Jefferson looks to sharpen its play after a lackluster night in its lone dress rehearsal for the season.
The Dragons turned the ball over three times in the first half in Saturday’s semi-regulation scrimmage at Lumpkin County in which no score was kept.
Jefferson trailed 21-0 unofficially at halftime before scoring twice in a simulated overtime segment to start the third quarter.
The Dragons have just over a week to prepare for their Aug. 27 season opener against Commerce.
Turnovers weren’t the only thing that needed correcting, Jefferson coach T. McFerrin said, when assessing the preseason game.
“We made an awful lot of mistakes,” McFerrin said. “We made mistakes everywhere.”
The Dragons put the ball on the ground on their first two offensive possessions, leading directly to Lumpkin County points.
Jefferson fumbled the ball at its own 37 on the second play of the game, which set up a three-play scoring drive for Lumpkin County. The Indians jarred the ball loose from quarterback Bryant on Jefferson’s next possession, returning it for a 60-yard touchdown.
The Dragons fumbled the ball away again early in the second quarter.
Correcting mistakes will be the major focus of this week’s practice as the Dragons near the end of preseason camp.
“We’re not going to hang our heads,” McFerrin said. “We’re going to go back to practice and work on getting better.”
There were some bright spots in Jefferson’s rough first half. Linebacker Chris Jackson, who finished with 13 tackles and an interception, had 10 stops in the first two quarters, while Wesley Simonton picked off a pass in Dragon territory in the first quarter and returned to the Lumpkin County 40.
Offensively, the Dragons made the most of their two possessions in the overtime simulation in the second half.
Starting from the Indian 15, the Dragons got touchdowns from Cole Givens, who caught a ball in the end zone that bounced off tight end Hoytes Damons’ hands, and Jackson, who scored from three yards out on the ground.
Jefferson held Lumpkin County to a field goal in the overtime segment.
“We played better in the overtime segment and the third quarter, but overall, we didn’t play well,” McFerrin said.
Though it was a rough night, the scrimmage will payoff, McFerrin said. Jefferson had several new faces in the lineup Saturday night who needed the experience.
“It has good for us to be in a tough scrimmage and have to overcome some adversity,” McFerrin said.
Jefferson's Wesley Simonton intercepts a pass in Saturday's scrimmage against Lumpkin County.