JEFFERSON must file away its season-opening 41-14 romp over Commerce quickly to prep for a Class AAA team looking to redeem itself following a sub-standard 2010 season.
The Dragons (1-0) host North Hall (0-0) this Friday after the Region 8-AAA Trojans stumbled to 5-5 a year ago following a 59-15 run the previous six seasons. This is North Hall’s season opener after being off last week. Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m. at Memorial Stadium.
“I know they’re strong and fast and physical,” Jefferson receiver Will Puckett said. “I know we’ll be ready for them.”
Among the most fast, physical and talented on the Trojans’ roster is big senior running back Imani Cross, a 6-2, 230-pounder who has committed to Tennessee. The star back is said to possess equal parts size and speed. Cross ran for 586 yards and 16 touchdowns in 2010 despite missing a month of the season.
The Dragons are well aware of Cross.
“They’ve got a pretty good running back,” senior tailback Drequn Sewell said. “We’ve got to mostly contain him.”
Coach T. McFerrin noted Cross’s ability as a two-way player.
“He plays linebacker, too,” he said. “He’s a really good football player.”
McFerrin said his team has to make improvements in a multitude of areas heading into this non-region matchup. Jefferson comes into this game having scored 40 points in its last four games dating back to last year, but the Trojan defense has McFerrin and his staff working overtime.
“We’ve got to keep getting better because we’ve got a different type of defensive football team this week,” McFerrin said.
North Hall bases out of a 4-4 but offers a multitude of looks, including six different defensive fronts.
“That’s why I’m so busy now trying to get ready for six different fronts,” McFerrin said.
Offensively, North Hall operates out of the Wing-T, which McFerrin said the Trojans “run exceptionally.”
Defensive back Drew Carson, who returned a fumble 53 yards for a touchdown against Commerce in his first-ever football game, said playing at home this weekend against North Hall is a plus. The Trojans beat Jefferson 24-21 last year in Gainesville.
“I know they’re supposed to be pretty good,” Carson said. “We’ve got them at home. … I just know I’m going to do what I can do to play my best when they come. I mean, we’re playing them at our place.”
This marks the second-straight home game for Jefferson, which opened the season by hosting Commerce. The Dragons hope to recreate the energy they fed off in last week’s win.
“We had a great crowd Friday,” McFerrin said. “We appreciate that. That really helped us. We hope to have an even bigger crowd this Friday.”