Hathcock: It definitely raises the stakes to another level; we're in a must-win situation and so are they

Published 9:58 pm Wednesday, October 19, 2005

By By BRUCE HIXON – Sports Editor
Not everybody gets a second chance in life, but the W.S. Neal Blue Eagles do when it comes to making the playoffs.
The Blue Eagles missed one chance to lock up a playoff berth Friday when Straughn rallied for a 21-14 victory. W.S. Neal will get a second and final chance to qualify for the playoffs this Friday when they host the T.R. Miller Tigers at 7 p.m.
The Blue Eagles (4-4 overall and 3-3 in Class 3A Region 1) are in all likelihood in a must-win situation in order to make the playoffs. If W.S. Neal wins, it will lock down a number three seed out of Region 1 and a first-round road game. If the Blue Eagles lose to T.R. Miller, the only other way the playoff door remains open is if winless Dale County beats Slocomb.
With T.R. Miller being in the exact same position for playoff qualification, Hathcock said that puts even more importance on the annual Murder Creek game.
The W.S. Neal coach admits history is on T.R. Miller's side where the Tigers have won 10 straight, 21 of 22, 24 of 26 and 32 of 35 in the series.
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win and W.S. Neal hoping to win and there is a big difference. We're obviously trying to change that around here,” Hathcock said.
Even though W.S. Neal is catching T.R. Miller coming off a 10-7 loss to Pike County last Friday, Hathcock feels his team may be catching the Tigers' defense at their best.
W.S. Neal also had one of its best defensive performances of the year against Straughn where it allowed just 128 yards.
That W.S. Neal defense will be tested by a versatile T.R. Miller offense.

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