Undefeated McKenzie, Brantley square off

Published 7:46 pm Tuesday, October 7, 2008

One of the marquee matchups of the week in 1A football will be taking place this Friday night in McKenzie when the Tigers square off against Brantley.

Both teams are ranked in the top 10 in the Alabama Sportswriters’ Association Poll, and both teams come in with a 6-0 record.

For McKenzie head coach Miles Brown, it’s somewhat of a relief to finally play Brantley.

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“Everyone always wants to talk about playing Brantley, but we try to focus on the current week,” he said. “Now we can finally talk about Brantley.”

Brown said one of the big things that comes to his mind when talking about Brantley is team speed.

“I’m not just talking about Anthony Gulley. They’ve got a couple of other kids that you’ve got to contend with,” Brown said. “They have a lot of speed, and their offensive and defensive lines are strengths for them.”

One concern for the Tigers is the health of quarterback Calvin Henderson, who saw limited playing time in last week’s win against Geneva County after suffering an ankle injury early in the game.

“Calvin is still sore, but it was just a little ankle tweak,” Brown said.

One thing Brown won’t have to do this week is motivate his team.

“If I have to do a lot of motivating, we’re going to be in for a long, rude Friday night,” he said. “It means a lot for us to be playing this one at home, on our homefield, against a highly ranked team with a storied tradition like Brantley.”

The winner of the matchup will take sole possession of first place in the region.

Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. Friday night in McKenzie.

“We want everyone that’s a McKenzie fan to come out and get ready for a good ball game,” Brown said.