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Playoff-bound Tigers face Valdosta tonight
Quick healing: Tiger quarterback Josh Magaw (3) slightly injured his ankle in last week’s loss to Camden County. The Tigers are working on staying healthy as they prepare for the first round of post season against Valdosta High School. - photo by Phgoto by Patty Leon
Another battle of the big cats takes place tonight as the Bradwell Tigers head into hostile Wildcats territory to face Valdosta High.  It is the first round of AAAAA playoffs as the number three seed 3-AAAAA Tigers meet the number 2 seed 1-AAAAA Valdosta.
Valdosta High has the reputation as one of the most winning football programs in the nation, with several state regional and even a national title. For head coach Jim Walsh Jr. and the Tiger squad, they know the road to Valdosta is just as tough as the road they just had against Camden.
“They are both compatible as powerhouses,” Walsh said. “I remember when I used to play football and we went up against them. It was not easy then and it will not be easy now.”
The one thing that plagues the Tigers as they prepare for battle is injuries.
“We went into Camden without seven starters and then Josh Magaw was injured in the game and we decided to keep him out so he can begin to recuperate,” Walsh said.
Walsh said the Wildcats of Valdosta are like the Tigers because both teams rely heavily on a defensive game. However, the one main difference is the Wildcats have a huge front line that Walsh knows will be tough to oppose.
“We need to reduce mental mistakes and as I always say we need to execute,” he said. “We need to concentrate on those two things and the game fall in place. If we struggle; it may be over with a team like theirs. Right now we are going through the motions at practice but we are also working on keeping healthy and recuperating. We have been banged up since the game against Savannah two weeks ago.”
Defensive coordinator Jeff Miller agrees the Wildcats rely on their defense to win games.
“They have some stout young men on their defense,” Miller said. “They definitely hang their hats on their defense but their offense does some pretty good thing as well. They have a running back that has the same running style as Franklin Green of Jenkins but he is not as fast. Our main thing is to shut down their running game and keep the game within reach to offset their defense against our offense,” he said.
Miller said if the Tigers are able to move the ball against the Wildcats’ tough defense then Bradwell stands a good chance of staying in the game and winning.
Valdosta stands at 8-2 overall and 5-1 in region. They have scored 216 total points, average 21.6 points per game and allowed 132 points scored.
The Tigers are 5-5 overall and 5-2 in the region, scored 224 total points and allowed 149 points scored.
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