LAST week, the Jefferson Dragons improved to 5-2 on the season after shutting out Oglethorpe County 41-0 on the road.
Friday’s shutout marked the third one of the year for the Dragon defense and Jefferson’s sixth game allowing just 21 points or less. Dragon head coach Ben Hall is enthused with the way his defensive unit is playing and expects it only to improve with time.
“Across the board, the defense is playing very well,” said Hall. “We’ve played well up front…Tyler Bowen on the defensive line is having a great year. The linebackers have been playing better and the secondary has been sound all year.”
Hall says one of the team’s goals every game is to keep other teams out of the end zone, which benefits the Dragons in more ways than one. When the Dragons are up big, the younger players get the chance to gain valuable in-game experience.
“We had a chance to get some young guys in the game and develop some depth, and they came through,” Hall added. “They preserved the shutout. It’s a team goal every week to shut out the opponent, and when you are in a game like that, its up to the younger players to hold up their end of the bargain. They did that Friday night.”
The Dragon offense was also firing on all cylinders in the win over the Patriots. Hall said T.J. Skelton performed well in his second start at quarterback for the Dragons. Instead of relying on his legs to gain yardage, Skelton passed for 98 yards and threw two touchdown passes to Dalton Hill. Isaiah Blake, Stanley Williams, Tristen Jackson and Zack Boobas combined for over 250 yards on the ground.
This Friday at 7:30 p.m., the Dragons host a struggling Social Circle team that is still looking for its first win of the season. While Jefferson is clearly favored, Hall says his team is making sure not to underestimate any opponent.
“Social Circle has struggled this year, but its up to our kids to play the best game they can play regardless of the opponent,” Hall said. “We can’t overlook anybody. Our goal is to get better each week and prepare for the playoffs.”
If the Dragons can win out, they will clinch the second playoff seed in Region 8-AA and secure home field advantage for the first round. Hall stressed the importance of gaining any advantage possible in a highly competitive playoff environment.
“(Home field advantage) is very important,” he said. “Anytime you can stay home, it gives you a little bit of an advantage. It will be a tough, playoff caliber team, but you’d like to have any advantage you can get. Our kids understand the importance of winning out and preserving that for the playoffs.