The SportsPlus Jamboree at South Side High School was a chance for 10 football teams from West Tennessee to put their players under the lights and in front of people to see how they’d react in a game-like situation.
Some reactions were good. Some weren’t as good. But coaches saw what they needed to see, mostly expected, before they begin preparations for the start of the season next week.
North Side defeated South Side in the final game of the night 8-0. The Indians scored a touchdown on a nine-yard run by quarterback Tylean Shaw then recorded a safety at the end of the game.
South Side head coach Brian Moore said he wasn’t very disappointed in not scoring any points in the scrimmage.
“We held some players out tonight that would’ve played if this game counted, and we didn’t play other players as much as we would have either,” Moore said. “So not scoring isn’t the biggest worry we had coming out of tonight.
“We had a few mental mistakes out there, particularly with communication that I was surprised we had in certain formations. So that’s something we need to work on before next week.”
North Side head coach Tab Vowell said his team played OK, but they made too many errors as well. The Indians had four penalties for officially 25 yards.
“But we lost even more than that because some of those brought some long runs back,” Vowell said. “We can’t keep doing that, and we can’t continue to do that when these games count.”
•Liberty 20, Dyer County 0: For the second straight year, Liberty had a quality showing in the jamboree with a shutout over the Choctaws.
The Crusaders scored on the ground, through the air and with their defense.
Corey Newble threw a 52-yard pass to Draven Coley for a touchdown after Newble had run five yards for the first score in the first quarter.
Dyer County tried to move down the field after the long touchdown pass, but Liberty extended its lead quickly when Dantae Wilkes returned an interception 31 yards for another score.
“I like how we looked on both sides of the ball,” said Liberty head coach Tyler Turner. “We weren’t trying to give a lot away tonight, so we did well in executing what we did do.”
•Trinity Christian Academy 6, Jackson Central-Merry 0: The Lions won this game each of the last two years in the regular season. Even though this game didn’t count, TCA could claim an unofficial three-game win streak over the Cougars.
Each team had its problems, including a rare fumble from TCA running back Andrew Goldsmith.
“He hasn’t fumbled a single carry in the last two years, and then he did tonight,” said TCA head coach Blake Butler. “He came in with a sleeve on for some reason, and he figured out quickly he didn’t need it because he couldn’t feel the ball as well and hang on to it.
“The sleeve got cut off pretty quickly after that. I told him DeAngelo [Williams] wore a sleeve one time at Memphis, and he had the same problem and cut it off pretty quickly.”
Butler was on the University of Memphis offensive line when DeAngelo Williams was the Tigers’ running back.
JCM’s problems on defense started before they arrived at South Side on Friday.
Cougars senior linebacker Austin Parker, who has four college offers and was a Sun Super Senior selection, tore his ACL in a preseason practice and had surgery to repair it Friday.
“I went and visited with him and his mother today,” said JCM head coach Orentheus Taylor. “Surgery went well, and he’s a strong kid.
“We’ll miss him, but I’m confident he’ll be good to go in plenty of time to help a college somewhere.”
JCM had penalty and mental miscues on the field as they broke in a new quarterback. Mondarious Long was the passer on Friday, and Taylor said he’s the one the Cougars will go with this year.
•Haywood 7, University School of Jackson 0: The matchup up front between blue chip linemen Emmit Gooden (defense for Haywood) and Trey Smith (offense for USJ) went Gooden’s way early on as Gooden got into the Bruin backfield frequently.
Smith held his own as the scrimmage progressed and slowed Gooden down, but Gooden still managed to get back there some and actually recorded a sack and caused a fumble later in the scrimmage when he wasn’t matched up with Smith.
“We obviously didn’t block well, particularly a player like that,” said USJ head coach Mickey Marley. “We’ll try to be ready if we meet up with another player like that, which I don’t think will be very often.
“We got out without any major injuries I think, so we did what we needed to do.”
Haywood head coach Steve Hookfin was pleased with the defensive effort.
“A team as good as USJ usually is offensively is big for us to keep them scoreless,” Hookfin said. “I like the effort I saw, and hopefully we’ll keep that up.”
•Jackson Christian 10, Humboldt 0: The Eagles moved the ball more consistently and took advantage of the Vikings’ mental mistakes that caused penalties.
“Our guys need to watch the ball before the snap and read their keys on the play,” said Humboldt head coach Junior Reid. “But they didn’t do that, and it hurt us.”
Jackson Christian head coach Todd Roland said his team’s defensive ability was something to be proud of early in the season.
“We’ve got a new offensive coordinator and younger players on offense, so we’ve worked more on that side of the ball during the preseason,” Roland said. “The ability to keep a team like Humboldt from scoring shows that we’ve got a good foundation on defense, hopefully, and we’ll continue to build on that each week during game preparation.”
Brandon Shields, 425-9751