#1 6A Muscle Shoals will travel to 7A Bob Jones at the Madison City Stadium Friday night. Muscle Shoals is coming into the game loaded with talent while Bob Jones has some solid talent of their own. Head coach Kevin Rose has taken the Patriots to the playoffs in 10 straight seasons and looks to keep that streak going this season.
Muscle Shoals (1-0) comes into this game with a 42-3 win over Deshler. "I thought we moved the ball well targeting five different receivers last week," said Trojans head coach Scott Basden. "We threw the ball real well and the run game, we handled their scheme really well. I thought offensively we were pretty proficient. On defense with the ones in their, we held them to 18 total yards so not much to complain about in that area."
On offense quarterback Logan Smothers leads the Trojans. "We knew him in junior high that Logan was going to be special," added Basden. "He has grown and matured. He has worked hard on his skill set since he came to us this summer. He has gotten more efficient in reading coverages and throwing the ball real well." Last week, Smothers (the Nebraska commit) completed 15-of-23 passing for 206 yards & 3 TD's with 98 yards on eight carries & TD versus Deshler. Smothers has the wheels to get the much needed yards if he needs to run the ball.
At running back, injuries have hit the Trojans. Keevon Hankins was injured last week during the first half and is doubtful along with Eugene Malone is out for Friday night. In though is Brooks Berry who has a 2-yard touchdown run against Deshler. Berry stepped in well last week and will get most of the carries this week.
At receiver, Muscle Shoals moved the ball around to five different receivers. Ty Smith had a 22-yard touchdown reception while tight end Nick Griffith scored on two touchdowns last week. Add in Kolby Smith, Mikey McIntosh and Markel Ricks to give Smothers a lot of options in the passing game.
The offensive line has Eli Underwood, Zach Epperson and Elijah Morrow. Morrow has taken the leadership with the front five. "Elijah is a very good player for us," said Basden. "He works really hard. I like seeing him grow and mature as the leader of the group. He has worked real hard to be in this position." Morrow is a two-year starter for the Trojans.
On defense, the Trojans have middle linebacker Jackson Bratton. The Alabama commit has all the talent to play on the next level. Along side him is middle linebacker Malik Smith. "This is a group that has been together since p-wee ball," said Basden. "They are happy for each other. They feed of each other and they are so great to be around. Jackson is a strong, physical kid that runs well. There is no knock on him as a football player. He works hard." Rounding out the linebackers are Silas Russell and Wyatt McConnon.
One of the unsung heros on the team is EJ Jarmon. "EJ comes to work everyday, does the things that he needs to do," added Basden. "We don't have any issues, we are going to get his best everyday. He doesn't have the highs and lows." Along with Jarmon at corner is Jacob Peters. At safety are Caleb McDougle and Javar Strong.
For Bob Jones (0-1), they have Caden Rose at quarterback, safety, wide receiver and tailback in his first game last week against Christian Bros. Rose led his team to a touchdown at quarterback on the Patriots first possession. After that Rose played the other three positions and quarterback Slate Alford stepped in at quarterback for the Patriots. Alford finished the game completing 13-of-21 passing for 150 yards and a touchdown.
Due to cramping in heat issues during last weeks game, the Patriots hope to get a few more plays out of Rose at quarterback. "The plan going in was to get Caden about 50 percent of the snaps at QB and limit his defense," said Patriots head coach Kevin Rose. "Caden makes us difficult to defend when he is in but Slate Alford did a great job as well. Our first game was 100 degrees on turf, it just didn't turn out to get him those snaps we wanted. Slade has a big arm that can sit in the pocket and deliver the ball."
At running back is Jacob Guyton and Amiyi Maxwell. Both will get limited touches because Bob Jones likes to connect on the big plays down field with the pass. Rose might get the most touches on the ground between the three backs for the Patriots.
At receiver, Donavon Brown is a big time target for the Patriots. "Donavon can be really good and has made the biggest improvements on our football team this season," added Rose. "He was another one with major issues with cramps. He played limited snaps on both sides of the ball that hurt our chances." Brown had 69 yards on four receptions and a touchdown last week. Along with Brown, Miles Humes, Logan Tharpe, Connor White and Kelly Fields get opportunities at receiver for Bob Jones. Andre Reese gets playing time at tight end.
The offensive line is solid but needs to make a few more holes for the running backs and to keep the ball away from Muscle Shoals. Collin Lee, Drew Lawson, Cedric Jackson, Ethan Dawes and Michael Lucente round out the five up front for the Patriots. Drew Lawson is the leader of the line and he does a great job of getting his teammates in the right play calls at the line of scrimmage. Lucente played defense and offense and might be playing a few more snaps on defense.
The defense is where the Patriots need a big game to limit the Trojans offense on Friday. Linebackers Walker Styles, Deandre Smith, Jha Mhyrin Johnson, Jacob Gaertner need to play big. "Walker Styles is our mike linebacker and is quiet and reserved," said Rose. "He started for us last season. He is a quiet guy, works hard and played well Friday night."
The front line of Brian Vaughn, Jehan King and Lucente will need to get pressure or the secondary of Walter Lockart, Connor Cooper, Brown and Rose are going to get tested by Smothers and the Trojans offense. This is going to be a key area of the game to see if the Patriots defense can get pressure on the Trojans or do the Trojans receivers get loose in the Patriots secondary.