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Jefferson Forest will head to Staunton River with a lot on the line, even though it’s still technically summer.
While there may be some games with more star power to them (think Northside at Pulaski), the Cav-Eagle tilt promises to be one of the more exciting contests in the area.
That’s because you’re going to see two teams that are on the ascendancy: River, from years of drought and JF, from last season’s misery.
River has made the playoffs the past two seasons. In 2010, the Eagles won a playoff game (over E.C. Glass) for the first time since Moby was a minnow.
Jefferson Forest had a forgettable 2010, going 2-8. That season got started on the wrong foot when a homestanding River team topped JF, 21-7.
All of that history is nice. What about this week’s game?
Well, we see it as possibly the most competitive matchup in many moons.
That’s partly because the Staunton River team features many Moons. It’s offensive attack is largely keyed by halfback Jarret Moon, perhaps the fastest man in the Blue Ridge District, as evidenced by his victory in the 100 meter dash at last spring’s district championship track meet.
The Eagle offensive line features Chris Moon, who is the largest man in the Blue Ridge, as evidenced by the fact that there are no other 300-pounders in the district.
Offensively, look for Trevion White to help Moon in the rushing department.
The Eagles have two solid options at quarterback. Paul Williams is cut from the traditional QB cloth and is fundamentally sound. Deshawn Martin is more of a razzle-dazzle type.
Defensively, the Eagles are led by middle linebacker Brian Ellis, though he received tons of support from his mates against Salem.
JF’s hopes will ride on quarterback Marcus Jones, who is a true playmaker.
Look for the Cavs to try their “Fat set” in which they load the backfield with linemen. It can be quite disconcerting to opponents.
Both head coaches got to see their upcoming foes in live action. JF Head Coach Don Rice was spotted at the River-Salem scrimmage Thursday night, along with defensive coordinator Mike Watts. Eagle Head Coach Chuck Poston was at the JF-Halifax game with his posse of coaches in tow.
Rice came away impressed as Staunton River played mighty Salem on fairly even terms. “They’re a solid football team,” said Rice of River. They have all the ingredients a football team needs.”
Coach Poston said of JF, “They’re good and they’ll be a tough challenge.
“(Jones) concerns me, as well as their size up front. Their defense is typical JF—aggressive. And their middle linebacker (Garrett Neal) is like a heat-seeking missile.”