Coahoma County High School only played two football games during the regular season, but that was good enough for the No. 2 spot in Region 3-2A and a home playoff game.
The Red Panthers (2-1) defeated Madison Palmer in a forfeit, won at O’Bannon 14-0 and lost at district champion Northside 50-0. They will be hosing Mantachie in the first round of the MHSAA Class 2A playoffs at 7 p.m. Friday at Coahoma Community College.
CCHS is coming off of a bye week.
“The biggest thing is just getting guys in the right place and learning what to do,” said coach McKinley Scott. “Even though we’ve played two games, even with the Northside game, the guys really weren’t familiar with all the offense and all the defense. This past week, we’ve been able to just sit down and just really teach the guys what they need to know. Hopefully, we’ll be more prepared this week. I think we are. It’s going to be a game because, judging by Mantachie, they’re going to be a team that’s going to run the ball and control the clock. They’re big up front so it’s going to be a great game.”
Scott has made the offense simple in the regular season games, but he plans to have a quicker pace game and have senior quarterback Lamont Lee throw the ball more.
“Actually, I think my game plan will be a little different this week,” Scott said. “Mainly because when you’re playing Northside who has an explosive offense, you want to kind of slow them down. With this team being a team that likes to control the ball, my biggest thing is to try to get up quick fast and to make them start doing stuff they don’t want to do. They don’t like to throw. They would rather run the ball. They would rather run the ball all night. Our biggest thing is to get up, pretty much like Northside got up on us. Then, you can’t go into a slow motion offense. You pretty much have to step up.”
Kiarrious Elmore and Ladarious Fry are receivers, Tyson Lee and Chrishunn Banks will play in the slot, Eddie Henderson is a slot receiver and running back. Henderson played quarterback when Lee was injured in the second half Northside. Scott said Henderson ran well, but should run even better Friday.
“That was his biggest thing, not in shape,” Scott said.
Having first possession could work to the Red Panthers’ advantage.
“If we get up first, that’s a good thing, so now, if they want to control the clock, I’m counting on Mr. Brassell (defensive coordinator Jeremiah Brassell),” Scott said. “We’ll get some stops and we’ll go up 14 at least. That’s going to kind of put them in a mode where they have to pick up the offense. I don’t think that they have what they want for that.”
If the Red Panthers open the game kicking off, the plan will be stop Mantachie quickly and get good field position.
“That’s the thing that I would love to happen because we’ll get the ball back after halftime,” Scott said. “Everything will kind of go in our favor so that’s how it would pan out. Normally, I like to defer to the second half, but it just depends. I’ll talk to a couple of my coaches and we’ll decide. I know what I want to do, but still, we’ll do a collective effort and we’ll figure out what we want to do.”