(Festus) The last two football games between the Fredericktown Blackcats and Jefferson Blue jays were polar opposites. Two years ago, Jefferson completed a 50-0 dismantling of Fredericktown, but last year, a critical interception helped the Blackcats beat the Blue Jays by a narrow 6-3 margin.
The game features two young coaches. Fredericktown’s Steve Williams is in his first year leading the program, and Matt Atley is in his second year as the head coach of the Blue Jays.
Coach Atley says last year’s squad took a passive approach to the game, but believes the leadership this year will be more active in creating opportunities on Friday night.
Coach Williams has emphasized teamwork in practice as of late. Scrimmages revealed that the Blackcats were often a man short, and getting all eleven players on the same page is critical to success.
Both teams have had to face the heat this week, and have made adjustments to their practice schedules. Fredericktown has moved their practice inside, and Jefferson is practicing later in the evening. Coach Atley has placed the emphasis of this week’s practices on execution.
Coach Williams says Fredericktown has focused on a lot of the same.
Both teams are also spending extra time on their opponent for the week. Differences in scheme have forced the athletes to emulate an unfamiliar offense on the scout teams.
One of Fredericktown’s keys to success on defense is stopping Jefferson’s dynamic rushing attack. Conversely, Coach Williams wants the Blackcats to establish the run early.
Coach Atley wants to utilize the size of his pass catchers Bennett Pemberton and Nate Breeze.
Both teams are young, hungry and excited for the opening matchup. Fredericktown will visit Jefferson for J98’s Game of the Week on Friday night. Kickoff is at 8 p.m.