After a 48-0 loss to the Carthage Bulldogs in the season opener on Friday at the Historic Tomato Bowl, the Indians will have to turn the page, hit the reset button, and try to get the ship righted before taking on Palestine at 7:30 p.m. Friday at Wildcat Stadium.
Speaking of the Wildcats, they will also be looking for their first win of 2019, as Palestine dropped a 46-27 decision to Waco Connelly on opening night.
Connelly is no Carthage, but the Cadets are predicted to win the District 8-4A-II championship.
The Bulldogs totally dominated the Tribe in most every phase of the game, as is illustrated by the fact the Carthage had 497 total yards of offense to Jacksonville's 67.
Perhaps the one area that stood out the most was a lack of a ground game, which haunted the Tribe for much of the 2018 season, as well as in the preseason scrimmage against Bullard.
Jacksonville must get this piece fixed in a hurry to have success going forward.
Simply stated, if opposing teams don't respect the rush, they will put more emphasis on defending the pass.
Quarterback Patrick Clater, in his first varsity start, completed 13 of 27 attempts, but most were short range tosses — Jacksonville only averaged 3.7 yards per completion.
Although he was going up against many of the Carthage reserves, Malikhi Williams had three carries for 12 yards (4 yards per carry average). Maybe Williams is ready to step up and be the bell cow in the backfield?
To further cloud the picture, Clater is a pocket quarterback. He is not a scrambler, so that is one less run option that the Tribe have.
It looks like someone is going to have to emerge out of the running back corp and be the one to get the job done.
The sooner the better.