The Jacksonville Football Indians returned to the practice field on Monday with reaffirmed enthusiasm after nabbing their first conference win last week by spanking Hallsville, 28-15.
“This has always been one of the best groups for staying positive through adversity that I have ever been around,” Jacksonville head football coach Wayne Coleman said. “At practice Monday we actually had to get them to tone it down some and get focused.”
That's because the Mount Pleasant Tigers (3-5, 1-4) are coming to town on Friday (7:30 p.m. kick off at the Historic Tomato Bowl) and the Indians (2-6, 1-4) remain determined to close out the regular season by going on a three-game win streak.
“I think we will come out Friday with confidence and a renewed belief in each other and what we are trying to accomplish as a team,” Coleman said.
The Tigers' lone district win came against Hallsville (21-7) as well — MP also secured non-district victories over Wylie East (41-24) and North Lamar (45-14) to open the season 2-0.
Coleman said that he believes that his team will have to go to the air — something that they did very well last week — to have success against the Tiger defense.
“Mt. Pleasant likes to play man defense and load the box,” he said. “They will force us to throw the ball. Our pass protection will have to come through for us, again.”
Jacksonville's offensive line (Marco Hernandez, Kobe Anderson, Aidan Gay, Zalatiel Antonio and Jeremy Singleton) played so well a week ago that Coleman named them as the Offensive Players of the Week.
Coleman stated that he expects to see multiple formations from the MP offense.
“They will go from the wing-t to the spread, so our defense will have to be prepared for just about anything,” Coleman said.
Overall Coleman said that the Tribe and the Tigers match up well physically.
Jacksonville has won its last five meetings against MP, winning by an average score of 40-27.
Others earning weekly accolades from Coleman included Alejandro Pina-Sanchez (Special Teams), Steven Gallegos and Bryson Tatum (Defense) and Patrick Clater (Fightin' Heart).