By Austin Bishop
The Choctaw Plaindealer
The Choctaw County Chargers will be facing their third consecutive road game against a strong team when they travel south to take on Collins in the first round of the MHSAA Class 3A State Football Playoffs Friday night.
“They are very athletic and have a lot of team speed,” Choctaw County head coach Adam Dillinger said of the 8-3 Tigers. “They are just very good. They spread it out and run and throw.”
Collins is coming off a 41-32 loss to Morton, which was essentially the championship game for Region 6-3A. Choctaw County finished third in Region 5-3A with a 41-6 loss at Philadelphia. Two week ago the Chargers, now 8-3 as well, dropped a 27-14 road decision to the Bearcats of Forest.
While Dillinger said it’s always nice to play at home, he knows that winning on the road is a key once the playoffs begin.
“If you are going to go deep into the playoffs you are eventually going to have to win on the road at some time,” he said.
Friday night Philadelphia jumped out to a 14-0 lead after one quarter of play and stretched it out to 28-7 at the half before rolling to the win.
“They are just a good football team,” Dillinger said of the Tornadoes, who are ranked No. 4 in Class 3A. “We have a few who are out for injuries, but that’s not an excuse. They can play and have a real good team.”
Choctaw County’s lone touchdown came on an 19-yard run Jamarcus Bradley, who finished the night with 95 rushing yards on 11 carries.
Romon Gray hit on 9-of-13 passes for 156 yards and two touchdowns to lead the Tornadoes, while Jacadarius Griffin rushed for 124 yards and two touchdowns on 19 carries and Dontae Poe had eight carries for 96 yards.
Before losing to Morton last week, the Tigers of Collins had put together a seven-game winning streak, which included wins of Lawrence County and Seminary. Other than Morton, Collins’ only losses were to Taylorsville (21-10) and Bassfield (28-12).