Jacksonville will be looking to finish with a bang this week as the Indians take on John Tyler at 7:30 p.m. Friday at TMF Rose Stadium, something that the Tribe were not able to accomplish in last week's 42-35 (OT) loss to Whitehouse.
“Our kids gave us four quarters of some of the best football we've played all year and we were proud of the way they played,” Jacksonville head coach Chris Taber said. “In the fourth quarter we drove inside the Whitehouse 30 twice and could have won the game with a score on either one of those possessions, but we were not able to get it done.”
Jacksonville's botched opportunities continued into the extra session, as the Tribe missed an opportunity to score a touchdown when a trick play failed on third down. and a fourth-down field goal was off the mark.
Whitehouse scored on its first possession in overtime to pull out the 42-35 decision over the Indians (3-4, 1-1 in District 16-4A).
Taber said that while the goal certainly is to come home with a “W” this week, it is not imperative for the Indians to win to assure the team a post-season berth.
“We knew before the season started that Whitehouse and John Tyler were the two teams that were picked to win the district,” he said. “These aren't the two teams that we have to beat to get third; we have to beat the other three teams.”
Jacksonville has already defeated one of those clubs (Nacogdoches), and will play Lindale and
Corsicana in consecutive weeks to close out the regular season.
In a nut shell, Taber said that if the Tribe can duplicate last week's effort, they could have a strong chance at upsetting the No.3-ranked Lions (6-1, 2-0) — JT'S only loss came at the hands of No. 2-ranked Lancaster.
“We expect nothing less than the same effort this week,” Taber said. “I said last week that we had to go into the fourth quarter in a position to win the game and it's the same thing this week.
“If we can hang around with John Tyler until the fourth quarter, you never know what will happen. Sometimes you win, sometimes you don't. Against Carthage we had a late opportunity and we drove down and won the game. Against Whitehouse we had two opportunities and we didn't finish.
NOTES: Sophomore QB Carter McCown continues to post some slick numbers...He is 66-of-119 (55%) for 972 yards in just three games...He has tossed 11 TDs, but has surrendered seven INTs, five of which came against Whitehouse...”Two of the interceptions last week were the receivers breaking the wrong way; that's not on the quarterback,” Taber said. “On another one the Whitehouse kid made a fabulous play.”...Darrell Minifee (43-521, 4 TDs) and Dadrian Franklin (26-503, 4 TDs) give McCown a choice of effective options at the receiver position...Wideout Kedarrius Buckingham, who has missed the last two weeks due to injury, is expected back this week as well...Taber said that RB Stacy Cummings is probable for the JT game; he missed much of last week's outing with cramping issues...JT will bring a 17-game district winning streak into Friday's affair...The Lions are coached by Ricklan Holmes, who is in his first season...Holmes played in the NFL as a member of the New England Patriots...Taber said that the JT defense is the best that the Tribe have faced this year and the Lion secondary is the cherry on the sundae...JHS will have to limit the effectiveness of Lion QB Greg Ward (110-of-156, 1,627 yards, 18 TDs, 0 INT)...Ward, who has also rushed for 279 yards (more than any Tribe running back has) has committed to University of Houston...The Indians are back home next week to face Lindale.