GENE PHELPS: ‘Something has to give’ in high school playoffs battles tonight

By Gene Phelps/NEMS Daily Journal

Calhoun City coach Perry Liles said it best earlier this week when he was talking about his team’s Class 2A state quarterfinals game against East Webster.
– Both teams have 13-0 records.
– Both have high-powered offenses, averaging 35-plus points per game.
– Both have stingy defenses, giving up under 10 points per game.
“Something has to give,” Liles said.
One of these terrific teams will see its season end under the Friday night lights in Calhoun County.
The same scenario will also play out tonight in Oxford, New Albany and Aberdeen.
In Oxford, Johnny Hill’s Chargers host West Point in a highly-anticipated 5A quarterfinals rematch. The defending state champion Green Wave (11-1) defeated Oxford (9-3) earlier this season in West Point, 22-20.
In that game, Oxford scored with under two minutes remaining, but missed on a 2-point conversion attempt that would have tied the score.
“Our kids are playing a lot better, but I’m sure West Point is, too,” Hill said. “We’re going to have to play better than we did the last time.”
In New Albany, the Bulldogs (13-0) are hoping to keep their amazing ride alive against an equally-talented and unbeaten Lafayette (13-0).
The Commodores’ coach, Anthony Hart, would rather play this one at home, but he reminds us that his team is unbeaten on the road this season, too.
“I believe in the playoffs when you get on the grass, it’s grass,” he said. “They’ve won a bunch of games on the road and we’ve won a bunch of games on the road.”
In Aberdeen, the Bulldogs (12-1) entertain unbeaten Belmont (12-0) in a Class 3A quarterfinal game.
In case you’re wondering who beat Aberdeen, last year’s state runner-up, it was 6A Columbus in the season opener – 8-6.
Aberdeen lives on its speed and the big play. Belmont has made a living all season pounding opponents with its Power I and option attack.
As Liles said: “Something has to give.”

Contact Gene Phelps at 678-1593

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