HOPSPTS-11-04-21 HOPTOWN FB-PHOTO1

The Hopkinsville Tigers kick off the Class 4A playoffs on Friday night against Hopkins County Central.

The Hopkinsville Tigers are definitely wanting another crack at Logan County in the Class 4A playoffs.

But there is another obstacle to overcome in order to get to that potential matchup.

Hoptown head coach Craig Clayton knows how important Friday night’s game against Hopkins County Central is and knows his team won’t overlook the Storm.

“I just talked about a couple of years ago when we beat Calloway by 40 in the regular season and then play our butts off to win by a touchdown in the playoffs,” he said. “We really talk about the playoff situation all the time. Everything we do all year is to really gear up for the playoffs.”

The current playoff format features two weeks of games within each team’s district and the Tigers as the second seed in the district face off against the third-seeded Hopkins Central Storm, a team Hoptown defeated 35-7 just weeks ago.

While the result was strong, Clayton found some things he could work on this week ahead of his team’s first-round matchup.

“I think defensively — we held them to seven points but we need to be better at covering the guys out of the backfield. I thought our pass rush was great,” Clayton said. “Offensively we’re still missing some blocking assignments. In the pass game there are some things we’ll probably do differently.”

The Tigers committed 17 penalties in the win over the Storm and Clayton said they have been focused on staying disciplined in the weeks leading up to this rematch.

“Just continuing to get more disciplined,” Clayton said. “In the playoffs, those are the things that get you beat. You’re just one bad play away from going home and the end of your season. As the teams get better and you go deeper, there is less margin of error.”

All of Clayton’s team historically have peaked at this time of the year.

This team is no different and he is hoping Friday night’s matchup will bring more improvement out of his team.

“We’re playing the best we’ve played all year,” Clayton said. “Do we have room for improvement? Absolutely. … It’s more about the mental part and doing the right thing.”

Hopkinsville and Hopkins Central will kick off at 7 p.m. Tickets are $7 and all will be sold at the gate the day of the game.

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