North Jackson head football coach Chandler Tygard spent this summer raving about his players’ and coaches’ work ethic and the teams’ chances for this season.
The Chiefs showed in the season opener why Tygard was so excited.
North Jackson rang up 560 yards of total offense while holding Whitwell (Tennessee) to only 89 total yards and just five rushing yards in a 52-6 season-opening victory last Thursday.
“It was good for the kids,” Tygard said. “We still left some points out there and had too many penalties, but it was a good start. But (the season) gets real now with a big region game coming up.”
North Jackson (1-0) opens Class 4A Region 7 play with a trip to Huntsville to take on Westminster Christian. Kickoff is set for Friday at 7 p.m.
It’s the fifth all-time meeting between the teams in a series North Jackson leads 3-1. Westminster Christian won the teams’ last meeting 34-18 back in 2017.
Westminster Christian (0-1) is coming off a 8-3, region championship season in Class 3A, but the Wildcats lost their top two playmakers and have five freshmen in the starting line-up after moving back up to Class 4A. Despite their youth, Tygard said those five freshmen are talented playmakers that benefit from a senior-laden offensive line.
“They run the spread. Brad Smelley that played tight end at Alabama is their offensive coordinator. They run some really good plays,” Tygard said. “Our defense has to keep flying around getting to the football.”
Westminster Christian opened the season last Thursday with a 30-7 loss at Geraldine.
Tygard said North Jackson must “play our style of football” in order to begin region play with a victory.
“As long as we do that, we’re going to feel pretty good,” Tygard said. “We’ve got to get the tempo going (on offense) and get crisper (execution). Defensively, just keep playing well and get some takeaways.”