Griffins have to eliminate mistakes at West Jefferson
Dutchtown will go into a game coming off a loss for the first time since entering the Class 5A playoffs last season when they travel to Harvey to take on West Jefferson at Hoss Memtsas Stadium at 7 p.m. Friday night.
“This team is going to be a team that is a work in progress,” Dutchtown head coach Benny Saia said. “I really believe that we have gotten better each week. I don’t how many games we are going to win or lose but if you are better at the end of the year then when you started, then that is a successful season.
“It is more than just wins and losses. It is where you start at and where you finish and that is what we have to sell ourselves on. Getting better every day, maxing out our potential and achieving everything we can achieve.”
Dutchtown defeated West Jefferson 28-14 last season. The Griffins fell to No. 3 Lutcher of 4A 33-14 in Week 1, while the previous 5A No. 9 Buccaneers fell to St. Augustine 28-7 Saturday.
“They are big and athletic with a lot of speed,” Saia said. “It is going to be a good test for us. West Jefferson won the district last year and kind of surprised a lot of people. They have a lot of guys that came back including their whole defense. They are a good football team. They just lost their first game but they have talent.”
Dutchtown rushed for 200 yards last week led by Effrem Reed, who had 120 and one touchdown, but the Griffins lost three fumbles.
West Jefferson surrendered over 100 yards on both the ground and in the air last week to St. Augustine.
“We have to eliminate mistakes, turnovers and penalties,” Saia said. “That is the formula for every week. If you don’t turn the ball over, you are going to give yourself a chance to win and we didn’t do that last week. We shot ourselves in the foot a couple of times and it helped Lutcher. If we help any team that we play, we are going to be in trouble.”
The Buccaneers also got over 100 yards on both the ground and in the air last week as Terry Lucas threw for 121 yards on 10-of-14 passing with one touchdown and also rushed for 69 yards and two touchdowns on 14 totes.
The Griffins surrendered 200 yards rushing and 150 in the air last week as Lutcher quarterback Gavin Webster was productive with both his arm and feet. Eric Reid led Dutchtown with eight tackles while Jonathan Darville provided seven.
“On defense we can’t give up the big play,” Saia said. “We have to make them drive the ball and can’t give them a cheap touchdown. It makes a world of a difference when Eric Reid is in the game because he is just a play maker. Hopefully, we are getting healthy and able to get everybody on the field that we are counting on.”