This Friday August 24 the Cedar Shoals Jaguars host the Winder-Barrow Bulldoggs in the second game of the season for both teams. The Jaguars won their first game against Madison County 23-3 behind an impressive performance by senior running back Osiris Walker. Walker and Devontaye Bankston combined for 198 yards and for both of the two touchdowns.
Winder-Barrow comes into the game 0-1 after a 22-19 loss at Clarke Central High School last week.
Cedar hopes to keep the momentum going through this Friday. Walker and Bankston led the team on the ground with Walker racking up 120 yards and a touchdown on 16 carries along with Bankston’s 78 yards and a touchdown on 13 carries. While the Jags controlled the clock with the ground game, senior quarterback Kiyonnice Smith only completed two passes for 37 yards and two interceptions.
“We’ve gotta do a better job throwing and catching the ball,” said Ryals.
The Jaguars can feel the momentum shifting positively with team morale improving after last seasons 6-5 finish.
“You can definitely use that as a morale builder but it’s also the expectation of the program,” said Ryals.
That said, Ryals is not underestimating the Bulldoggs.
“Winder’s a very good football team and very well coached,” he said.
Special teams is a current area of focus for the coaching staff.
“We must improve our kicking game. We did not play very well at all in the kicking game against Madison County,” said Ryals.
With Winder-Barrow quarterback Jhaydon Sullivan passing for 167 yards and a touchdown last week against the Gladiators, the Jaguars will have to once again earn yardage the hard way on the ground while playing strong defense.
Ryals believes the Jags played almost flawlessly on defense last week.
“We played well on defense, forced a lot of turnovers, and executed the game plan very nicely,” said Ryals.