The Wildcats' Ke'Onta Love (75) makes a big defensive stop Friday night against Forest.

Photo by Jason Dyess
The Wildcats' Ke'Onta Love (75) makes a big defensive stop Friday night against Forest. Photo by Jason Dyess
By Steve Swogetinsky

Kemper County Messenger



The Kemper County Wildcats open play in the MHSAA Class 3A football playoffs Friday night when they host Franklin County.

Both teams have had similar seasons. The Wildcats stand at 2-8 while Franklin County comes in a 1-9.

Franklin County lost its first nine games. A 31-0 win over Jefferson County last week propelled the Bulldogs into a third place finish in the Region 3-7A standings.

Kemper County won two region games over Choctaw Central and Southeast Lauderdale to finish second in the Region 5-3A standings.

“Franklin County lost a lot of seniors last year and have a lot of young guys playing,” Coach Josh Pulphus said. “They have had the same kind of season we have had. We are capable of winning this game and advancing to the second round. But have got to avoid fumbles, dropped passes and other mistakes. That’s what beat us against Forest. We just didn’t execute.”

The winner between Kemper County and Franklin County advances to the second round to play the winner of St. Andrews and Jefferson Davis County (formerly known as Bassfield).

Forest went up 9-0 in the first quarter. Then quarterback De’Onte Rush connected with Rodrick Williams on a 68-yard TD pass play. Macute Turner ran in the two point conversion.

That would be as close at the Wildcats came. Forest scored 14 points and went up 23-8 at the half. The Bearcats would add a touchdown in both the third and fourth quarters.

No stats from the game were available.

Forest, now 8-3, will host Wilkinson County in the first round of the playoffs.