Valdosta Daily Times

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October 18, 2013

Wildcats ready to seal first region win against Tift Co.

VALDOSTA — The Valdosta High Wildcats are now 4-2 and 0-2 in region 1-AAAAAA play after dropping key matchups against the Camden County Wildcats and the Lowndes Vikings. This week, the Wildcats have practiced hard in preparation for the Tift County Blue Devils who are 4-3 overall and 1-2 in region play. Wildcats head coach Rance Gillespie made one thing clear about the Blue Devils in his post-practice speech on Monday.

“This is not the same Tift County from last year, or any year before. They are different and their new players are good football players,” said Gillespie.

The Valdosta rushing attack was limited last week to 60 yards on the ground. The offensive play calling deviated from the run and transitioned more into a passing attack, having sophomore quarterback Seth Shuman throw 30 passing attempts.

This week, expect to see more success with the running game. During practice this week, the offensive line practiced blocking on running plays for a large portion of the day.

The team’s kicker, Brennan Goodson, missed two field goals and had one blocked during the Winnersville Classic last Friday. This was an issue the team wanted to correct quickly. Goodson practiced field goals from different hashes while the offense and defense continue their usual practice.

On defense, the Wildcats held their own in their last game, only allowing three points and 94 yards of total offense. The defense will be important against a Tift County team that averages 28 points a game.

Tift County receiver Malik Pittman will be the vocal point of the Blue Devils offense. The Wildcat secondary has played lights out defense all season and they will be tested by an offense that relies heavily on the pass.

The defensive ends for the Wildcats will be responsible for causing pressure and will hopefully be able to come up with some sacks for the defense.

Look for defensive ends Todd Bradley and Adrian Scott to have a big game.

The Wildcats will take on the Blue Devils at 8 p.m. today on Cleveland Field at Bazemore-Hyder Stadium.

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