Level two weeks ago on a last second play and hammering Class 2A Highland Home 49-14 last week.

“They are a typical Brantley team,” Rhodes said. “They have size up front and some really good skill guys. They are fast and they have a quarterback who is good at throwing the football.”

Florala started a winning streak two weeks ago when the Wildcats’ offense exploded to 56-40 homecoming victory over McIntosh, and had the chance to give the players a rest with an off week last Friday.

Brantley has used different approaches to their offense at various times in the season, and have gone run heavy one week and pass heavy the next said Rhodes.

“They have shown some different things on offense, but I expect the to come out pretty balanced against us,” Rhodes said. “They have three or four guys that look good running routes and catching the football. Their quarterback is going to go vertical with the ball at least a couple of times a quarter.”

Rhodes said that to stop the Bulldogs the Wildcats’ coaching staff has been stressing that the team has to tackle better.

“We have continued to stress better tackling, and this week is no different,” Rhodes said. “We have to have 11 guys getting to the football and making plays. That is what it takes against a team like Brantley.”

Rhodes said that the Wildcats will try to establish the run, and keep plays going north and south.

“They have a lot of speed on defense,” Rhodes said. “They have big defensive lineman that occupy blocks and that frees up their speedy linebackers to run free. We want to run the football, and we are going to have to go north and south to try and negate some their speed. Biggest thing we have to do is finishing drives. We have done a better job of that the past few games, and we need that to continue against Brantley.”

Kickoff between the Wildcats and the Bulldogs will be at 7 p.m., in Brantley.