|Postseason pressure begins in Week 9 for Red Devils |
|Posted: Wednesday, October 22, 2008 5:47 pm |
|South Fulton’s playoffs start two weeks early. |
Since the Red Devils’ Region 7-1A game vs. Gleason Friday night will likely determine whether or not they make it to the postseason, SF is treating the critical matchup vs. the Bulldogs much as it would a playoff game.
“We know what we have to do to ensure that we’ll be playing in Week 11, and that all centers around us beating Gleason Friday night,” first year South Fulton head coach Kelly Spivey said.
“We met with the team Monday, and they understand it. It’s really a must-win situation for us.”
Once 6-0 with a No. 10 state ranking, the Redmen have dropped their last two games by a combined 68-7 count to Union City and Lake County, respectively.
Turnovers were costly in the loss to the Tornadoes, but a less-than-to-be-desired effort against LC in a 40-0 blowout brought back memories of SF squads of recent seasons when the program struggled to be competitive.
“I don’t really know what went on here before I got here, but I know what I’ve heard,” Spivey responded to the comparison query. “I told the team I was upset with how they played and the effort that they gave or didn’t give, and not as much that we lost. We really didn’t have much effort other than from three or four kids.
“I reminded them of what got us to 6-0 and challenged them to give me that and a little bit extra. They all said they could. We had a good day of practice Monday, so we’ll see. We still control whether or not we go to the playoffs so, essentially, that’s up to us.”
In Gleason, SF will face a club that seems to be peaking at the right time.
The Bulldogs have punished 7-1A co-cellar-dwellars Bruceton and West Carroll by a combined 103-7 count the past two weeks and will come in with a 4-4 overall slate. Their 3-2 region record makes the contest equally as important to Gleason as it is to South Fulton when it comes to making the playoffs.
“They’re playing with a lot of confidence right now,” Spivey said. “They remind me a lot of us a couple of weeks ago.”
Both the Devils and Bulldogs will be underdogs in their Week 10 regular season finales, adding even more importance to Friday’s game. SF will play at No. 8 McKenzie next week, while Gleason visits ninth-ranked and likely region champ Union City.
Spivey said fullback/linebacker Skylar Cherry was being treated for injuries to his ribs, while standout running back Jonathan Avent strained his back in Monday’s practice. The coach said Cherry’s condition was much more serious in regard to his status for Friday night.
Sports editor Mike Hutchens can be contacted by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.