• John Macon Gillespie

Furdge Brothers, Wildcats Ready For West Point

To say region 1-5A is up for grabs would be an understatement. While West Point was knocking off reigning division champ Oxford last week, Clarksdale was on the road New Hope give the Trojans quite a beating.

“We have come together as a team that has gotten us off to a solid star. We pick each other up when we’re down. We can prove now that we are a championship caliber team,” Esaias Furdge told SES Mississippi.

Now, the Green Wave and Wildcats meet, both with 1-0 division records, to decide who will have all the early momentum. West Point has garnered much more attention this season due to their difficult early schedule and time spent in the SES top 10. However, Clarksdale has quietly handled their business in a more than impressive fashion.

“I feel confident in what my team and I are doing,” Esaias said. “We feel as if we are playing for the division championship. We have to play harder and better than we did last game.”

Henry Johnson and Clarksdale are on a five-game winning streak since dropping the season-opener to Tupelo, who comes in at number two in the SES top 10. In those five wins they have allowed just 25 points, including shutouts against Rosa Fort and Gentry.

“We have to want it more,” Esaias responded when asked what it would take to get a win. “Coach has put us in a great position to win. We just have to want it more and play harder every play.”

Two of the Wildcats most prolific playmakers happen to be brothers. That would be senior receiver Ken Furdge and junior cornerback Esaias Furdge. Ken caught six passes for over 100 yards and grabbed the only score against Tupelo. Esaias intercepted a whopping four passes last week against New Hope.

“I am a very humble player,” Ken explained. On the field, I am a player that does my job and always stays calm through tough situations. I have good feet and good hands. I like to get everyone involved and try very hard to loosen up all of my teammates on the field.”

The senior pass catcher has hauled in 19 passes for 16 yards per catch, good for 304 total yards, and two scores.

“If I’m in front of you, you’re not going to win. That’s my attitude every game. I play as hard as I can to help my team win,” Esaias explained.

The younger Furdge has been dangerous as a returner and a defensive back. He has returned three kickoffs for 122 yards and nine punts for 200 yards and a score. On defense he has tallied 17 tackles, seven pass deflections, five interceptions and a fumble recovery. He scored on one of his four picks last week at New Hope.

“Our passing game can definitely help us get a win,” Ken said. “Our linebackers and defensive ends, as well. They can fill their gaps, contain the quarterback and prevent outside runs.”

“This season already feels like ‘the year,’ but this win would just help solidify those beliefs for us.”

**Photo by Joseph Furdge.

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