Snap it

Center Andrew Quarles and North Jackson host DAR in their home opener Friday.

The North Jackson football team is coming home.

The Chiefs ended a two-game road trip to open the season and play their 2019 home opener Friday night against Class 4A Region 7 rival DAR.

Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. at R.D. Hicks Stadium in Stevenson.

It’s a matchup of two teams looking to get in the win column in region play.

North Jackson (0-2, 0-1) is coming off a 20-7 setback at Danville while DAR (1-2, 0-1) fell 62-41 at home last week to Fairview.

“We’re kind of a defensive team right now (and DAR has) been scoring a lot of points, Tygard said. “We’ll see which side wins out. That’s probably who wins.”

It’s the 14th all-time meeting meeting between the teams. North Jackson leads the series 13-1, including a 75-41 victory over the Patriots a year ago.

DAR has continued to pile up points this season, too. The Patriots are averaging 41.3 points per game. 

“They’re a well-coached team,” Tygard said. “They sling it around really good. They have a really good quarterback, a big-time baseball player (Justin Stubblefield). They have a really good slot receiver. No. 9 (Martius Leonard) can fly.”

The problem for DAR has been its defense, which surrendered 68 and 62 points respectively in the losses to Westminster Christian and Fairview. The Patriots held Douglas to only 12 points during a 49-12 victory in Week 1.

North Jackson has been plagued by penalties thus far. After committing 19 for 155 yards and a 36-35 overtime loss at Plainview, the Chiefs were assessed 17 pentolites for 170 yards last week at Danville. Three of those penalties wiped away North Jackson touchdowns, drives that ultimately ended without points.

“Take those penalties away and we scored 28 points and have over 500 total yards,” Tygard said. 

The coach said the Chiefs aren’t happy with their start but aren’t hitting the panic button.

“Friday nights are only 10 nights a year,” Tygard said. “The other days are what determine if you win on Friday night. A lot of kids think we’ll roll out there and win because we’ve got Chiefs on our chest. There’s no such thing as a gamer. Games are won during the (practice) week. There’s a lot of details you’ve got to get right. Friday night is a reward for what you did during the week.”

Tygard believes playing at home this week will be a boost to this team.

“It’s going to be fun,” he said. “It’s big to not have to take one of those hot bus rides. We’re going to have a big crowd. The Chief will be here with a flaming spear, we’ve got a team DJ setting up in front of the student section. It’s going to be (a fun atmosphere).”

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