Briarwood at J.O. Johnson

J.O. Johnson appeared as one of the teams to beat headed into 2007 and while the early part of the season didn't go as planned the Jaguars have rebounded nicely with eight straight victories. The only losses of the season came way back in September when the Jags lost back-to-back games to Decatur and Russellville.

But, as noted, things have been better for the Jags. They defeated two very solid teams in the 5A playoffs in Walker and Fort Payne. Fort Payne was undefeated before meeting the Jags last week.

The Jaguars of J.O. Johnson High will face their toughest opponent of the year this week in the Briarwood Christian Lions. The Lions have more than enough weapons to make life miserable for the Jags.

Quarterback and Auburn commitment Barrett Trotter blistered a good Russellville secondary last week as the Lions blew up the Golden Tigers. Trotter passed for four touchdowns and more than 250 yards in the contest.

Not only do the Lions play well on the offensive side of the ball, but Bo Walters(Mississippi State commitment) anchors a stingy defense who has played well all year. The Lions will stop the run, which leaves the game in the hands of the Johnson offensive playmakers.

Johnson running back Jimmy Vaughn discusses the Lion defense.

"They have a very good middle linebacker, and their defensive line is good. They run to the ball well and cause problems for their opponents," Vaughn said from his home in Huntsville, (Ala).

"The key for us is execution. We need to play mistake free football to beat them. We need to eliminate the penalties (something that has plaqued the Jags all season), and we don't need turnovers."

"Russellville turned the ball over too many times, and we fill like the team that makes the least amount of mistake will win this game."

No doubt J.O. Johnson has the talent to play with anyone in the state in 5A, with Jimmy Vaughn at running back, David Isabelle at quarterback, who has been playing very well lately; Jomarcus Savage at defensive end, Jontavius President is the athlete and Fred McNeal has promise of a D-1 linebacker in the future.

That's a lot of talent on one team, and we haven't talked about a couple of their big interrier linemen who bump, or exceed the 300-pound mark.

The game is played in Johnson's home court, which is an advantage with the home crowd there to cheer on the Jags. We'll see if that is enough with the talented Lions come to town.

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