Tigers look to continue winning streak in district opener against Red River

Oh what a difference a couple of weeks makes. Or maybe it should said what a difference two straight victories make. However you want to look at it, after feeling about as low as can be after losing their first three games, confidence is now soaring as Jonesboro-Hodge enters district play against Red River this coming Friday night.

The Tigers look to even their overall record and grab their first road win of the year when they travel to Coushatta for the 3-2A opener to take on the 1-4 Bulldogs under first year coach Jeffery Harper.

Jonesboro-Hodge Head Coach Terrance Blankenship is pleased that his squad is entering district play on a positive note but cautions that even though Red Rive has won only one game in five their record is deceptive.

“They have played against some really good teams,” said Blankenship. “Ths sincludes the 8th ranked team in Class 5A (Parkway) and the 3rd ranked team in Class A (Logansport) as well as another 5A school (Haughton) that has a winning record.

In the two games that they realistically had a shot at winning the blew out winless Class 4A Woodlawn-Shreveport and lost a narrow decision to Class 2A Loyola Prep – Shrevport. The strong schedule has proven dividends for the Bulldogs as they are currently ranked #13 in Division III. Correspondingly the Tigers enter the contest at #23 in Division IV, after improviding five spots via their victory over Class 5A Pineville last Thursday evening.

Comparable Stats: As a team, Red River has gained 474 yards through the air for a 94.8 yards per game average. Their ground game has churned out 643 yards which equals to 128.6 yards per game for a combined total of 223.4 total yards per game.

Jonesboro-Hodge has similar numbers in the passing game at 467 yards after five contests for a 93.4 yards per game aveager but a decided advantage in rushing. There the Tigers have totalled 915 yards for 183 yards per game, including back to back impressive performances by tailback Ed’Tavious Drayton who has rambled for 160 and 143 yards.

Keys to victory:

Adjust to the different surface: This is the first of three straignt games the he Tigers will be playing on artifical surface. The difference is that the turf at Red River is brand new which means will be a little slicker than a surface that has been played on often. This should help the Tigers speed but they will also have to be aware that their opponent will be quicker also.

Hold onto the ball: J-H should be able to hold the Red River offense from scoring much as long as they make the Bulldogs earn it. Can’t give them the ball on a short field though.

Secondary must play better: The Tigers have shown improvement game by game in every faction except the defensive secondary which continues to give up big plays. Have to do a better job against Red River’s talented wideouts.

Win field position battle: One of the biggest assets the Tigers have had over the past couple of weeks has been their kicking game which has been instrumental in keeping opponent pinned deep in their own territory. This resulted in a defensive scores last week.

Injury Report: Freshman The bad news is that freshman tailback, Jason Blackburn, continues to nurse a bum ankle and won’t be available. Niether will Kalep Atknis who continues to be out with elbow problems. The good news is that freshman linebacker, Landon Boston, is a go after being able to practice all week. This strengthens an already strong defensive front seven.

Red River Athletic Venue Policy: See below for athletic events policy that will be enforced

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