ScoutSouth.com caught up to coach Dan Hogan this week, and he discussed the keys to winning this week's match-up against a strong Sulligent team.
"We will have to be able to contain Caleb Massey for starters," Coach Dan Hogan stated. "He is an outstanding athlete, and we'll have to keep their offense off the field."
"All of their skill players look very good on film. They have a running back, a big wide receiver, and a big tight end that can all hurt you from anywhere on the field. They are the most dangerous team we've seen on film, in terms of being explosive on offense."
"If our defensive line can't win the battle at the line-of-scrimmage it will be a tough night."
"Our outside linebackers will really get tested this week with the speed of the Sulligent skill players. Kollin Ergle, and Tyler Marks have done a good job for us at outside linebacker, but they haven't faced the type team speed they will see this week."
While Coach Hogan is quick to praise the Blue Devils' talent, not everything is bad leading up to this big region match-up.
"We will enter the game fairly healthy. We have Dillion Lowman (6-4, 298-pounds offensive tackle) as close to 100-percent as we have at any point this season. His shoulder is feeling pretty good, and his foot is about well."
Lowman had a terrible run of luck during the summer. He was involved in an auto accident in June, and he only practiced five days this fall. When Lowman was finally getting ready to hit another gear he was bitten by a brown recluse spider. The big man is thought to have the potential to play at the next level, if he ever heals completely.
Lowman has played in three games this season. He missed the Falkville game due to reinjuring his shoulder.
Hogan went on to talk about the offense, and the things the Jackets will need to do to have a chance of winning.
"Our offensive line will have to have a stellar game. Lowman and Cody Knight anchor our offensive line, and they will need to control the line-of-scrimmage so that Josh Johnson and Josh Kelly can have success in our running game."
"We have been averaging around 350 yards rushing each week, and we will need something close to that this week."
"We will need to take care of the ball – we can't turn the ball over and expect to win big games like this one," Coach Dan Hogan concluded.
The Winston County Yellow Jackets aren't the walking dead, as they do have a little talent of their own.
Dillion Lowman is a 6-4, 298-pound offensive lineman who run-blocks very well for the Jackets. Cody Knight is the other offensive tackle, and he has been able to secure the corner for the Jackets. Knight also plays strong side defensive end for the Jackets, so he will be tested this week.
Junior running back, Josh Johnson, (5-11, 210-pounds) has been a beast with the ball in his hands this season. Johnson is averaging 10.6 yards per carry on the season.
Senior running back, Josh Kelley, (5-11, 180-pounds) has carried the load the past two seasons, and he is still averaging almost seven yards per carry this season. Both will need big performances this week.
Justin South is a senior, first-year quarterback, and he has done a good job of leading the offense, and making plays in the passing game when needed. He will also need a solid outing this week when he faces a speedy defense.
The Jackets have been very stingy on defense this season. They have given up a total of 53 points on the season, or just over 10 points per game.
The Jackets have intercepted seven passes, with Cullen Beasley and Jaice Hampton (6-1, 180-pound cornerback) leading the secondary. Hampton had two interceptions in the fall jamboree, and returned one 34-yards for a touchdown. He has only grabbed one since, but he is the man left on an island each and every week. He has good ball-hawking skills, and his make-up speed is deceptive to opposing quarterbacks. Hampton must have a good game if he's left all alone this week.
Cullen Beasley has two interceptions from his safety position, where he has played well this season. Justin South and Josh Kelly have two interceptions each, as well.
Winston County is a very young squad this season with only four seniors on the team. The youth could hurt the Yellow Jackets this week, or, the team might be young enough to not realize what this game means for their season.
Winston County will live and die at the line-of-scrimmage this week when the Sulligent Blue Devils travel over from the Mississippi state line to do battle.
ScoutSouth.com will have the thoughts of Sulligent Blue Devils head coach, Dwight Bowling, later in the week as we follow this key 2A, region seven show-down. The winner could have the inside track to the region title.
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Winston County versus Sulligent
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