By Chris Parsons / Staff Writer
This much is certain — the North Laurel Jaguars are headed to the playoffs for the first time since 2004. What Chris Larkey and company don’t know is who they’ll be facing in the first round.
This week the Jaguars will travel to Lincoln County to face the Patriots as they try to recover from last week’s 26-10 loss to Madison Southern.
The Jaguar defense gave up 229 yards on the ground, but only 192 of those came from the Eagles star back, Damien Harris. Larkey said he was pleased with the effort of his defense and said they would have to continue to play well as the season winds down.
“I thought our kids did a good job defensively, slowing down the Harris kid,” Larkey said. “He had a good game, but it could have been a whole lot worse.”
Harris had been averaging 234 yards on the ground heading into the game against the Jaguars.
This week, the Jaguars won’t have to worry about any D1 prospects, but Larkey said the challenge will still be there for his defense to try and have an impact on the game.
“We always want to try and control the game on defense,” Larkey said. “If you play well on one side of the football, it usually bleeds over to the other side as far as momentum goes.”
Despite the loss, the Jaguars didn’t exactly lay down against Madison Southern. North Laurel tallied 250 yards of offense on the ground, with Michael Nelson accounting for 141 yards and a touchdown on 14 carries. For the season, Nelson has totaled 1,040 yards and 18 touchdowns on 124 carries. He’s averaging 116 yards per game this season.
As a team, North Laurel is averaging 246 yards per game on the ground and just 53 through the air.
With that in mind, Larkey said it’s too late in the season to try and change the way they play and at this point of the season, most teams know what to expect from their opponent.
“Like I said a few weeks ago, we aren’t going to become a passing team over night and I don’t expect any other team to do so,” Larkey said.
By Chris Parsons / Staff Writer
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