BY CHRISTOPHER MALONEY
Jefferson County only had one scrimmage this summer due to weather and it was against David Crockett last Wednesday. The Patriots won 18-0. Head coach Spencer Riley said that his team still has questions on the offensive and defensive side of the ball. The Crockett game was approximately one week before the start of their season at Sevier County on Thursday, August 18.
“We are going to win with our O- and D-line. I we can continue to improve in those areas, we will be fine,” Riley said.
Jefferson County returns junior quarterback Izaiah Hall and Riley was impressed with his work against Crockett, saying he did well inside and outside of the pocket. He sees a lot of strides he has made between last year and this as well.
Xavian James is a highlight as well, as a transfer into the Patriot program. Riley thinks James has potential to be very talented and hard to tackle. He and Jace Dobbins will make a tough duo to bring down and they could potentially cause defenders to miss tackles when trying to bring them down.
Omarian Mills, Skylar Thomas and freshman Shawn Jackson are the Patriots’ three running backs this season but, as Riley has said in the past, his team will be running back by committee, riding the hot hand, so to speak.
Nolan Russell is a strength on the defensive end and also a senior for the Patriots. Keaton Gramann is another defensive standout for the Patriots’ football team.
Riley also said the run will be big for his team this year, both stopping it and running it themselves. He also hopes his team will cause many turnovers to lead to a shorter field.
Jefferson County will kick off the season on August 18 at Sevier County, which will be a televised Thursday Night Rivals game.