On Friday, August 23, the 2019 edition of Cedar Shoals Jaguar football took home their first win of the season against the Madison County Red Raiders with an 18-8 victory after a major thunderstorm delayed kickoff for over an hour.
Going into the game, senior Jaylen Rusher was named starting quarterback, and he delivered results. Rusher threw for 114 yards and two touchdowns on 13-19 passing. Senior tight end Rickil Wilingham caught five passes for 51 yards and two touchdowns.
“Well, right now, Jaylen is the starter, and he gets a little more experience at the quarterback position even though he’s been involved with this offense for the past three years. Renardo Fraust is a close backup. Renardo can go in there and feel very confident, but Jaylen has a little more experience back there as far as running the offense” said Ryals
The running game has long been a staple of the Jaguar offense, and sophomore running back Jerdavian Colbert totaled 117 yards on 23 rushes.
“We got a lot of sophomores playing key positions and even our quarterback is a new starter so it makes their game more defined, and the more reps you get the better you’re going to be. But some of our guys who are returning gotta do a better job,” Ryals said.
Even with a satisfying offensive performance in muddy conditions, Coach Ryals still think there is room for improvement.
The Jaguar defense forced five fumbles, but they only recovered one.
“We only got one turnover so that’s key know they fumbled five times but we only got the ball once so that one thing we got to really do a better job on. Capitalizing on when they put the ball on the ground we get to pick it up and make it a turnover.”
This week the Jaguars will travel and face Winder-Barrow High School, and Coach Ryals has an idea of what the Jaguars are going to do against the Bulldoggs.
“They’re very similar as far as the X’s and O’s. They have a real good quarterback that runs the ball well, very balanced. And then what they do defensively, they’re very aggressive,” Ryals said.