The Grundy County Yellow Jacket football team returns to gridiron action tomorrow night (Friday) as they travel to Woodbury, to take on the Cannon County Lions. Game time is 7 p.m.
The Jackets have lost four straight games since opening the season with a win against East Hickman. The Jackets are 0 – 1 in the region and have four region games to play in their remaining four games.
“During the off week, the main thing was getting healthy because we’ve been beat up a little bit and had some key players down,” stated Head Coach Tracy Hayworth. “We mainly wanted to get those guys up and running so we could start to tweak on offensive plays and add some different techniques to run on offense and defense.
“We worked on eliminating mistakes. We were making a lot of mistakes in the first half of the season. We weren’t lining up correctly and we were getting a lot of penalties. The main thing were needing to do was just try to play cleaner football. We are trying to get our guys vision better to make it where they can understand situational football better.
“We play Cannon County this week and they run a defense to make us a better football team.”
The Jackets have defeated the Lions in each of the last three seasons. However, the Lions are vastly improved. They defeated DeKalb County 19 – 7 at home last Friday night. DeKalb County defeated the Yellow Jackets 28 – 6 two weeks ago.
Cannon County is 3 – 3 on the season overall, and they are 0 – 2 in Region 4 – 3A play, losing 42 -13 to Sequatchie County and 49 – 0 to Upperman.
The young Jacket football team has struggled with the big play on defense. They have played pretty tough and hard, but most of the scoring plays they have given up have been via the explosive plays.
Offensively, they have shown glimpses of being able to move the ball through the air between the 20 yard lines. The running game has struggled and it doesn’t matter what level of football you are playing, you have to be able to rush the football.
Special teams have had some shining moments. Senior Ethan Nunley has a kickoff return for a touchdown. Punting has been a very bright spot. Left footed punter Travis Parson has been able to limit opponent’s returns, even though he hasn’t gotten a lot of distance out of his punts.
“We worked on some things during the off week that we didn’t get to work on this summer because of the fact that we took over the team so quickly,” stated Hayworth.
“We were working on two-minute offenses and defenses, how to be able to manage the clock better by knowing what plays to help do that, understanding what to do on special teams, and how to run and execute on those special teams on different parts of the field. We were trying to just teach them more about football and the things we didn’t get to do before season started. We were trying to just sort of catch up.
“They run a 3-4 defense and they like to blitz their inside linebackers a lot. Their defensive line really puts on some good pressure and doesn’t let the quarterback sit back there long. That’s going to be a problem for us and we are going to have to get rid of the ball quick and make sure of our blocks. That’s going to be something we are really going to have to work on because they are really going to pressure us.
“On offense, they move the ball well. They have a quarterback with a good arm that can throw. They can hit you with quick runs and gut you up the middle. They also have a line that can move you pretty good. We are going to have to get accustomed to that and play smarter on defense.
“I think one of the key plays for us is on special teams and we can out play them in that area and even the game out there a little bit.
“This is a game we can win even though they beat Dekalb County last week which was a team that beat us but I think with the extra preparation we have an opportunity to win.”
The best part about this young team there is no quit in them. They play hard to the end. That will serve them well as they move through the second half of the season and into future seasons.
The Jackets will return home next Friday night, as they host the Cascade Champions on homecoming. Jacket fans continue to show your support by traveling to Woodbury, tomorrow night, and also pack Crisp Field for next week’s homecoming to show this team you support their effort.