The first four games of the season didn’t go as planned for French Camp.
After reaching the Class 1A state championship game last season, the Panthers started out 0-4.
Anything that could have gone wrong, went wrong.
“We had injuries and trying to get the right personnel in place,” French Camp coach Nathan Wright said.
“But once we got healthy, we started playing very well.”
French Camp (10-5), which entered the playoffs as a No. 3 seed out of Region 3-1A, won 10 of its last 11 games, allowing the Panthers to advance to Friday’s Class 1A title game against Smithville (11-3).
“We’ve been a much different team than we were at the beginning of the season,” Wright said. “We just have to execute on offense and defense has to be able to shut down Smithville’s running game for us to have success.”
French Camp’s only loss down the stretch came on Oct. 18 against Pelahatchie, when as many as eight Panther players were injured, according to Wright.
“Since the Nanih Waiya game (Nov. 1), we have been in must-win situations and have been able to win those games,” Wright said.
The Panthers have responded well, getting revenge last week in a 56-35 win over Stringer, the team that beat it last year’s championship game.