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The season didn't begin well for the Hernando Tigers, but the situation has turned positive.
After losing five of their first six games, the Tigers managed to win enough games in Class 5A, Region 1, District 2 to capture the fourth seed and make the playoffs.
Hernando football coach Anthony Jenkins is proud that his team found a way to reach postseason play.
"Last year at this time, we felt like we should be in the playoffs and didn't make it," Jenkins said. "This year, we don't have as good of a record, but we did make the playoffs. We're happy to be in the playoffs and once you get in, you never know what might happen so we're going to try to make the best of it."
The Tigers (5-6) make the trip to Starkville Friday night to take on the Yellowjackets. Kickoff for the first round Class 5A playoff game is set for 7 p.m.
Hernando lost to Pontotoc 30-26 to open the season, then fell to Rosa Fort 35-21. After defeating Cleveland 34-28, the Tigers dropped decisions to Horn Lake 28-27 in overtime, to Clarksdale 28-14 and to West Point 33-22 in the first region game.
"We started the season losing some very close ballgames," Jenkins said. "We were just not able to finish ballgames early in the season. The Horn Lake game could have gone either way. In four of those first five games, we were leading at halftime and just couldn't hold on that second half. The effort has been there and we've scored decent points, but just couldn't hold on in the second half."
Hernando's plan of attack offensively has been to run the football right at opponents.
With quarterback Travus McMahon, Jenkins said the Tigers have committed to playing to his strengths and that's using his feet instead of his arm.
"Anybody who plays us knows we are going to try and run the football," Jenkins said. "Our quarterback is not a passing quarterback so we don't try to do something he can't do. There's no big secret."
When SHS coach Jamie Mitchell was at Olive Branch, Jenkins became familiar with him.
Something else that won't be a mystery for Jenkins is the atmosphere surrounding a football game in Starkville.
"I played football at Mississippi State back in the late 70s and graduated in 80 so I'm familiar with the Starkville area and know what kind of athletes come through Starkville," Jenkins said. "That's not a surprise to me."