Tide take on Franklin parish in the first round of the playoffs

The Minden Crimson Tide are putting last week’s tough loss to Woodlawn behind them and focusing on the task at hand, a playoff run to the Mercedes-Benz Superdome for the state championship game.

Minden head coach Spencer Heard and his team were disappointed with the loss in what became a de facto
district title matchup in Independence Stadium, but with their season on the line this Friday against No. 28 seed Franklin Parish, it hasn’t been difficult getting his senior-heavy team ready to play.

“We’re focused on the next season now,” Heard said. “You can’t live in the past, so we’re moving on and we’re worrying about Franklin Parish and the good team they’ll bring in here.”

The Tide wrapped up the regular season with a record of 9-1, their best regular season record since 2006 (10-0). Along the way, they defeated the Haughton Bucaneers, Benton Tigers, North DeSoto Griffins and North Webster Knights to name a few. It’s important for Minden to get back to the formula that helped them win those games.

Against Woodlawn last week, the Tide were held to 17 rushing attempts. Antonio Rivette had just 6 carries, while Kolby Jackson and Jamin Oliver each received 1 carry. Patrick Heard had success on his nine carries to the boundary, but it has been Minden’s ability to run between the tackles that has kept opposing defenses off balance. Patrick Heard finished the Woodlawn game averaging 11.8 yards per carry, compared to Rivette’s 11.8 yard average. Also, Minden averaged 253.1 rushing yards per game in the regular season, compared to 118.3 through the air. All of this to say, for the Tide to be at their best, the run has to set up the pass.

The Tide also have to be more opportunistic when they do turn to the passing game, with a trio of costly drops proving to be big plays in last week’s game.

“We have to be more focused on third downs,” Heard said. “We had some drops and missed throws that kept our defense on the field too long last week.”

Maybe most important to the Tide’s chances is defense.

The Crimson Swarm took a beating last week against the Knights’ potent offense, allowing a season-high 38 points. In the process, they lost junior starting linebacker Ty’Christopher Harris to an MCL injury.

Establishing the tone early will be important against a Franklin Parish team that averaged 39.6 points during a three game stretch at the end of the season.

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