Jonesboro-Hodge hosts Class 5A West Ouachita for the 2022 home opener this Friday night in what has been dubbed the “RED OUT” game. All Tigers fans are asked to wear red tops to the contest in rememberance of fallen teammate Lajavion Nichols who tragically lost his life last summer adn would be a senior this season. Game time is set for 7:00pm at Caldwell-Peacock Stadium.
In week one JHHS Lost to General Trass by a 48 – 14 margin while West Ouachita is coming off a 14-7 victory over Caldwell. Head coach Terrance Blankenship hopes for a repeat performance from last year when JHHS lost the first game of the year before making history in week two by beating West Ouachita 41-20.
The victory was historical in Tiger football annals as it marked the first time in school history the Tigers had beaten a Class 5A school. This week JHHS will make history once again, this time even before the game begins, as for what is to believed for the first time in Tiger history a Freshman will start at quarterback in the second game of the season.
“The way Dakota (Knox) played last week made the decision easy for the staff to give him a start this week,” said Blankenship. “He has earned the right to lead our team.”
Blankenship knows that even with the emotional boost his players will have in honoring Nichols that the task to get the first victory of the year will be a hard one.
“I guarantee you that coach Rainwater started reminding his players about losing to us as soon as their game ended Friday night,” laughed Blankenship. “They are going to come in motivated to not let that happen again.”
In an interview with the Ouachita Citizen newspaper out of Monroe, the West Ouachita head coach verified what Blankenship is expecting.
“We will not have any problem getting up for this game,” Rainwater said. “Last year it was a very emotional game for them and their community. One of those things where the stars align, and we had eight consistent bad minutes of football. It definitely left a bad taste in our mouth.
It will be another emotional night for the Tigers as they pay rememberance to Nichols in what would his senior season.
“The influence that Lajavion had on this team and the program is still strong,” said Blankenship. “I expect our guys to give a strong effort as they will want to honor him with a win.”
Keys to victory:
- Must play inspired football from the start – The loss to General Trass was a tale of two halves with the Tigers being listless in the first half before playing inspired football the second half. JHHS must start this game with the same intensity they ended the last one.
- No “freebies” allowed – General Trass scored in one play, four times. Three came as result of defensive breakdowns while the other was result of an interception. Tigers must make West Ouachita earn their scores.
- EXECUTE – With the expectation that JHHS will start a freshman at Quarterback it will be imperative that the offense executes the game plan. Defensively, the Tigers must have “position integrity” meaning that the players must be in the gaps they are supposed to be on every play.
“First Family” of JHHS Football to be recognized
At halftime of the contest, the Jackson Parish Journal in conjunction with the Jonesboro-Hodge High School athletic department will pay tribute to a “First Family of JHHS Football.” In recognition of the contribution made to the Tiger football program over the yeasrs members of the Stringer, Williams and Cowans families will be recognized. Those shown below or a representative for them will be introducted to the crowd, receive a commenerative plaque and a copy of the “100 Year History of JHHS Football.”
First Family of JHHS Football Honorees
Coach Willie Stringer – Jackson High and Rundell Jr. High
Cedric Stringer – (1973-76) – All District, First to kick a game winning field goal
Pete Stringer – (1978 -81) Class 2A State Runnerup member, All-District
Scott Stringer – (1983 – 86) All District
Tave Stringer – (1999- 2000) All District
Donald Williams – (1977 – 80) All -District
Robert Williams – (1978 – 82) 2 Time All-State, All-NELA, All District Defensive MVP, Most career FG’s at time (8), school record fumble recovery on 3 straight possessions
Oshay Cowans – (1975 – 77) member of Class AA state runner-up
Terry Cowans – (1975 – 77) Class AA state runnerup, 1st to return 2 kickoffs for TD’s in one game
Touchdown Club to meet on Thursday
The Touchdown Club will meet at 6:30pm on Thursday in the locker room of Caldwell-Peacock stadium. All members and those who wish to join are invited to enjoy a meal, view game film, hear from Coach Blankenship and enjoy the fellowship of fellow Tiger supporters.
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