Blog Bonus – Mantachie at Baldwyn

Friday: Mantachie (2-2) at Baldwyn (3-2), 7 p.m.

See more on this game and many others in Friday’s Daily Journal.

Baldwyn’s Wesley Wildmon

Mantachie coach Mike Hill knows that one lapse in concentration could be exponentially disastrous for his club. When you’re facing a team like Baldwyn, there is literally no margin for error.

Hill hopes that lesson was learned last week, when early mistakes nearly cost the Mustangs in a 33-27 win against South Pontotoc. He hopes his players learned “what can happen when the intensity level drops a little bit. Momentum is hard to get back.”

Momentum is what Baldwyn hopes to find in this Region 1-2A opener. The Bearcats have lost two straight, albeit against strong teams – Bruce and Eupora. Time to refocus.

“We’ve got to realize division starts this week, and we’re 0-0,” Baldwyn coach Jimmy Dillinger said. “Hopefully, the kids begin to focus on that part of it.”

Baldwyn is the favorite to win 1-2A, and it should beat Mantachie. Behind the Bearcats, the race for the other three playoff spots is wide open.

“Baldwyn is probably head and shoulders above everybody else,” Hill said. “Everybody’s tough; there’s no weak teams anymore.”

Hill said the key for Mantachie is making Baldwyn’s offense work for yardage. With guys like Dominique Davenport and Jaymel Tyes, the Bearcats can strike quickly – they’ve had eight scoring plays longer than 50 yards (though none the last two weeks). That would kill Mantachie’s momentum real fast.

“One false step by us,” Hill said, “and it’s a touchdown for them.”

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