The North Jackson football team got back on the winning side last week in a 43-24 victory over Randolph.
Another win over a Huntsville-based team would move the Chiefs closer — perhaps into, depending on other results in Class 4A Region 7 play — to returning to the postseason.
North Jackson (4-3, 3-2) welcomes St. John Paul II (1-6, 1-4) to R.D. Hicks Stadium in Stevenson for region matchup Friday at 7 p.m.
North Jackson can officially wrap up a playoff berth with a win over St. John Paul II and a New Hope loss to region-leading and Class 4A No. 2-ranked Madison Academy. If New Hope upsets Madison Academy, North Jackson would need to win this week and next week at New Hope to secure a playoff berth and no worse than the region’s No. 3 seed while avoiding a logjam of teams and the subsequent tiebreakers that would be needed to determine the region’s final two playoff spots. Should Madison County, the current No. 2-seed, loses its final two region games to DAR and Westminster Christian and North Jackson wins out, it would be the No. 2 seed.
“We’re trying to make a run,” said North Jackson coach Chandler Tygard. “If we just build confidence, we’re as good as anybody.”
North Jackson’s game Friday with St. John Paul II is the fifth all-time meeting in the series, which is tied 2-2. St. John Paul won last year’s meeting 49-48.
The primary culprits in that loss for the Chiefs, St John Paul II all-state quarterback Seth Brown and all-state wide receiver Sean Zerkle, graduated and transferred to Decatur Heritage respectively.
The Falcons also have a new head coach, Rob Everett, who was the defensive coordinator at Bridgewater College in Virginia from 2016-18 before coaching in the professional ranks for the Memphis Express of the now-defunct AAF.