THE JEFFERSON High School football team came away with a nail-biting win last Friday when the Dragons knocked off Rabun County 26-20 in overtime.
The Dragons improved to 4-2 (2-1) and are now in control of their own destiny heading into their final four Region 8-AA games.
This week, Jefferson will travel to Oglethorpe County to take on the 1-5 Patriots. Oglethorpe County has struggled throughout most of the season, with the Patriots only win coming last week against a winless Social Circle team.
Still, with a banged up roster, the Dragons can’t afford to take the Patriots lightly.
T. J. Skelton had a commendable performance in his first start as the Dragon signal caller last week. The offense seems to have adjusted into more of a spread-option attack rather than a drop-back passing scheme. The new scheme was likely centered around Skelton’s skill set as he racked up 107 yards on the ground and 119 yards through the air.
With senior fullback Tristen Jackson banged up, Jefferson used a committee of running backs last week that rushed for a combined total of 106 yards.
While injuries have plagued the Dragon offense, head coach Ben Hall is confident that young players can step up and fill the void.
“Our offense is a work in progress right now,” said Hall. “We’ve had several injuries, but thankfully we have depth at certain positions that allow us to get numerous guys touches. We just have to continue to work together to get better each week. Offensively, it’s just going to take time to get back close to where we were. The young guys have the ability and the talent, its just a matter of getting them repetitions.”
Even with all the injuries, the Dragons are optimistic moving forward.
“Rabun County has a strong and talented team,” said Hall. “They came in undefeated. Our kids felt challenged all week because of our situation and with the team coming in. Anytime you get a win over a quality opponent, it can’t help but boost morale.”
Jefferson’s defense has continued to play at a high level for most of the season, allowing an average 15 points a game. While Hall feels his defense is a strength, he emphasized the importance of preperation heading into the matchup with Oglethorpe County.
“Oglethorpe is always physical,” Hall said. “They are coming off their first win and they played well in the game before. We expect them to be playing to win. They also play hard and we have to be ready.”