By Austin Bishop
The Choctaw Plaindealer
The Choctaw County High School football team knows exactly what is ahead of it when the Chargers make the trip to Philadelphia on Friday night to take on the homestanding Tornadoes, the No. 4 ranked team in the state in MHSAA Class 3A according to the Jackson Clarion-Ledger.
“They are really, really good,” said CCHS head coach Adam Dillinger of the Tornadoes, who are currently 9-1 on the season. “They have good athletes and have been one of the better 3A teams for the last several years. Coach Teddy Dyess has them playing well and they are tough to beat.”
Philly leads Region 5-3A with a 4-0 mark, while Forest and Choctaw County are both 3-1. Since Forest defeated the Chargers 27-14 last Friday night, FHS has an edge over the Bearcats when it comes to playoff seeding. Philadelphia defeated Forest 34-27 earlier in the season.
“We can’t finish first (in the region),” Dillinger said. “If we win by more than three (against Philadelphia), then we will be second. Anything else and we are third.”
While the top four teams in each region qualify for the MHSAA Class 3A State Football Playoffs, the Chargers are locked in for a post-season spot, but finishing second would give Choctaw County a home game in the first round of the playoffs which begins on Nov. 8.
“The (playoffs) are the biggest part of the season,” Dillinger said. “When the playoffs start everybody is 0-0. Right now we are playing for seeding and we use these games as a measuring stick, but when the playoffs start everybody who makes it is back at square one.”
Choctaw County held a 7-0 lead after the first quarter of play against homestanding Forest last Friday night thanks to a 49-yard touchdown run by junior quarterback Jamarcus Bradley.
Forest struck for a pair of second-quarter touchdowns to take a 13-7 advantage at the intermission.
The Bearcats took advantage of good field position to stretch its advantage out to 27-7 in the fourth quarter. The first touchdown came after a bad snap on a CCHS punt attempt and the second after Choctaw County went for it on fourth down deep in its own territory.
The Chargers scored its second touchdown of the night on a 3-yard run by Bradley, who finished the game with 207 rushing yards on 26 carries. He also hit on 4-of-78 passes for 67 yards.
T.C. Hatchett rushed for 21 yards on five carries and picked off a pass, while Tay Edwards had four carries for 18 yards and a pass reception for 13 more. Ryan Blackwell had one catch for 35 yards, Clay Grissom one for 11 and Willie Miller one for three.