Polk County suffered its biggest setback of the season last week when the Wildcats squandered an opportunity to lock up a playoff spot with a 3-0 overtime loss to Bledsoe County.Adding salt to the …
Polk County suffered its biggest setback of the season last week when the Wildcats squandered an opportunity to lock up a playoff spot with a 3-0 overtime loss to Bledsoe County.
Adding salt to the wound is the fact starting running back Kyle Dunn was lost for the remainder of the season with an ankle injury.
“I hope they are getting that out of their heads. It was a disappointing loss. We lost Kyle Dunn for the rest of the year with an ankle injury. He might could come back if we made it deep in the playoffs,” said Wildcats coach Derrick Davis of the disappointing performance.
“We just couldn’t get anything going and when he went out it was like the wind went out of our sails. It was just a very tough loss. I’m going to have to be like the kids, I’m going to have to get over it myself. It was very tough.”
The Wildcats catch a break of sorts this week with a non-region game, but the bad news is Polk faces off against unbeaten and top-ranked Meigs County in Benton. Coach Jason Fitzgerald's Tigers have dominated their eight opponents by a 347-36 so far this season.
“We've got the No. 1-ranked team in Class 2A coming to town. They are a former district rival we are very familiar with. They've really got it rolling over there right now. They are playing good football. They’ve lost one game in two years and that was in the playoffs last year,” said Davis.
“We’ve got our work cut out for us. We’re going to have to rebound from a tough loss last week and try and put that behind us and get ready for Meigs County.”
Friday’s matchup with the Tigers carries even more meaning when it comes to hosting a playoff game, if the final choices are made by season records and the Wildcats can pull off a win.
“This game doesn’t mean anything playoff-wise, but it does record-wise and getting ready for, hopefully, the playoffs. It could come down to overall records if we get to host a playoff game. With a win maybe we’ve got a shot at it,” acknowledged Davis.
With Dunn (who had averaged 8.8 yards per carry and scored four TDs) now a sideline spectator, Davis and staff are going to have to come up with some measures to fill the gap in the gap in the backfield left by the starting tailback.
“We are going to have to make some moves, of course, offensively. I’ve said before there isn’t anybody going to feel sorry for us. That’s football,” he said.
“We’ll look for the next man to step up. I’d say Eddie Lamb will get more looks. We may move him to tailback. He knows enough to help us out.”
The Wildcats will need more than help at tailback to overcome the kinds of mistakes that included four turnovers to the Warriors. Polk must come out running and play at the top of its game in order to make a dent in the Meigs County defense.
“We had some bad breaks. The touchdown pass was called back for a block in the back. If you go back and look at it, it really wasn’t a block in the back and wasn’t a penalty, but that’s part of it. That stuff happens. We shouldn’t have put ourselves in the situation we were in to begin with,” said Davis.
“Meigs is No. 1 for a reason. The are very good and very well coached. I’m glad we have them at home. Decatur isn’t very far, but we’re glad to have them at home after having been on the road a couple of weeks.”
After two weeks on the road, the Wildcats return to the Larry G. Davis Football Complex which they hope will be a definite advantage when it comes to dealing with the Tigers.
“Everybody is going to have to give a little bit more. We’re going to have to do a much better job than we did Friday night, offensively for sure,” said Davis. “We had four turnovers, and if we even have a shot at Meigs we can’t have penalties, turnovers or anything like that. Everybody is going to have to do more if we're to have a shot.”
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