It is called the second season and for Jonesboro-Hodge it begins this Friday night when the Tigers venture to Farmerville to play D’Arbonne Woods in the district 1-2A opener for both teams. Game time is set for 7:00 pm.
The contest is not only the first district game of the year for the Tigers it also marks the first time in head coach Terrance Blankenship’s eight year tenure that J-H, which has a 2-2 season record, begins district play not having a losing record. That along with the fact that even though the Tigers got beat by Class 4A Huntington last week played possibly their best ball of the season has Blankenship optimistic about the Tigers chances of getting off to a good start in 1-2A play.
“This is the time of the year that we all point to,” said Blankenship. “Even though in the LHSAA system power points carry more weight in the playoff seeding than district titles when it is all said and done you always want to be known as a district champion. I believe our coaches have done a good job in preparing our guys for the next three games.”
Series history! Jonesboro-Hodge, who was the very first opponent D’Arbonne Woods ever played in varsity competition in 2015, has a 3-0 all-time advantage over one of Louisiana’s newest programs now going on their sixth year of competition. Last year D’Arbonne Woods was Homecoming fodder for the Tigers who won by a 66-6 margin, easily their best win of the year.
D’Arbonne Woods to date! This year D’Arbonne Woods, who has won only six games over the last four years after winning five in their inaugural season comes into the contest with a 1-3 mark under head coach Thomas McBroom but has done a good job in holding opponents to low scoring totals.
After beginning the year with a 28-6 loss to Class 4A Northwood, D’Arbonne Woods rallied to beat Beekman Charter by a 36-30 score. A 14-0 loss to new LHSAA member River Oaks was followed by a 20-0 setback to Class 2A Lakeview out of Campti.
While the defense has for the most part kept D’Arbonne Woods close to their opponents offensive production has been the bane so far this season as they average only 163.8 yards per contest and scored only six touchdowns. Five of those came in their only victory and D-Woods is currently on a nine quarter failure to score string.
What offense they have been able to produce has been fueled by senior QB Luke Chapman who leads the team with 215 yards passing and 98 yards rushing. Junior Gavin Rawls leads the team in rushing with 192 yards in three games which comes to a 64 yards per game average. Junior Alden Auger is the leading receiver with 134 yards on 7 receptions.
JHHS to date! Conversely it is the Tigers defense that has been the bug-a-boo. J-H comes into the district opener after giving up 107 points in their last three games, two of which were losses. Offense has been no problem at all as J-H is averaging 302.50 yards per game. This is broken down into 165.21 yards per game rushing and 137.25 yards per game passing.
Tydre Malone has completed 29 of 63 passes for 549 yards with 6 TD’s while the thunder and lightning combination of tailbacks Brantrel Thompson and LaJavion Nichols has accounted for 341 and 243 yards respectively with a combined 7 touchdowns.
Justin Calahan, who also has 2 special teams scores, including a new JHHS school record 94 yard punt return for a score last week, leads the receiving corp with 9 catches for 159 yards and 3 TD’s. Close behind in yardage is JaMarriyea Lewis who has 153 yards on 5 grabs for an outstanding 30 yard per catch average. DaTrevien Bowie is also averaging over 30 yards per catch with 94 yards on 3 receptions. Devontae Mozee has corralled two touchdowns as well.
Defensively middle linebacker LaJavion Nichols is one of the leading tacklers in north Louisiana after averaging nearly 14 tackles per game that includes 6 tackles for a loss. JaMarriyea Lewis leads the team with 2 interceptions while freshman Xavier Atkins and senior Connor Webb have one sack apiece.
Keys to victory!
- Don’t be overconfident! Just because the Tigers won 66-6 last year and have never lost to D’Arbonne Woods in school history J-H must play to their potential.
- Continue to improve! J-H showed tremendous improvement last week. If they are going to be a district title contender they must continue to do so each week.
- Playmakers must make plays! J-H has a decided talent advantage this week but that only helps if the playmakers do what they are capable of.
Flip the script this week. Last week J-H wasn’t expected to win. This week they are. The Tigers played well in the underdog role. The question now is how willl they do as a solid favorite? The guess here is that Blankenship and staff has J-H ready to peak at the right time. JHHS 48 D’Arbonne Woods 6