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Jefferson Davis High School

Jefferson Davis On Five Game Win Streak Entering SCISA Div. II 8-Man Football Playoffs, Bozard Becomes First 2,000 Yard Rusher At School Since 2005 In 60-6 Win Over Newberry Academy

By Billy G. Baker


Blackville—After finishing the regular season 8-3, and winning the school’s first region title since 2005, Jefferson Davis Academy has a bye in the first round of the SCISA Div. II 8-man football playoffs this week.

The Raiders will host the winner of the W.W. King/Patrick Henry game next week. Earlier in the season they defeated W.W. King 40-16 but they lost to Patrick Henry 32-12 on September, 22.

The Raiders concluded the 2017 regular season last week with a 60-6 win over Newberry Academy. Since the last report they beat WW King, beat Laurens Academy 48-6, Holly Hill Academy 60-6, and Richard Winn 30-16 prior to playing Newberry Academy.

The team has a bye for the first week of the playoffs. “We gave the guys one day off but the rest of this week will be just like it is a game week,” said head coach Mike Tindall. “I tell the players when you have free time enjoy being a kid but do not do stupid stuff and be safe, first and foremost.

“We are a vastly improved football team over where we were when the season started,” said Coach Mike Tindall. “The players have done a good job buying into our switch to a power I and they have seen how much better we are running the ball.

“Another factor is that we are finally healthy and earlier in the season we played a lot of games with three or four starters out,” said Coach Tindall. “I really feel like we can come back and beat some teams in the playoffs that beat us earlier in the season. Our goal is to compete for a state championship and our players are playing with a lot of confidence coming off our five game win streak.

“Our potential to win a state title is certainly a possibility and we are playing the best we have played all year when it matters most. We are also playing much better on defense and we are doing a better job of stopping the run then at the start of the season.”

Might it end up being SCISA Div. II 8-man finals against rival Andrew Jackson Academy? “I am going to be honest when I say they (AJA) drew a more challenging bracket having to play the winner of the Clarendon Hall and Richard Winn game next week,” said Coach Tindall. “We just hope to play in the finals regardless of what team it is.”

The Raiders are on a five game win streak after switching to a power I run oriented ground attack during a loss at Clarendon Hall in September after gaining 306 rushing yards against the Saints. “Although we lost that game after leading at the half it showed us that we could move the ball and score points,” said JDA head football coach Mike Tindall. “We can still pass the ball when we need to but we are like a brand new team running out of the Power I.”

The main man on the ground has been junior running back Jimmy Bozard who comes into the playoffs having gained 2,009 yards on 204 carries and 19 touchdowns.

“The last time we had a 2,000 yard rusher at Jefferson Davis was with Clayton Kennedy back in 2005,” said Coach Tindall. “Jimmy is stronger this year and he is running more North-South and he has learned to run with more patience and he is reading the blocking in front of him better. A lot of teams are trying to finger tackle him and that will not work with him. He is really doing a great job fighting for extra yardage.”

Against Newberry Bozard only played one half but he gained 248 yards on 22 carries and scored four touchdowns in two quarters of work.

Quarterback Wyatt Brant missed three games earlier with an injury. “He is still an effective passer even with us switching to a power I but we throw the ball a lot less now,” said Coach Tindall. “Wyatt has proven to be a good runner also so we like the fact he can help us throwing or running the football.” Brant has completed 30 of 61 passes for 423 yards and six touchdowns with no interceptions.

Trent Jamison has been another good runner and he gained 340 yards on 59 carries with five touchdowns. The team uses two tight ends in senior Dalton Beasley and senior Samuel Frederick. The three interior offensive linemen consist of junior guards Hunter Beach and Tyler Renew along with sophomore center Dustin Sandifer. Beach finished the regular season with a 92 per cent grade in the line. Freshman Tony Hernandez is also seeing time at linebacker.

“Tony Hernandez has come a long way since the start of the season and he reads the flow of the play better and is making some good tackles for us,” said Coach Tindall.

On defense Jamison has 70 tackles from his linebacking position and Frederick, a defensive end, has 69 stops. Linebacker Beasley has 58 tackles and Renew, a defensive tackle has 55 tackles. Free safety Chance Morris leads the team in interceptions with four.

Other starters on defense include freshman Donte Payne who has been starting the last three games along with sophomore end Al Kinard. Jeremy Davis is also a starting safety. Linebacker Lance Ray has stepped up in the place of Bozard on defense in order to keep him fresh for offense.

Morris missed six games due to injury and while he was out sophomore Nick Darnell filled in and did a good job. Morris had three interceptions against Newberry including a pick six for 94 yards.

Some key reserves contributing include offensive guard/defensive tackle Carson Wiles. He has also made four of five PAT’s. Charles Bazzle had hoped to have a good season but he has been sidelined with an injury. Clay Davis has stepped up and played well at offensive guard and 6-6, 300 pound 8th grader Garrison Owens sees spot duty in the defensive line.

Other players on the team include sophomore receiver/defensive end Mitchell Webster, sophomore receiver/defensive back Seth Davis, and junior lineman Christian Abbott.

Coach Tindall is assisted by Matt Lightsey, Logan Beasley, Matt Webster and Alex Still.



© 2017 High School Sports Report

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