Petal and Columbia in for non-region rumble

Published: Sep. 8, 2022 at 11:17 PM CDT
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PETAL, Miss. (WDAM) -Last season, Petal waltzed in Walter Payton Field and handed Columbia its only loss of the season.

It was a 14-7 defensive battle that really came down to which team could make one more play and that’s what both the Panthers and the Wildcats are expecting of the matchup this season.

“We’re going to have to play great,” Columbia Head Coach Chip Bilderback said. “Our kids focus this week has been really excited and it kind of gets me excited as a coach because I think they know the challenge that lies ahead of them.

“Our kids are going to come out and lay it on the line Friday so we’re going to see where the pieces lay after the night is over.”

“This is just one of those games where it’s a great non-division opponent for us that gets us ready for our division,” Petal head coach Allen Glenn said. “They’re very talented in the secondary. They got really good skill players so we’ve got our work cut out for us.”

The Wildcat secondary has been causing problems for opposing teams and forcing turnovers these past two weeks.

“We playing well in zone and man to man,” Columbia linebacker/running back Jalon Anderson said. “Our defensive backs work hard after practice every day so that’s making them better and they coming together as one.”

“Deljay [Bailey] he has to read the safeties. He’s got to have a really good game, a cerebral game to make sure he knows where the secondary is and what they’re trying to get accomplished,” the Panther Head Coach said.

While Columbia packs a punch in the secondary, the Panthers wreak havoc at the line of scrimmage.

“You try to maintain everything on the line of scrimmage and you don’t want to let them pass you and let up yards,” Petal defensive end Kelten Mickell said.

“[They’re] huge up front on both sides of the ball,” Bilderback said. “That’s the thing that glares out in front of you just watching the first couple of games and how physical they are at the point of attack.”

Kickoff is set for 7:30 pm Friday at Petal.

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