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franklin county times

Philadelphia, Clarkdale sit atop division

By By Marty Stamper / staff writer
October 7, 2004
Division 5-2A hasn't been considered a football heavyweight in recent years and 2004 appears to be no exception.
Of the six league members Philadelphia, Clarkdale, Newton, Kemper County, Williams-Sullivan, and Lake only Philadelphia and Kemper County are above .500 overall. The Tornadoes are 5-1, while the Wildcats are 3-2. Williams-Sullivan is 2-4, Newton is 1-5, Clarkdale is 1-4 and Lake is 0-6.
They have a combined mark of 8-18 against non-division opponents.
Even Philadelphia's record is somewhat deceptive as the Tornadoes have wins against 0-6 Choctaw Central, 1-5 Neshoba Central, 1-5 Taylorsville and 1-5 Newton to go with a quality win over 4-2 West Lauderdale.
Not only have this year's Division 5-2A teams struggled outside the league, both the 2002 and 2003 members that qualified for the playoffs went 0-4 in the postseason.
Newton advanced to the playoffs in 2002 and 2003. In 02, the Tigers fell 34-18 at Enterprise. Last year, they lost 21-7 at East Marion.
In 2002, Philadelphia was still a member of Division 5-3A. Clarkdale won the league championship only to fall 17-7 to Bay Springs, the No. 4 team from Division 7-2A, in the first round of the playoffs. Clarkdale did not qualify for the playoffs last year.
Kemper County earned a playoff berth last year only to take a 58-0 thrashing at Lumberton.
Lake, which was in Class 1A in 2002, also earned a playoff berth last year as the 5-2A runner-up. The Hornets lost 20-0 to Perry Central in the opening round of the playoffs at Lake.
Philadelphia hosted Gulfport St. John in 2003 and came away a surprising 16-0 first-round loser.
In this year's playoff hunt, Philadelphia is 1-0 with home games remaining with Lake and Williams-Sullivan and road trips to Clarkdale and Kemper County.
Clarkdale would appear to have the best remaining schedule with three of the Bulldogs' final four games at home. Coming to Clarkdale are Williams-Sullivan, Philadelphia, and Newton with the lone road contest at Kemper County.
Lake goes to Philadelphia and Newton and has Kemper County and Williams-Sullivan coming to A.F. Hollingsworth Field.
Kemper County hosts Clarkdale and Philadelphia and goes to Lake.
Newton hosts Lake and visits Williams-Sullivan and Clarkdale.
The good news is that this year, the teams from Division 5-2A that qualify for the playoffs will pair off with Division 6-2A in first-round action. The 6-2A teams were also 0-4 in the 2003 playoffs.

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