Jacksonville's defensive struggles continued last week when the Tribe lost a 56-35 decision to Palestine on Thursday night.
The Indian defenders have given up 98 points and over 1,100 total yards in their first two games in losses to No. 1-ranked Carthage (Class 3A) and to Palestine, a much under-rated Class 3A ball club.
Despite the early success of the Tribe's offense — the Indians have scored an average of 31.5 points a game thus for in 2013 — the team's porous defense has eliminated the Tribe's chances at posting a victory.
Correcting the defensive deficiencies has been priority one at practice this week, according to Jacksonville head coach Chris Taber, as the Indians get set to do battle with Class 3A's No. 2-ranked team, the Gilmer Buckeyes (2-0), who will be invading Tomato Bowl Friday (kick off set for 7:30 p.m.).
“Spring ball and non-district is all about finding out where everybody fits,” Taber said. “We've made some (personnel) changes on defense this week and we've had some kids lose their jobs and others that have gained a starting job.
“Football is a game of repetitions and that is what we have been doing in practice this week. We've been running the plays until we are perfect and every kid is doing exactly what they are supposed to be doing...and we have been making sure our (position) coaches are holding every kid accountable for doing their job.”
Jacksonville's defensive flaws have certainly not been the product of insufficient effort, according to Taber.
“Football is an 11-man game and everyone has to focus on doing their job and not doing someone else's,” he said. “What we saw last week was (some) kids trying to do everything and they were hurting us more than they were helping us because they were not first doing their job.”