The coaching staff at Arab Junior High School felt good about both football teams after splitting with Scottsboro on Tuesday. While the eighth grade team lost on the scoreboard, the team is continuing to show improvement.
While everyone wondered how the seventh grade squad would respond without quarterback Drew Puccio, lost for the season with a broken leg, the team not only won, it did so convincingly.
• 8th GRADE
Scottsboro 24, Arab 0
The score doesn’t show it, but the eighth grade team played a good game, according to coach Jason Guger.
“We’ve become a much more physical team,” he said.
Andrew Williamson and J.R. Young both ran the football hard, but getting in the end zone seemed to be cut short at the last moment. Young was a shoestring tackle away from a score and Logan Silva also caught a pass that was one man away from being a touchdown.
But, that wasn’t the only problem.
“It’s very important for that group to stay ahead of the chains,” Guger said. “We moved the ball really well, we just couldn’t find points.
“A holding call, a block in the back or a tackle for a loss really sets us back and it’s hard for us to overcome.”
Needless to say, there’s still a lot of work to do.
“Defensively, we did really good,” Guger said. “Our front seven was stopping the run but they made adjustments at the half to throw the ball. They did that with a lot of success, so that will be a point of emphasis in practice.”
Still, the coaching staff is pleased with the progress the group is making.
“We’re close. We’ve just got to put it all together,” said Guger.
• 7th GRADE
Arab 22, Scottsboro 0
Logan Alldredge set the tone for this game immediately. On the first play from scrimmage, Alldredge broke free on a 65-yard touchdown run and also scored the two-point conversion.
The 8-0 score stood through the first half.
“Logan scoring on the very first play of the game was huge for us and the defense answered with a three and out, but we hit a lull after that,” Guger said.
Things stepped up in the third quarter, though, when Alldredge took a quick pitch on fourth-and-10 and hit Landon Strickland on a 27-yard touchdown pass. Alldredge then went in for two again.
Strickland also came up big in the fourth quarter by intercepting a pass and returning it to the Scottsboro 5. Kaiden Story scored from 1 yard out.
“We found a rhythm in the second half and had some guys who really stepped up for Drew. I was really proud of them,” Guger said.
On Tuesday, the seventh grade team will host Crossville at 5 p.m. and the eighth grade team will host Oneonta at 6 p.m.