By RUSSELL TURNER
The Perry Central Bulldogs return to football action this Friday when the Newton Tigers come to New Augusta for the first round of the MHSAA 2A State Playoffs.
The Bulldogs are the top seed out of Region 8-2A, while Newton comes to the postseason as the No. 4 seed out of Region 6-2A. The Tigers enter the matchup with a 5-3 overall record, but were 1-3 in region play. They started the season hot out of the gate with wins over Leake Central (20-14), Raymond (33-0) and Hazlehurst (6-0). They dropped decisions to region foes Union (12-35), Scott Central (16-46) and Philadelphia (18-24). They earned a forfeit win over Lake and finished the regular season last Friday with a 24-22 win at East Marion.
Perry Central Head Coach Wesley McLain says he is impressed with what he has seen out of the Tigers and knows his team has their hands full this Friday.
“In my opinion they are probably the best No. 4 seed in South State,” McLain said. “They come out of a really good region and have a lot of really good athletes.”
“They are similar to Collins in athleticism and speed, but have a lot more seniors on the roster. They have a quarterback who moves around well and some good receivers that they can throw it around to. They are big on the offensive line and fast on defense.”
PCHS earned the region title with a big win over Collins in their last on-field action. They effectively had a bye week last week in a forfeit win over North Forrest.
“We would have liked to have played on Friday, but at the same time it gave us a chance to get some guys a little more healthy,” McLain said. “I think we are in good shape in that regard as we did get two starters back after they missed two weeks due to Covid protocols.”
“Unfortunately, one of our best players on both sides of the ball, Patrick Dunn, is still banged up and will be limited for Friday’s game. We know we are going to have our work cut out for us, but our guys are ready to play and are excited about the opportunity.”
Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. Friday.