For the third year in a row, the East Marion Eagles start their season on the gridiron against the Amite County Trojans Friday night on the road.
The Eagles have played Amite County Week 1 each of the last two years, losing 28-20 in 2017 and winning 33-2 last year.
“Hopefully we can get the same results this year,” head coach Kevin Jackson said.
East Marion was one of the few teams around the state that got started with a jamboree last week and got to see where it stands. The Eagles lost the exhibition against Franklin County Friday 6-0 while turning the ball over three or four times, according to Jackson.
“Hopefully it was just early jitters, and hopefully we got all that out of our system and we’ll protect it much better this Friday,” he said. “We have some running backs that were probably a little bit excited and a little bit nervous.”
Jackson said he was impressed by freshman running back Jadarrius Mallard but that he was also one of the guys who fumbled in the scrimmage.
East Marion’s defense was a bright spot, though, yielding just six points even though the offense consistently put it in bad spots.
“We played pretty solid on defense,” Jackson said. “We missed some tackles, but they scored late in the scrimmage on a deep pass. They caught a deep pass inside the 15 and went on to punch it in. Other than that, we played pretty good defensively.”
Jackson said the focus will be on the basic fundamentals to start the year at Amite County.
“They’re talking about rain, which you have to be able to take care of the football, and we didn’t do a good job of that Friday night. Running, blocking and tackling and taking care of the football will be the essentials,” he said.
Jackson said Amite County didn’t play a spring game or a scrimmage this fall so all he has to go on is last year’s film, but he expects the Trojans to be big and athletic.
The Eagles are making the jump up from Class 1A to 2A this season after reaching the south state championship game last season.
The Eagles went 8-6 last season and upset both Stringer and Lumberton in the playoffs.
Kickoff is at 7.
Pictured Above: East Marion junior Lawrence Lambert will be asked to play a primary offensive spot in 2019 after a background role his last two years. | Photo by Joshua Campbell