PREVIEW: Atlanta Travels to Jefferson With District Championship On Line
DISTRICT 7-3A DIVISION I
Atlanta Rabbits (4-4, 4-0)
Jefferson Bulldogs (7-0, 3-0)
7:30 p.m. Friday
W.F. Lockett Stadium, Jefferson
- Atlanta: Matt McClure
- Jefferson: Antwain Jimmerson
- Atlanta: def. Mount Vernon, 41-22
- Jefferson: idle
- Atlanta: idle
- Jefferson: at Hooks, Nov. 2
Players to watch
- RB Jawan King, Sr., 5-10, 180
- QB/DB Andrew Samples, Sr., 5-11, 185
- OL/DL Shun Hunter, Sr.
- WR/DB Kade Wood, Jr. (54 tackles, 1 for loss, 1 INT, 3 PBUs)
- WR/DB Jordan Brigham, Jr., 5-11, 162 (25 tackles, 1 recovered fumble, 2 PBUs)
- RB/DB Dra Nelson, Jr.
- OL/DL Caleb Coleman, Sr. (67 tackles, 7 for loss, 1 sack, 12 QB hurries, 2 forced fumbles)
- LB Conner Samples, Jr. (85 tackles, 2 for loss, 1 sack)
- WR/DB Jacorian Fields, Jr.. 6-1, 150 (43 tackles, 1 forced fumble, 9 PBUs)
- WR T.Q. Jackson, Sr., 6-3, 185 (13 catches, 386 yards, 4 TDs)
- DL Eric Gipson, Sr., 6-2, 205 (56 tackles, 13 for loss, 9 sacks, 12 QB hurries, 1 forced fumble, 1 fumble recovery)
- WR/DB Trace Smith, Sr., 6-4, 190 (1 catch, 49 yards; 48 tackles, 6 for loss, 3 QB hurries, 3 PBUs, 1 INT, 1 blocked punt, 1 forced fumble)
- QB/LB Trey Hodge, Sr., 6-3, 218 (12-of-21, 265 yards, 1 TD; 10 carries, 41 yards, 4 TDs)
- DL/OL Jacari Mosley, Sr. (33 tackles, 5 for loss, 3 sacks, 4 QB hurries, PBU)
- ATH Kylan Thomas, Jr., 5-11, 188 (23-of-38, 469 yards, 3 TDs; 49 carries, 674 yards, 8 TDs; 5 catches, 100 yards; 4 tackles, 1 for loss, 1 PBU, 1 fumble recovery)
- K/P Landon Fuquay, Jr. (36-of-44 PATs; 8-of-9 FGs)
- LB Malik Cannon, Jr., 5-9, 160 (64 tackles, 6 for loss, 3 sacks, 2 QB hurries, 1 forced fumble, 1 fumble recovery)
- RB/DB Dee Black, Jr. (74 carries, 1,030 yards, 14 TDs; 5 catches, 46 yards; 29 tackles, 1 QB hurry, 2 PBUs, 1 forced fumble)
- RB/DB Tybo Williams, Sr., 5-8, 165 (12 carries, 148 yards, TD)
- LB Brennan Varnell, Sr., 5-10, 187 (99 tackles, 1 for loss, 1 sacks, 1 fumble recovery)
- LB Kannon Glover, Sr., 6-1 (83 tackles, 7 for loss, 2 PBUs)
Just the facts
- Since 1980, Atlanta holds a 13-2 lead in the series. The last Jefferson victory came in 1993, 24-7.
- Atlanta is giving up 339.7 yards per game (89.4 passing and 250.3 rushing).
- Rabbit defensive lineman Caleb Coleman and linebacker Conner Samples are averaging a combined 19 tackles per game.
- After starting the season 0-4, Atlanta has gone 4-0 to start district play. This game could likely decide the district championship.
- Jefferson is averaging 428.9 yards per game (104.9 passing and 324 rushing).
- Jefferson receiver T.Q. Jackson, an Arkansas commit, is averaging 29.7 yards per reception.
- Bulldogs running back Dee Black surpassed 1,000 yards against Mount Vernon in Week 7. He has not rushed for less than 100 yards in any game this season.
Key matchup: Jefferson passing attack against the Atlanta secondary. Jefferson played for much of the season without starting quarterback Trey Hodge after he injured his shoulder in the season opener. Hodge returned in Week 6 to throw for 122 yards and a touchdown against Hughes Springs. He followed that up with 51 yards against Mount Vernon on only six attempts. The Bulldogs have been understandably cautious in Hodge's two games back, but after a bye week he should only be getting healthier. With weapons such as Arkansas commit T.Q. Jackson and speedy athlete Kylan Thomas, the Jefferson pass game is much better than the numbers it has put up so far and could go off in any game.
That said, the Bulldogs might have a difficult time doing so this week.
Atlanta has been great against the pass this season, giving up just 89.4 yards per game. The Rabbits secondary is led by Jacorian Fields, whose nine pass break ups lead the team. He has yet to come down with an interception, but should have more chances to do so before the season is done. He's joined by Kade Wood and Jordan Brigham to form a solid group.
If Jefferson can put up numbers on this pass defense, it will likely have the game in control.
Don't be surprised if: Dee Black leads the Bulldog offense. Although the passing game will be crucial for Jefferson, Black has been its backbone all season. He has not rushed for less than 100 yards in any game this season and has scored at least one touchdown in every game. He should have a field day against a porous Atlanta run defense, giving up 250 yards per game on the ground.
There should be no question about whether Black will have a big game. If he produces at the same rate he normally does, Jefferson should at least be in a position to win.