The Tigers fell 26-21 to the Bulldogs at Tigers Stadium in a 4-3A matchup, but when it comes to being competitive against top quality opponents, Winona felt good about this one.
To start the game, Aberdeen jumped out first to cap an 80-yard drive and went up early at 6-0.
Later in the first quarter, the Tigers, behind a Zack Carter touchdown, went up 7-6 and in the second quarter; a Ray Richardson touchdown put the Tigers up 14-6. Reed Rushing connected successfully on both PATs.
In the third, Aberdeen wasted no time catching up with the Tigers and scored on a three-yard rushing touchdown. After they failed at a two-point conversion, the Tigers held a 14-12 lead with 7:00 remaining.
After a Winona fumble three minutes later, the Bulldogs took the 20-14 lead. The Tigers would regain the lead after Dee Armstead scored from 25 yards out, and Winona would lead 21-20 following the Rushing PAT.
The Tigers couldn't close the deal, and the Bulldogs would march downfield and eventually score from two yards out.
Teon Thomas lead the Tigers with 81 yards on 14 carries. Ray Richardson had 41 yards on 13 carries with a touchdown.
Receiving, Armstead had the one grab for 25 yards and a touchdown and a crucial interception in the fourth. D.C. Olton and Thomas also had catches. Olton's catch went for 12 yards.
Defensively, Thomas finished with nine stops, as did Maurice Rivers. Carter finished with eight tackles as well as Richardson. Jason Ables had five stops while Marlo Hill and Tommie Burt finished with four apiece.
The Tigers face Kemper County this Friday night. The Wildcats were knocked off 42-6 by Louisville. Kemper County is 7-3 on the season and 2-2 in 4-3A play.
Head coach Ken Chandler said the Wildcats will have a big play offense lead by a very athletic group of skilled players.
"They'll also be big up front," Chandler said. "They'll be a lot like Nettleton, but they're more athletic."
Chandler said the key to the game will be controlling the football.
"I was pleased at the way we played Aberdeen," Chandler said. "We have to continue to play like we did Friday."
Win and the
Tigers are in
With a win the Tigers will make the 3A playoffs, and according to Chandler if the Tigers win by six or more, they'll make the playoffs as a three seed. Making the playoffs as a three seed could likely land the Tigers with a more favorable matchup.