By B. J. West
The JR High Dogs suffered a very disappointing loss Tuesday night in Cannon County. We lost 20 to 6.I feel the score should be reversed however. Our young Bulldogs played their hearts out, but fell short of excecuting effectively enough for the victory. It was a night much like the first game vs Pickett County--we gave up 5 turnovers. We dominated the ground game, time of possession, and the line of scrimmage. We forced several turnovers and penalties. The Lions gave us every opportunity to take control of that football game. But in the end, we couldn't overcome our own mistakes. I will give Cannon some credit though--they played extremely hard with a lot of emotion. Coach Farsworth had his boys playing some physical football.
We looked much like a team playing our first game of the season--not our 8th. We botched a punt that was shanked. We gave up an onside kick. We fumbled a Center/Quarterback exchange. We had a ball stripped from us. We also gave the ball up just before halftime with an improper snap of the football during a two-minute offensive drill. We should be a lot more sharp, crisp, and disciplined than what we showed Tuesday night. We played hard--just didn't play very smart at times.
I take full responsibility for the loss. I feel that some of our boys weren't mentally ready to play--which is a reflection on me as their Coach. We didn't execute our blocking schemes very effectively at times--a reflection of not being fully prepared for some curve balls from our opponent. That is also my fault, and I must work extremely hard this week to correct those mistakes to give our fine young men the opportunity they deserve to succeed. My hope and expectation is that our boys will prepare themselves to work really hard this week in practice and stand alongside me as we attempt to overcome our deficiencies as a Team. We have some key injuries we need to rehab before next week. Fortunately, we have a long week to get our boys fully healed heading into our final game.
We were blessed with wonderful fan/parental support Tuesday night--despite the long drive to Cannon County. I feel extremely embarrassed by our performance and wish we could have performed better for them after making that long of a trip. I'm sorry for the way we represented ourselves. I promise to do whatever it takes to "right the ship" in preparation for next week's final game.
Next week, it will be our 8th Grade celebration night. A chance to honor some wonderful young men that have dedicated themselves to this program and helped it to turn a corner in a successful manner. I am very proud of them and their accomplishments this season. We fully expect to come out Thursday night and hit our opponent in the mouth and send these 8th graders out on a winning note. I know they are already fired up for it. We have a bad taste in our mouths that we are desperate to get rid of. Please come out and celebrate our 8th graders' accomplishments. Give yourselves the opportunity to see some of these 8th graders in action. You'll be proud to look back on some of these players' future careers and say, "Hey, I remember watching him play in JR High." We have some boys that are going to have some very successful careers at the High School Level.
In addition, we will have a Split Pot Fundraiser at the gate. It will be $5 per ticket. At the end of the 3rd quarter, we'll announce the winner of the Fundraiser. The winner will receive half of the pot of money--as well as a Free Dinner for 2 at Cracker Barrell. Don't miss out! We will be playing Clinton County on October 6th here on The Ridge. Game time is set for 7 PM.