JEFFERSON has already locked up a region title and no. 1 seed for the state playoffs. So the Dragons have their sights set on another distinction — a 9-1 regular season record.
“After the way we started the season, it would be a small miracle,” Jefferson coach T. McFerrin said, referring to his team’s season-opening loss to Commerce.
Jefferson (8-1, 6-0) goes for its ninth consecutive win Friday when it hosts Union County on Senior Night. The Dragons clinched the 8-AA title with a win over Riverside Military this past Friday. Jefferson has won three region titles in the last five seasons.
Also at stake is a third undefeated season in region play in the last five years. Jefferson is clobbering its region foes by a combined margin of 273-50 so far this year.
The visiting Union County Panthers come into this game at 6-3, having clinched just its second winning season in the last 11 years. Union County is coming off a 31-0 win over Social Circle.
The Panthers are led by quarterback T. Bentley, who spearheads Union County’s spread attack.
“Again, it’s another challenge,” McFerrin said. “We’ve got to go up against another spread team.”
McFerrin said the 6’3” Bentley is particularly dangerous on the ground.
“Their quarterback is big and strong and really likes to run,” he said.
Union County utilizes multiple double and triple receiver sets and runs a scheme similar to Rabun County.
The Panthers have a college prospect in the trenches with 6-2, 280-lb. Luther Jones who plays nose guard, defensive end and center.
Meanwhile, Jefferson continues to win and move the ball. The Dragons totaled nearly 400 yards of offense this past Friday in their win over Riverside Military. Bryant Shirreffs threw for 186 yards and two touchdowns and now has over 1,500 yards passing on the season. The Dragon defense held Riverside to a single touchdown as Jefferson hasn’t allowed more than 10 points in a game since Sept. 28.
For Jefferson, another main objective is to continue the momentum of the past eight weeks into the playoffs. As a no. 1 seed, the Dragons will host the Region 5-AA no. 4 seed — Kendrick most likely — next Friday in the first round of the state playoffs.
Jefferson wants to be sharp heading into that game.
That’s why this Friday is plenty important to the Dragons. Again, Jefferson is preaching “no letdown” as it closes out the regular season.
“You want to have momentum going into the state playoffs,” McFerrin said, “and not many teams go 9-1 … That’s a pretty darn good record. I’d rather be that than the other.”