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Miller looking in the mirror against Brookstone

Photo by Paul Dehner

Photo by Paul Dehner

COLQUITT -- Miller County coach Frank Killingsworth doesn't think his team has lined up on a Friday night against an opponent that plays quite like its Round 1 opponent in the Class A playoffs, Brookstone.

It has every Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, though.

Killingsworth believes the two playoff opponents share more than identical 8-2 records entering the contest.

Like Miller, the small, private school out of Columbus runs a run-oriented wing-T offense and has throttled opposing teams with a defense that hasn't allowed more than 20 points in a game in two months.

After a season of trying to stop the wide-open passing game of Clinch County and the veer attack of Seminole, Killingsworth is relieved to gameplan for something everyone on his team can relate to.

"Finally we can play folks when we say 'Buck sweep,' our kids know what 'Buck sweep' is," Killingsworth said. "When we say 'XB,' they know what 'XB' is. That is kind of good for us."

Miller trudged out through the rain onto its sloppy practice field on Tuesday hoping to wash away the memories of Friday's 25-20 loss to Clinch in the Region 1-A title game. It was the Pirates' first loss since Sept. 4 and brought to a close a strong regular season where it nearly accumulated as many wins as the region title team in 2009 that graduated eight offensive starters.

Last year's team finished 11-2 and advanced further than any team in the area in the postseason, but eventually lost to Wesleyan in the state quarterfinals. Win or lose on Friday, he doesn't want the accomplishments of the last 11 weeks to be lost in 48 minutes.

"We try to separate the seasons down here," Killingsworth said. "That is what we preach. You play the first 10 games and that gives you the opportunity to play these next five. What happens in these five are separate from the others. That's what you got to preach, because you can't really intertwine."

Killingsworth also admits the vibe feels different around practice with the biggest game of the season to date scheduled to take place on Friday. Strangely, he says the feeling this week has actually had a lower intensity than some of the previous even with so much on the line.

"It is more fun," said Killingsworth. "Go into it with a different mindset than regular season. It is a little more relaxed, but it's more intense on Friday."

EXPERIENCE SHIFTS: Seminole County will travel to Chattahoochee County on Friday for its first round playoff game.

The last meeting between the two schools came in the same round of the playoffs three years ago.

That night, an experienced Indians team rolled up a 68-8 victory.

"I think Bacarri (Rambo) had like six touchdowns and over 300 yards rushing in three quarters that night," Seminole coach Alan Ingram said.

Likely a few Chattahoochee players remember that night and, unfortunately for the freshmen and sophomore filling the Indians roster, the experience now lies with the team from outside Columbus.

Chattahoochee also went 8-2 last season before losing in the first round to Savannah Christian, 18-8.

For Ingram, experience can be a bit overrated.

"I kind of think so," he siad. "We have had our big game and kind of fell on our face against Miller County (a 19-6 defeat). We had that experience in a big game. I think kids are more up to the task this time. I don't see any problem, we are going to play our game."

FRIENDS AND FOES: When looking across the sideline during his Pelham team's first round game at Greenville on Friday, Hornets coach Jim Morrell will see a familiar face.

It will be one of his best friends in coaching, Jeremy Williams.

"He's a guy at the beginning of the season I was pulling for him to win the state championship," Morrell said of his defensive coordinator for three years when he coached at Harris County. "Now I face him in the first round and I am going to try to take that away from him."

Williams and Morrell and their families got together on Saturday for dinner and to exchange game film.

The film of 10-0 Greenville would make any coach's head spin, but it came as no surprise to Morrell who has been talking with Williams all season about each other's teams.

Morrell claims he knew the day he met Williams he wanted him to be his DC at Harris County and says "I want to be half as strong as he is one day."

Regardless of the outcome, Morrell says the two will hug each other's neck and enjoy the experience.

"This is the first time I have met a former coach that I worked along side of that's been a game that meant something," Morrell said. "It's a little surreal when that happens. One thing we'll do, Jeremy and I will both be able to put who is across the sidelines out of the way. He is going to do everything he can to hurt me and I am going to do everything I can to hurt him."