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Football: Warriors' win streak is on the line

POSTED: October 16, 2007 5:05 a.m.

White County High football coach Gregg Segraves isn’t sure if his bye week last Friday was a blessing or a curse.

The good thing about the week off is that it gave the Warriors (3-2) a week to prepare for its Region 7A-AAA opener tonight against No. 5-ranked North Hall (5-0) in Cleveland. That 14-day open period gave White County time to heal some wounds and get players ready to face the defending Region 7-AAA champions.

On the other hand, the Warriors coach doesn’t want that much down time to take any momentum away from their streak of three consecutive wins (West Hall, Pickens and Johnson). It marks only the second time this decade that White County’s had a winning record at the midway point in its season.

"I’m just real pleased with the effort of our kids to this point," Segraves said. "We felt like we’d have a good chance to compete this season."

And to put an even rosier spin on White County’s record is the fact that it was within two points of knocking off Gainesville in its second game of the season. It’s the second consecutive time that White County has played the Red Elephants tough in Cleveland and been within a field goal of pulling off the upset. In 2005, Gainesville escaped White County with a 10-7 win.

"I think that Gainesville game gave our team some confidence," Segraves said. "But two of our wins could have been loses."

White County will welcome back senior tailback Jesse Brown into the lineup tonight for the first time this season. He hasn’t played since separating his shoulder last season against the Trojans. Brown was leading the team with approximately 700 yards rushing last year when he went down with the season-ending injury.

In his absence, Eli McCallister, Blake Limbaugh and Ashley Lowery have shared the running back duties. McCallister leads the Warriors this season with 330 yards. Senior quarterback Tyler Norman has 200 yards on the ground for White County.

Segraves knows that these next five games are the ones that determine the playoff pecking order in Region 7-AAA. He is a believer that the Warriors are going to be in the mix for a playoff spot in subregion "A" at season’s end.

White County’s defense has played particularly well this season allowing only 17 points per game. In their three wins, the Warriors have shaved that points allowed per game down to 13.

One reason for White County’s success on defense is sophomore lineman Tyler Hamilton, who has 25 tackles (6 for a loss) in just the last two games.

Against North Hall, the Warriors have to try to shut down the highly effective wing-T ground attack of the Trojans. The Trojans are averaging 41,8 points per game this season and are winning by an average of 35 points, including shut out wins in their first three games against Pickens, Johnson and West Hall.

"We’re certainly glad to be playing this one at home," Segraves said. "I’ve told our team not to worry about the scoreboard, and for us to focus on our effort."

Contact: bmurphy@gainesvilletimes.com, (770) 718-3415



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