Gilliam

Johnny Gilliam and Class 4A No. 9-ranked  North Jackson open their season Friday at Plainview.

The Chandler Tygard coaching era at North Jackson officially begins Friday night.

Tygard’s Class 4A No. 9-ranked Chiefs make the trip to Rainsville to take on Plainview Friday at 7 p.m. 

It’s the sixth all-time meeting between the schools in a series that North Jackson leads 4-1. The Chiefs won last season’s matchup 48-0. 

The game is North Jackson’s first at Plainview since suffering a 14-7 defeat during the 2009 season.

“That’s always a tough place to play,” Tygard said. “North Jackson’s 1-1 there, lost the last time they went there. The win (in 2004) was close. We’re preparing for a tough game.”

Tygard, who was hired in March, has spent the offseason reshaping every facet of the North Jackson program.

The Chiefs got their first game-type feel under Tygard in last week’s 13-9 jamboree win over Guntersville.

The coach said defeating “a really tough team” in Guntersville is a confidence booster, but added the Chiefs must work out some kinks in had in the jamboree with the regular season getting underway.

“It was a good to win, but it’s still a jamboree,” Tygard said. “They’re never as good as you think and never as bad as you think. After watching the film, I was a little happier than I was Friday night.”

Plainview (0-1) opened its season last week and took it on the chin, suffering a 50-6 loss to Class 2A No. 8-ranked Collinsville.

The Bears trailed 30-0 at halftime and got on the board late on quarterback Noah White’s 4-yard touchdown run. White also finished 8-of-15 passing for 68 yards in Plainview’s spread offense while Brody McCurdy led the Bears with 43 rushing yards on 12 carries.

Tygard said the Chiefs must be sharper offensively this week while getting the same type of effort from its defense that it had in jamboree.

“The defense played light outs. Guntersville only had one first down after that first drive, and we held them to minus 37 yards rushing. If the defense keeps playing like it did against Guntersville, we’re going to be fine,” Tygard said. “The offense needs to be faster. We didn’t get the tempo going like we wanted. Once we get some of the miscommunication and mechanics errors worked out, I think we’ll be a different offense.”

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