Week 9 is shaping up to be an interesting affair, as the 5-3 Jackson Indians will host the 4-4 Festus Tigers in the final game of the regular season on Friday night at The Pit in Jackson. Both teams should be going full tilt with District seeding on the line and a chance to head into the playoffs with some momentum.
The Indians, after an 0-2 start, had really turned their season around by posting five straight dominating victories. Sadly, that streak came to an end in Week 8 after a tough loss to a very talented Holt team out of Wentzville. Turnovers and missed opportunities were a bugaboo, and victimized a normally very succinct, tactical and mistake-free football team.
That being said, an off night doesn’t make Jackson any less dangerous of an opponent. Despite only being 5-3 this season they are still one of the more feared and revered football programs in the state. Even with the three losses, they are still outscoring the opposition 337-157 on the season, and can cut through a defense like a hot knife through butter.
Employing the two-quarterback system, Zach Calder and Adrian Fox will be called upon to use both their throwing arms and all four of their legs to confuse and elude the Tiger defense. The main weapons on the outside will be receivers Kai Crowe and Isaiah Davis, while the running game gets a boost with Tony Williams back and healthy after missing a few games due to injury.
On the Festus side of things, the Tigers have had a middling season, but they are currently riding high after back-to-back convincing wins over Pacific and Farmington. They will look to keep that momentum going, but have easily their toughest test of 2022 in the Indians, especially having to travel to The Pit. A place where very few teams have fared well in the past five years.
The offense for the Tigers has been solid all season, posting 284 total points in their eight games, but the defense tends to have cracks that can become leaks, and then become gushers. If they can bend and not break against Jackson, that will go a long way to creating the foundation for an upset.
Festus, like Jackson, has employed the two-quarterback system all season long as well, with Jeremiah Cunningham and Essien Smith operating as signal callers and acting as dual threats. Senior wideout Arhmad Branch and bruising running back Hayden Bates will be focal points for the Jackson defense to zero in on if they want to stop this potentially dangerous Tiger attack, don’t forget about the elusive Dave Yates who has big play capabilities on both sides of the ball.
The Indians are likely the favorite in this one, but it certainly won’t be a cakewalk as Festus is finding their rhythm lately. These two will duke it out on Friday, October 21st at 7pm in Jackson.
Good luck boys!