By JOEL McNEECE
The Bruce Trojans clinched a playoff spot with a 33-7 win over Mantachie last Friday.
The Trojans, 4-6 on the season, will enter the playoffs as a four seed and will have to travel to one seed East Webster next week to open the 2A playoffs.
East Webster defeated Bruce earlier this year 52-15 in Cumberland.
First the Trojans will meet Calhoun City in a rivalry game that has no implications on the playoff picture.
“This week will be tough,” Bruce Coach James Ray said. “Calhoun City has a great team, maybe the best in 2A. We will have to play over our heads to keep this one close. However, this will be my third Bruce/ Calhoun City regular season game, and the one thing that I have learned about this great rivalry is that it will be a hard fought intense game that anybody can win.”
“I want to encourage our fans to wear their blue to Calhoun City and show their Trojan pride,” Ray said.
The Wildcats enter the game with a perfect 10-0 record and a number two ranking in the state in Class 2A.
The competition wasn’t nearly so daunting last Friday against the Mantachie Mustangs. After a scoreless first quarter, the Trojans rolled to an easy 33-7 victory.
Deshawn Tillman recovered a Mantachie fumble in end zone for the first points of the game. Gray Tedford’s extra point put Bruce in front 7-0.
The Trojan defense stopped an attempt by the Mustangs to tie the game when Shaq Bush deflected a pass and Zay Armstrong came down with the interception in the end zone.
A 27-yard pass from QB?Davis Brown to Codie McMahan and a 31-yard pass to Demetrius Evans set up a 1-yard touchdown run by Ted Esom for a 14-0 Trojan lead at the half.
Senior cornerback Tiny Moore extended that lead when he picked off a Mantachie pass and returned it 70-yards up the sideline for a touchdown.
Brown hit Esom with a pass over the middle and he broke free for a 51-yard score.
Evans accounted for the last touchdown on a 6-yard run.
Brown finished 5-8 passing for 121 yards and a touchdown.
Armstrong led the rushing attack with 102 yards on 12 carries. Evans and Donta Armstrong each rushed for 35. Benji Haire added 21 yards.
Esom led the defense with 10 tackles, including a sack. Reed Gregory had nine tackles and an interception. Javon Petty had seven tackles and a sack.
“I thought we rebounded well after a tough loss to Baldwyn,” Ray said. “We started slow but once we got rolling we did a lot of good things on both sides of the ball. It was good that we could send the seniors off with a win in there last home game of the regular season.”
The Trojans-Wildcats will kickoff at 7 p.m. Thursday night in Calhoun City.