Week 10 Big Game: Jonesboro (7-1) at Zephyr (8-0)


Week 10 Big Game:
Jonesboro (7-1) @ Zephyr (8-0)

Unlike in the previous few weeks, it is undebatable which game is the biggest game this week. The honor has to go to the district 10 showdown between top-ranked teams Zephyr and Jonesboro.

Last regular season, this game was a little one-sided, but competitive, with Jonesboro winning 80-46. The two teams met again in the quarterfinals, which was an epic battle, as Jonesboro narrowly escaped by a two-point margin, winning 46-44. The 2017 editions of these two great teams are a little different, as both have lost key players to graduation. Jonesboro is without all-staters Robert Robuck and Josh Barns, while Zephyr is without the services of all-stater Bishop Norman. However, both squads still return their fair share of talented players!

Zephyr has jumped out to an 8-0 record. They tend to allow points early in their games and then adjust defensively, shutting down the opposing offenses, while continuing to roll up the points. Their season opener with highly-ranked DII Oakwood has been their closest game, as they edged out the Panthers 55-45. Since then, they have mercy-ruled every one of their opponents. The Bulldogs offense is fairly balanced, as they can run and pass the ball with great efficiency. Their rushing game is led by RB Mason Rogers (105-1,740, 27 TDs) and Nicholas Moody (56-817, 15 TDs). The passing game features returning 1st team all-state QB Kason King (29-45-0, 829 yards, 19 TDs), whose favorite target, fellow returning 1st team all-state WR Devin Williams (25-659, 17 TDs) is back. Defensively, the Bulldogs Robert Clark is the man to watch, leading the team with 66 tackles on the season. Clark is a big hitter and a ball hawk, who has nabbed three interceptions this season.

Jonesboro sits at 7-1 on the season with their lone loss coming at the hands of DII highly-ranked Milford, 71-44, in week two. Two weeks ago Jonesboro did face off with Oakwood, the only team to play Zephry close thus far this season, grabbing a very close 78-61 game. The Eagles favor more of a running attack style of offense and have one of the most productive special teams in class 1A. RB Wyatt Young (97-1,366, 22 TDs) is the premier back for the Eagles, after making the transition over from quarterback. Ethan Lilljedahl and Andy Sarmiento also possess big-play ability out of the backfield. Young is also the team’s leading tackler (99 tackles) and leads the team with four interceptions. He can also hurt opponents with his kick returning abilities, having returned several for touchdowns this season. While Young might get a lot of focus, don’t be fooled, as both Sarmiento and Lilljedhal pose an equally dangerous playmaking threat to defenses and coverage teams alike.

Keys to the Game:
Zephry has got to get control early, unlike in many of their games this season, and maintain it. They will need to neutralize Wyatt Young and the other Jonesboro running backs and force them to throw the ball. The Bulldogs also need to focus on special teams and kickoff coverage to prevent big returns. Jonesboro will need play mistake-free and efficient, limiting penalties and not turning the ball over. The Eagles run game needs to be on point and will require some big plays throughout the game, including on special teams. In the end I think the ability of Zephyr to overcome mistakes with a more balanced offensive attack makes things difficult for Jonesboro, so I’m inclined to pick Zephyr in a close one.

Leman Saunders

Active member
granger":3l1hkb0i said:
ok, you know I don't write these... Leman does.

The spread has the game at Jonesboro by 2

I like going against the grain (if you consider a 2point underdog to be an underdog that is)