|Bobby "Butch" Burney | News-Telegram Sports Editor|
Oct. 10, 2006 - It may be the midway point of the football season, but the Sulphur Springs Wildcats consider themselves with a 0-0 record.
That's the mindset they will take going into Friday's District 11-4A opener against the Mount Pleasant Tigers.
Even though the Wildcats have gone 1-4 in the predistrict portion of their schedule, the focus from here on out is on winning enough district games to get into the playoffs.
That means the Wildcats must put the last five games behind them.
"I think that's extremely important for us. In reality, that's all that matters right now, and I think they understand that," said SSHS head coach Greg Owens. "We talked about it Friday night with the players, we talked about it Saturday with them, so I think they're focused on that.
"They were here Saturday morning and they were positive and upbeat. We lost a ball game, but we got better on Friday."
The Wildcats lost to Liberty-Eylau, 40-30, on Friday, the same time Mount Pleasant was coming up short against Carthage, 24-21.
Owens pointed out that whoever wins Friday's game will be tied for first place in the district standings. Mount Pleasant's record is 3-2.
Sulphur Springs won last year's contest, 58-42, the highest cumulative score in school history.
FOUR QUARTERS - Sulphur Springs lost Friday by 10 points, but it was the first time this season that the Wildcats outscored their opponents in the second half. The Wildcats scored 23 points, while L-E put up 20 over the final two quarters. Sulphur Springs has been outscored 77-22 in the fourth quarter this year, but won that period on Friday, 15-14. ... Sulphur Springs has seven fumble recoveries, all by different players. Sophomore cornerback Darrell Franklin's 35-yard fumble return on Friday was the first return of any kind for a TD this year by SSHS. ... The Wildcats have been penalized 30 times for 216 yards, while their opponents have racked up 33 penalties for 263 yards. Sulphur Springs has also fumbled fewer times (nine fumbles, lost four) than their opponents (16 fumbles, lost seven).
STEPPING IN - Chris Thompson and B.J. Rodgers, two back-up receivers who got their first starts of the season against L-E, combined to produce nine catches for 115 yards and a TD. ... Junior Jeff Beck continues to lead the team in receptions with 22 catches for 268 yards and a TD. ... Senior Tyler Rhoades, out Friday with a jammed neck, practiced on Monday. ... Junior linebacker Josh Dunn leads the team in tackles with 64. Defensive tackle A.D. Miles has the most tackles for losses with four.