Instead of looking in the rear-view mirror, Evans High School football coach Marty Jackson would rather step on the gas and go full speed ahead.
After opening the 2003 season Aug. 29 with a 26-12 loss to Greenbrier, the Knights had an open date last week. Jackson used the time to prepare his players for this Friday's contest at Lakeside, and wasted no time reflecting on the defeat to the Wolfpack.
"We put that sucker behind us the day it was over," Jackson said. "That's easy for me to say. I'm sure some of the players were down."
That would be a correct assessment. After the loss to the Pack at Blanchard Stadium, the Knights were down in the dumps.
Evans head coach Marty Jackson gives instructions to Allen Ligon in the game against Greenbrier on Aug. 29.
Photo by Jim Blaylock
As one Evans player exited the locker room, he hurled something against the wall and cried, "I'm tired of losing!" A lone voice responded, "Shut up!"
The frustration was understandable. Evans has lost three straight to Greenbrier, and the Knights have tasted victory just three times in the past two years.
But Jackson prefers to reflect on the positives from his coaching debut at Evans.
"Our defensive backs made a couple of mistakes, but overall they played pretty well, we did a good job of stopping the run, and our kicking game was much improved," he said. "I don't know that the ship has to be righted. We had a good week of practice. A lot of corrections were made."
Lakeside also had an open date Friday, but after pounding Westside 38-21 in the season opener at ARC Stadium, the Panthers might carry over a mental edge this week against Evans.
"We're probably 20-point underdogs," Jackson said. "Lakeside beat Westside like a drum. They were very physical, and in better shape than Westside, and I thought their offensive line was very cohesive."
Considering how Greenbrier manhandled Westside last week at the Brierpatch, Lakeside's romp over the Patriots doesn't seem quite as impressive. Still, the Panthers ran their triple-option offense well, and that rushing attack will be a primary concern for Evans when kickoff time arrives at 7:30 p.m. Friday.
For the Knights, there are two motivating factors - avoiding an 0-2 start and beating a bitter rival.
"Lakeside is not one of our kids' favorite teams. I know we're very hungry and excited about the opportunity to play them," Jackson said. "We have to play a great game to beat them, and I think we're capable."
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