Jefferson County has tough obstacle ahead

Published 12:06 am Thursday, September 27, 2007

FAYETTE — The undefeated Jefferson County Tigers begin the first of an important three-game stretch in Region 7-3A as they host playoff perennial South Pike Friday at 7 p.m.

Jefferson County goes into the game with a record of 4-0, 1-0 in district after an impressive 44-20 win over Amite County last week. Senior quarterback Percy Turner threw for 207 yards and three touchdowns and ran for another in that game.

“We’re as close to 50-50 as you can get. We’re not going to lean either way too much,” Jefferson County head coach James Herrington said. “Hopefully, we can take advantage of something by being balanced. I’m confident that Turner can have a big game. One of his assets is he is a smart quarterback.”

Email newsletter signup

“Our offensive line, I can’t say enough about how it has played in four games. He’s been touched only three times. If they continue to play like they have, I feel like we can have some success offensively against South Pike.”

South Pike is 2-2 overall and 1-0 in region play after a 46-12 win over Wilkinson County. Sophomore quarterback Tevin Martin threw for 120 yards and a touchdown and ran for a team-leading 117 yards and a touchdown while sophomore running back John Taylor had 112 yards and a touchdown.

The Eagles’ defense may have a tougher time against Jefferson County than it did last week when it held the Wildcats to 32 yards rushing and 182 yards of total offense.

“We noticed they run a base 4-4, the same thing we run,” Herrington said. “They seem to very quick up front. Not very big, but very aggressive. Probably one of the quicker teams that we’ve faced this season.”

As for South Pike’s offense, Herrington said, “They’ve very strong at the quarterback position, which is a concern for our defense. We’ll face a spread offense again this week. They run the option out of the split-veer.”

Last week, the Eagles ran for a total of 408 yards against the Wildcats and finished with 528 total yards.

“We saw that film and it was kind of scary,” Herrington said. “They have to get it done up front to run for that many yards. From what we’ve seen, the offense is based around (Martin). If we can contain him, we definitely have a good chance of having some success against them.”

Against that type of offense, the Tigers’ defense is going to have to make sure that it contains Martin, Taylor and junior split end Isaac Tate.

“What they like to do is get off the edges. They will switch their quarterback during the duration of the game,” Herrington said. “We’re going to have to contain and be solid up the middle. Isaac starts at the slot, but against Wilkinson County he played some quarterback and some a touchdown against them. We’re going to have to be physical with them.”

Herrington noted that if it is a close game, the outcome will come down to defense. “There aren’t as many teams playing good defense the last three weeks as our has,” he added.

After the South Pike game, Jefferson County plays at Franklin County in the Bulldogs’ homecoming game on Oct. 5 and then plays at Tylertown on Thursday, Oct. 11.

“This is a big week for our region all the way around with Franklin County playing Tylertown,” Herrington said. “These next three weeks are not only pivotal for us, but for the entire region.”