Generals face another tough challenge against Bulldogs
QUICKSBURG — Things don’t get any easier for Stonewall Jackson.
Coming off three tough losses to quality opponents the Generals face yet another one tonight when they play at undefeated Luray.
Despite being 0-3, the Generals are still entering the Shenandoah District game with an upbeat attitude.
“They’re a good team, but we can beat them if we just play our game, block right, make the right reads,” Stonewall Jackson senior quarterback Brendan Hoover said. “Their defense is pretty strong. They have some athletes on offense. But I feel like if we play our game we have a chance against them.”
The Generals lost 48-7 to Wilson Memorial last week, but Stonewall Jackson coach Pete Lampman said his team showed some progress on offense. The Generals are running the triple option for the first time this season, and Lampman said the players are getting better.
“They made better reads, blocking assignments,” Lampman said. “There’s not a lot of room for error for us yet. We’re not running it that well yet where you can make a mistake and then you come back from it. So you really got to be right all the time and it’s just hard to do. I think we did a lot better. We moved the ball.”
Luray will be a challenge for the Generals on both sides of the ball.
The Bulldogs run the Wing-T and have three running backs who have each made big contributions to the team.
The Bulldogs are led by running backs Justin Vaughan, Tristan Yowell and Drew Comer.
Lampman said Luray quarterback Dylan Jenkins leads the way for the team, which mostly relies on its running game.
“I think the quarterback is the guy,” Lampman said. “He’s very good. The running backs are good, all of them are good, and the quarterback’s a stud.”
Luray is averaging 40.3 points per contest.
The Bulldogs are allowing just 11.3 points per game. However, Stonewall Jackson senior Logan Ritchie said he thinks the Generals’ triple option offense can have success against the Bulldogs’ defense.
“Their defense is very physical and they’re aggressive,” Ritchie said. “So that ought to help us with the triple option. They’ll be trying to jump stuff and we just got to make the right read off of that.”
While the schedule has been tough for the Generals, the team is hoping the tough games will help them later in the season — including the playoffs. Stonewall Jackson has already secured a playoff berth.
There are only six schools in Region 1B that has a Virginia High School League playoff-eligible football program. Rappahannock County has a football team, but it doesn’t play in a district and therefore isn’t eligible for the postseason. So all six schools are automatically in the playoffs.
Hoover said it definitely helps knowing that they already have a playoff spot secured.
“It’s nice to get wins throughout the season, but it’s nice to already have that feeling that we’re already in the playoffs,” Hoover said. “It will be exciting to play.”
Lampman said he just wants his team to focus on getting better with each game and not think about the playoffs yet.
The game against Luray will have a little extra motivation for the Generals. Luray and Page County are the two schools closest in proximity to Stonewall Jackson.
Ritchie said it’s a nice rivalry between the two schools.
“It’s always fun to play them,” Ritchie said. “You know a lot of the guys because it’s so close.”