Things have not actually gone the way J.Z. George head coach Ben Burton envisioned them when the season got underway in August.
A week before the season opener on Aug. 17, the Jaguars played Eupora in a scrimmage game. Starting quarterback Montavis Jenkins was carrying the ball on a play up the middle, dragging along a defender for the Eagles. As the Eupora player was attempting to make the stop, Jenkins' right knee buckled, tearing the ACL in his knee. His senior season would be done.
The loss of Jenkins hurt the Jaguars in many ways.
"It's hard to put it into words, but when Hulk went down with that injury, we really didn't have a plan B at the time," said Burton. "We moved Malik (Christian) to quarterback, but the offensive philosophy didn't fit him. It was designed for a player like Hulk (6-0, 225), who could move the chains, control the clock and put the ball in the end zone.
"We also lost our No. 1 source of leadership. He brought those leadership abilities to the table. The kids listened to him so well."
The Jaguars have suffered through a 0-10 season and are currently 0-4 in Region 3-3A. Friday night at 7 at Farris Jenkins Field in North Carrollton, J.Z. George plays host to Amanda Elzy in its final regular season game.
The district looks like this: Charleston is 4-0 and plays at Yazoo County (3-1) tonight in Yazoo City, while Ruleville (3-1) will play at Humphreys County (1-3) Friday night. If Charleston beats Yazoo, it is the No. 1 seed, and Ruleville will be the second seed. Yazoo will take third, and if Elzy defeats J.Z. George, it is the fourth seed.
However, if Ruleville beats Humphreys and the Jaguars upend the Panthers, there would be a three-way tie at 1-4 and point differential would be used to determine the fourth seed for the playoffs.
"I haven't figured all of that out just yet. What we need to do is come out and play hard for four quarters. We want to compete, which is something we've only done a few times this year for a complete game. We've competed well in two of our four district games. A win Friday night would give us something to build on for next season," said Burton.
The Jaguars were at Yazoo County last week as they dropped a 48-8 decision to the Panthers. Freshman quarterback Jordun Normal ran in for the lone touchdown, and freshman running back Deriaun Townsend had the 2-point conversion run.
"We started about four weeks ago playing with young guys. I have a senior at tight end and one at tackle on offense. On defense, we have just a few seniors who are on that side of the ball," added Burton. "We have 17 freshmen on the team as of now, so if we can correct some things from the leadership perspective, we should be in good shape for next season."