While the New Brockton Gamecocks (1-5, 1-3) have lost four straight games, the playoffs are still within grasp as they travel to Dothan to face off against the Providence Christian Eagles (3-4, 1-3) with fourth place in Class 3A, Region 2 on the line.
Providence Christian earned its first region win of the season 37-14 over Houston Academy last week, while New Brockton dropped a non-region game to Northside Methodist.
Both New Brockton and Providence Christian have two region games left with New Brockton facing Houston Academy on Oct. 23 and Providence Christian facing Daleville.
Currently, Providence Christian, Houston Academy and New Brockton are tied for that fourth and final playoff spot. Whoever gets in will likely have to win those final two region games and New Brockton is treating every game like it’s the playoffs.
“What we want and what we’re shooting for is still alive but we have to fight for that,” New Brockton coach Zack Holmes said. “We have to practice today like we want to be in the playoffs and we have to practice every day like that. The will to win can’t just be on Fridays. You have to have it every day.
“Friday a playoff spot is on the line and we know we’re going to get Providence’s best. Can we match their intensity, their effort and get after them and give ourselves a chance to win the game?”
Doing that won’t be easy as the Gamecocks might as well be referred to as the “walking wounded” with a number of injured players.
“We’re up to 12 kids out today,” Holmes said on Oct. 12. “When you are a 3A football team with 46 kids on your roster and 12 of them are out it’s tough to deal with.”
Holmes said that quarterback Kaden Cupp, running back Jordan Tacey, receiver Colton Marsh and center Cam McGhee will all be questionable this week after being injured against Northside Methodist.
“Those are three pretty big pieces to the puzzle that we miss right now,” Holmes said.
Providence Christian comes in with a physical rushing attack that Holmes said he expects to be as good as every year.
“It’s Providence Christian, so they are going to try and out tough and out physical you and run the ball right at you,” Holmes said. “They play more spread then they have in the past but they get after you on defense, too.
“I think they went through the same thing we have early on the season and now they’re battling back to try and turn things around just like we are.”