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WINONA, Miss. (WCBI) – Winona Tigers look to beat the defending 2A state champs once again.

The Winona Tigers have turned things around since starting the season 1-2. They’ve also been successful in the playoffs with wins over Newton, West Tallahatchie, and a come from behind win last week at Scott Central, but the team says playing in the playoffs hasn’t been easy up to this point.

“We’ve had a lot of tough games,” said quarterback Jatyler Moore. “Especially the first round, but we always bounce back through it. That’s just who we are. We’re underdogs.”

“It’s been a roller coaster ride no doubt about it,” said head coach Joey Tompkins. “Really throughout the year. Our playoffs have been the same way. That’s why you got to keep playing every down. Play all four quarters. Our kids have done that in the playoffs.”

The challenge is on for the Winona Tigers as the Tigers are one game away from playing for 2a state championship, and their first in school history, and the team that’s standing in their way is the team they defeated back in October, and that’s the defending 2a state champs in the Calhoun City Wildcats.

“They got a big run game,” said linebacker Kaleb Hicks. “If you stop number 44, 1, and the qb. That’s about all you need to do.

“Don’t get me wrong they are a good football team,” Moore adds. “But in my mind we are better. We just got to prove that when Friday comes.”

“It will be tough,” Hicks adds. “As long as everybody plays their best game we should give them a good ole whoopin’.”

“Our kids are excited for the challenge,” Tompkins said. “They are a well coached team. I’m sure their coach is going to have their kids ready to go.”

A win Friday night would give the Tigers their first shot at a state championship, and that would be a big boost to this program, and at least one player.

“That would be great,” Hicks said. “Because my birthday is December 1st, and it’s on state championship day. That would be a blast.”

“To get to state, we would make history,” Moore adds. “That’s one thing they we’ve never did. That’s really a blessing if we ever get there.”

“it would be surreal,” Tompkins adds.  “I’ll be honest with you, but that’s what every high school coach wants to do. “There is going to be two teams out of each classification that’s going to do every year, and only one of them is going to win.”

Calhoun City and Winona will kickoff at 7 p.m on Friday.

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