J.Z. George’s football team accomplished what it set out to do in last Friday’s 48-0 triumph over Region 4-2A foe Riverside High School.
“We got the win, which was the most important thing,” said Jaguar head coach Rusty Smith. “Secondly, the defense pitched a shutout. We put our young guys into the game in the fourth quarter, and I told them we weren’t putting them in just to be in there. I wanted them to finish this thing off. They all did a good job.”
The Jaguars took a 12-0 lead after the first quarter and tacked on three more touchdowns in the second period for a commanding 30-0 lead at the half.
“We wanted to feed Kendarius (Head) the ball more and get him a 100-yard game,” said Smith. “Yogi (D’Anthony McGlothan) also had a good game running the ball, and a couple of the young guys did well.”
The Jaguars amassed over 450 yards rushing as a team against the young Bulldogs, who fall to 0-5 overall and 0-1 in district. McGlothan, who lined up at quarterback, running back and receiver, ran for a team-high 200 yards and three touchdowns on only eight carries (25 yards per carry).
Head, a senior running back, broke the 100-yard barrier as he rushed for 150 yards, a touchdown and a 2-point conversion on 10 carries. Sophomore Jakolbie Cobbins tacked on 70 yards and a touchdown on four carries.
Alex Criss ran 15 yards for a score, and Da’Ravion Seals and Jeremy Rias had a 2-point conversion apiece. Head also had a safety on defense.
Junior end Keiyhaun Wilks led the defensive charge with 10 tackles and three quarterback sacks.
The Jaguars tacked on a TD in the third quarter and two more scores in the fourth period.
“What I am really excited about is seeing these kids grow and buy into our system,” said Smith. “They were locked in for this game. The confidence level is growing. It has shown the last three games. We didn’t play well against Holly Springs, but we were still able to pull that one out. They have played well the last two weeks, but they all know we still have room for improvement.
“We are not doing a lot different as coaches the last three weeks. I’m proud of the job and work my assistant coaches are putting in. The kids are working hard in practice, and they are having fun. Let’s just hope it continues.”
The Jaguars are 4-2 overall after starting the season 1-2. They have outscored their last three opponents by a 108-22 tally.
This week’s opponent
The Jaguars hit the road to face the Tigers of Leflore County High School in a pivotal Region 4 contest in Itta Bena.
Leflore County is 2-3 overall and 1-0 in the district after blanking O’Bannon High School 52-0 last week.
“We’ve got to figure out a way to stop No. 1,” said Smith, referring to Leflore’s Dekari Johnson, who is nicknamed “Turbo”. The speedy running back/receiver accounted for 178 yards of offense last week and scored three total touchdowns against O’Bannon.
“Our defensive line has to play well, and our offense needs to continue to do what we have been doing. I’ve seen a few films on them. They are big up front and have plenty of team speed. We’ll be ready,” Smith added.
The winner of Friday’s contest will have the upper hand in the district. One will be 2-0 and the other 1-1 with just two league games remaining apiece. The Jags still have Leland and O’Bannon remaining on their district slate.