Bulldogs vie for playoff spot
FIGHTING THROUGH Clarkdale's Cedric Burns (20) attempts to fight off an ankle tackle in a recent high school football game. The Bulldogs look to keep their 5-2A playoff hopes alive when they line up against Newton on Friday. Photo by Paula Merritt/The Meridian Star
By Will Bardwell / staff writer
Oct. 29, 2003
And so it comes down to this.
After an up-and-down year, Clarkdale holds its postseason fate in its own hands. A team, which stumbled out of the gate and was once 0-5, brought its season back to life with two straight wins in October.
Now 2-7 overall and 2-2 in Division 5-2A, the playoff picture is crystal clear for the Bulldogs. With a win, Clarkdale advances to the postseason and could be seeded anywhere from second to fourth.
With a loss, though, Clarkdale stays at home.
Standing in the Bulldogs' way is Newton, which has all but clinched a playoff spot. At 3-6 overall and 2-2 in division play, the Tigers can assure themselves of a spot in the playoffs with a win Friday night.
Indeed, the Tigers have been more competitive than their record indicates. Newton has lost three of its last four games, but only by a combined 18 points. The Tigers lost a close 15-8 game to division-leading Philadelphia on Oct. 3, and a week later lost 3-0 to Division 5-3A frontrunner West Lauderdale.
Newton's biggest problem has been its offense. The Tigers have been shut out in three of their nine games, and have scored more than two touchdowns in just three of their contests.
Clarkdale can empathize with Newton's troubles. The Bulldogs' defense has often contained opponents, but a lack of offense has haunted the team. After Clarkdale's two wins at the beginning of October, the team has lost two straight 10-0 to Philadelphia and 18-12 to Kemper County.
The Bulldogs have had their moments, though. A 20-14 win over playoff contender Lake came on Oct. 3, and a week later, Clarkdale had its biggest single-game scoring output in a 25-8 win over Williams-Sullivan.
It is that potency that has Posey concerned.
Clarkdale head coach Joey Ethridge, who hopes to bring the Bulldogs to the playoffs for the second time in as many years a feat that has never been accomplished by the Bulldogs was unavailable for comment.