Evans High School football coach Marty Jackson likes to tell his players they can have fun at Christmas.
But as long as the holiday is still months away, he wants the Knights focused on the work to be done on the field. For a second consecutive season, the Knights started 3-0 and swept their Columbia County rivals.
Now, their focus shifts to the remaining Region 3-AAAA schedule and a run at a second consecutive playoff berth.
"We're just trying to find a way to win each week," Jackson said. "No matter what happens, you can't think about the past."
The Knights won their first three games by playing solid defense and avoiding turnovers.
First-year quarterback Troy Griffith had not thrown an interception through the first three games, and the Knights had lost only two fumbles.
The Knights' defense is again the team's backbone. Despite losing a bevy of big names from last year's unit, Jackson has found another layer of talent underneath.
Through its first three games, Evans allowed 22 combined points and an average of only 38 rushing yards a game.
Lakeside coach Jody Grooms said before the season the Knights would again be the team to beat, and Jackson's squad proved it through three games, although it expected a big test from Glenn Hills on Friday.
But Jackson said his team had taken something from its success last year, and that's not to dwell on it. Cue the Christmas reference.
"You can't get satisfied," Jackson said. "We learned a big lesson last year when we beat Statesboro and got a little full of ourselves."
The win against the Blue Devils last season pushed the Knights' undefeated start to 7-0. And Jackson's team lost its next two games, against Brunswick and Ware County.
The coach is trying to keep the focus on a much smaller scale this season.
"We're trying to win each play, to tell the truth," he said.
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