ONE OF Jackson County’s main objectives was to get off to a 1-0 start in Region 8-AAA play.
Getting to 2-0? That’s a much taller order.
Jackson County (3-1, 1-0), which posted its highest point total in 21 years in a 47-7 rout of East Jackson this past Friday, hosts stalwart North Oconee (2-1, 0-0) this Friday at 7:30 p.m.
“There’s no doubt that they’re one of the favorites in the region,” Jackson County coach Benji Harrison said. “For us, it’s about keeping the momentum going. It’s about building on what we’ve done but now it’s time to move on to what will by far be the best team we’ve played.”
North Oconee won Region 8-AA last year and moved up with Jackson County to Region 8-AAA.
The Titans were ranked no. 5 in Class AAA in the preseason before suffering a 50-14 season-opening loss to St. Pius X, which is now ranked no. 5.
North Oconee has since rebounded with a pair of shutout wins over Madison County (49-0) and Athens Christian (44-0). The Titans beat Jackson County 56-0 last year.
“It’s a well-coached team on both sides of the ball, and we’re going to have to play really, really well,” Harrison said.
Offensively, North Oconee bases out of the I-formation but is certainly capable of spreading things out and throwing the football.
“They’re a team that has a really good scheme,” Harrison said. “They want to come right at you, but they will spread it out if they need to. But obviously, they want to run the football and run it right at you.”
Jackson County expects to face North Oconee’s talented sophomore tailback Kawon Bryant. Byrant, who gained over 1,000 yards last year, sat out of the Titans’ victory this past Friday over Athens Christian.
“He’s a really good player,” Harrison said. “He didn’t play any against Athens Christian because of his ankle but he’ll be back and he’s a special player.”
At the controls of the Titan offense is quarterback Nick Colvin. Something of a jack-off-all-trades, Colvin was a receiver, defensive back and change-of pace quarterback for North Oconee last year but has taken over as the starter under center after the graduation of Blake Gaubert.
“He can beat you, obviously, running the football but he also can beat you throwing the ball,” Harrison said. “They do a really good job. They want to run the football but they’ll play-action pass you in a heartbeat.”
Defensively, North Oconee bases out of 4-3 but can show some three-man front looks.
The Titans key on stopping the run and often do a lot of twisting up front with their defensive linemen, which can be challenging for an offensive line.
“It makes it hard to get a beat on what they’re doing,” Harrison said. “The way they do it, they’re really sound. They can play those games up front on the D-line but they’re really sound with their gap control.’”
Still, this is a Jackson County team that is playing with some momentum. The Panthers are off to their best start since 2009 and have scored 86 points in the last two games, giving the players confidence heading into this big region matchup.
But Jackson County is well-aware of the challenge ahead.
“They feel like if we play well, we’ll have a chance to win the game,” Harrison said of his team. “That’s how we’re approaching it. If we play well, hopefully at the end of the night we’ll have a chance to win it. But we know that it’s a big task ahead of us.”
Sindel, why don't you get a life? If you are so set on thinking that Jefferson is "The Best" then go cheer for them instead of being negative on every other team. You sure are pathetic. No one cares that you think Jackson County stinks. We love our Panthers and we are going to support them in spite of your ridiculous insults. GROW UP!
North O about Panthers
09/29/12 at 09:41 AM
Wow, lots of love in Jackson County. A Jefferson guy bragging about a game against Greene County. One of the WORST teams in the state. I guess you need something to make your days happy. I will say I have felt sorry for these guys at Jackson in past years. But, after last night-- Titans may have came away with the win-- but Jackson is NOT the same team from the past. Sindel, say what you will about JCCHS but these guys fought a hard game. To ALL the Panthers-- DON'T be down about this game. You fought hard, there is 100% improvement over last season's. I don't know what this new coach is doing, but it seems to be working. I would love to see this team finish in the top Three-- Being, North O on top, ofcourse, Elbert second and the Panthers third. Keep it clicking Panthers, keep it going for this weeks loss is next weeks win!!
This Titan was impressed with the Panther players and as always, it was a pleasure to see the JCCHS band.
Panther who is fed up with immaturity
09/30/12 at 10:30 PM
THANK YOU! This idiot keeps rambling on about how perfect Jefferson is and its really kinda childish. Has to be a kid right? Cause no adult would possibly be on here trying to make other kids feel bad. Panthers have made improvements over past years records and for me that's good enough. Keep doing what you are doing JC as I am behind yall 100%!