Hokes Bluff’s mission as it heads into the final stretch of the high school football is clear.

“We’ve got to make something happen,” Eagles coach Mike Robertson said.

That starts with Friday’s Class 4A, Region 6, game against Cherokee County at Hokes Bluff.

The Eagles are 5-2 overall and currently stand fourth in the region at 3-2.

No. 5 Jacksonville leads the league at 5-0; Anniston and Oneonta, which handed Hokes Bluff its only losses, are 4-1; and Cherokee County and White Plains are 2-3.

The Eagles have one region game remaining, at Jacksonville, and will close out the regular season hosting Sardis in a non-league game.

“This is a tough region and there are going to be some good teams (from it) that don’t go to the playoffs,” Robertson said. “I hope we’re not one of them, but when you get to this point in the season, you’ve got to win to have a shot at the playoffs.”

Cherokee County, under first-year coach Jacob Kelley, is 4-3 overall, its losses coming against Anniston (27-7), Jacksonville (35-28) and Oneonta (49-21).

“They’re much improved over last year,” Robertson said, when the Warriors were 4-6 (including a 21-17 loss to Hokes Bluff). “If you look at the early films compared to the later films, they’ve improved since the season started. It will be a pretty close matchup, the way I see it.”

Robertson said Cherokee County runs a spread offense and a four-man front on defense.

“They’re well coached and do a good job with their schemes,” he said.

He praised Warrior quarterback Slade Alexander, whose mother played girls’ basketball for Robertson at Hokes Bluff and whose late grandfather helped Robertson coach those squads.

“He’s a good player, an all-around athlete in all sports,” the Eagle coach said. “We’ll have to contain him, but their running game also does a good job.”

After losing in successive weeks, Hokes Bluff has won three in a row all on the road, defeating Glencoe, Ashville and Cleburne County by a combined margin of 113-20.

“We’ve made some strides in the right direction,” Robertson said. “Our offensive and defensive lines have played some of their best ball the last three weeks. This was a crucial part of the season because it set us up to have a chance to make the playoffs. We’ve still got a tough schedule, though.”

The Eagles have battled injury problems this year, although Robertson said star running back Darrian Meads, who has been plagued by turf toe, is probably “at 90 percent. We’re still not anywhere close to 100 percent as a team, though,” he said.