Dondrial Pinkins’ Pelham Hornets come to town and they’re coming off their rivalry game win with Mitchell County. Kirksey hasn’t lost a game since the end of September, but he knows that the visitors haven’t scored less than 28 points in a game and have pitched six shutouts along the way.
“We’ve put in a lot of hours studying,” Kirksey says. “We haven’t played them but twice in our history I think -- and not in the last ten years. When we played Schley county and Lincoln County, it was like playing in a phone booth -- everything was tackle to tackle. This week, though, it’s the other end of the spectrum. They spread it out. Their quarterback, Kendrick Patterson, can throw and run very well. They’re very powerful on offense, so I think for us, our best defense will be having a good offense ourselves. Defensively, we just have to make sure we tackle in space against their quality athletes.”
Kirksey also says, if you haven’t seen his team play this year, that there’s a few guys to keep an eye on in this semifinal:
Trice McCannon, their quarterback, is about 5-foot-7 -- MaxPreps has him at 5-8 and 160 pounds. He was forced into starting as a ninth grader and has been a four-year starter as Kirksey’s playmaker. “As he goes we go,” he admits.
Brandon Thomas, his running back, is a scat back that’s good in space. He’s a change of pace from last year’s power back, Trayvon Matthews. But Kirksey also says you can’t go long without talking about his offensive linemen: “Coach (Luke) Jernigan has them schooled up,” he says. Defensively, his middle linebacker, Kendrick Hawkins, is leading the team in tackles with 120.