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November 7, 2013

MHSAA football playoff previews: Quitman on a roll

Quitman on a roll

    Since losing to Taylorsville in Week 4 of the regular season, the Quitman Panthers have been a completely different team.

    Now, on a six-game winning streak, Quitman (6-4, 5-0) will host Raymond (4-7, 1-3) in the opening round of the MSHAA Class 4A playoffs.

    Despite the Panthers’ obvious advantage on the stat sheet, don’t expect them to back down Friday night against the Rangers.

    “I think my kids went about this the way we were supposed to this week,” Quitman head coach Steven Bynum said. “We kind of started preaching that last week, because we were in the same boat last week against Northeast Lauderdale. We had already clinched the division, but it meant a lot to win. We kind of battled that last week, so we will be ready and focussed this week.”

    Quitman blew past the Trojans using a valiant special teams effort en route to a 45-7 win. Now, with the Panthers playing their best football all season, Bynum said he doesn’t expect them to slow down anytime soon.

    “Our kids kind of woke up as a team,” Bynum said. “Nobody is just going to roll over and give it to us because our name is Quitman. We are going to have to work for every game we play in. We have kind of went about it in a blue-collar way.”


Union wants to be elite

    A loss against rival Lake in Week 10 of the regular season eliminated Union’s chance of a region championship the season. Still, the Yellowjackets are ready to prove they belong among the MSHAA Class 2A elite.

    Friday night, they will get their chance as they host Puckett in the first round of the 2A playoffs. Union (7-4, 4-1) earned the No. 2 seed in Region 5-2A while Puckett (5-5, 3-2) comes in as the No. 3 seed in Region 6-2A.

    “They have good team speed and have some guys that run real well,” Union head coach Brad Breland said of Puckett. “They can spread the ball out real well and get the ball to different people.”

    Because of the Wolves versatility on offense, Breland said his defense will have to be on top of its game in order to limit Puckett. After allowing 40 points to Lake two weeks ago, Union rebounded holding Newton to only 12 points last week.

    “We are going to have to make sure we are lined up right,” Breland said. “If we can do that and do what we are supposed to do, I feel like we will be in good shape.”

    Breland said his team worked this week to play its game and prevent breakdowns on both sides of the ball.

    “Practice has gone well,” Breland said. “Offensively, we still need to execute better. Defensively, we practiced pretty well this week.”

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