Football teams from Jacksonville and Henderson, who are scheduled to do oppose one another at 7:30 p.m. Friday at Lions Stadium in Henderson, have much more in common than their identical 0-3 records.
First, neither program is used to staring off so slow — the Lions have not opened up by losing their first three games since 2008 and the Indians last lost the first three in 2011, Steve Wells' final season at the helm of the Tribe program.
Simply stated, the reason each team is winless at this point is basically the same — each have a plethora of young and/or inexperienced players that are having to cut their respective Friday night teeth on the run, in trial-by-fire manner.
To further illustrate the point, both the Indians and the Lions have struggled greatly on defense all season.
Jacksonville, who starts seven sophomores and two freshmen on the defensive side, have been giving up an average of 53.6 points a game, while the Lion “D' has been permitting opponents to pile up nearly 39 points an outing.
Both clubs have played extremely brutal schedules up until this week.
Henderson opened the year with a road loss to TAPPS power Plano-Prestonwood Christian (45-22) and then followed that up by being beaten at home by Nacogdoches (35-14), a team that many consider to be the most improved Class 4A unit in East Texas this year. Henderson led the Dragons with about a minute to go in the first half in that game.
Last week the Lions led 10-7 at halftime at Hallsville only to allow the Bobcats to rally in the final two quarters to eventually prevail, 35-22.
One would be hard pressed to find three opponents at the Class 4A-3A level any more salty than the Carthage-Palestine-Gilmer trifecta that have each taken the Injuns to the proverbial woodshed in each of the past three weeks.