North Jackson Visits Columbia 4A Region 7

North Jackson, the top rated team in the ASWA 4A Poll, travels to Huntsville Friday to play the Columbia Eagles. Fresh off their first shutout of the 2008 season, a 34-0 blanking of DAR at home, the Chiefs are back on the road again.

North Jackson comes into the game at 3-0 overall and with a clean 2-0 region record. Columbia is 0-3 and desperate for their first win of the season. Last week, the Eagles lost to Guntersville 36-14 and hope to improve their record with an upset of the top-ranked team.

Don't look for that to happen, though. Columbia has never beaten North Jackson, losing 45-14 in 2006 and 42-7 last season, so this season's chances look pretty slim. You can count on the Eagles to come out with fire in their eyes, but they don't look to be able to hang with the Chiefs for very long.

North Jackson has a new head coach this season in Shawn Peek, and he has turned the offense over to Offensive Coordinator Doug Haynes who is calling the plays. It shows too, as the Chiefs have their most balanced offense in history. North Jackson has rushed for 524 yards and passed for 511 yards for a near perfect 50-50 balance after three games.

The rushing game is led by A.J. Matthews and Justin Redd who have eight touchdowns between them. The bright surprise has been Will Richard at quarterback. In the new offense, Richard has completed 72-percent of his passes, hitting 36 of 50 passes for 363 yards and six touchdowns, no interceptions.

North Jackson has already completed more passes for more yards and more touchdowns than in the 2002 and 2003 seasons combined. In those 27 games, the Chiefs completed 29 passes for 481 yards and six touchdowns, so to say the Chiefs are on a record pace is an understatement.

Montel Hale is leading the receivers with 13 catches for 158 yards and three TDs, followed by the trio of Jovani Taylor, Tana Patrick, and Nic Cobb with six catches each. Taylor also has three touchdowns receiving, and Patrick has also scored once for the Chiefs via the pass.

The North Jackson defense is anchored by Zack Hammontree who has racked up 39 tackles in three games, followed by Tana Patrick with 28 and Nic Cobb with 26.

The North Jackson - Columbia game will play at Goldsmith-Schiffman Stadium in Huntsville and will begin at 7:00 PM.

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