Generals ready to face another tough district opponent

Logan Ritchie Rich Cooley/Daily

QUICKSBURG — Stonewall Jackson played competitive football for a half last week; today they hope to put together two halves when they travel to face Stuarts Draft.

The Generals trailed Page County last week, 20-13, at halftime before eventually falling 48-19. Stonewall Jackson running back Logan Ritchie said the game did give the team a little boost of confidence.

“First half we played really good,” Ritchie said. “We just got to finish the rest of the ball game. We know we can put at least one half together. We just got to keep on pushing and get the whole game together. And if we can do that we can come out with a win.”

Ritchie said he feels like the Generals’ defense, which has struggled throughout the season, is improving with each game.

“I like that our defense was aggressive,” Ritchie said. “We came up, made the ball carriers fumble, went to the right guys, made tackles. It was pretty good. Things are starting to turn around. We’re starting to get more aggressive, coming forward. We got guys that will come up and hit somebody in the nose. We’re taking up blocks, which is opening up tackles for the linebackers and the secondary.”

The Generals (0-7) will be facing a Stuarts Draft offense that is much like most of the offenses in the Shenandoah District.

The Cougars (3-3) run the double wing offense and rely a lot on their running game.

“They run the ball. They’re strong,” Stonewall Jackson coach Pete Lampman said. “They’re pretty much like every other team in the district. They’re going to try to ram it down our throats. And it’s up to us to stop them.”

Lampman said the Cougars run a 4-3 defense, and they tackle well and come off the ball well.

While the Generals did move the ball well at times last week, Lampman said they need to do it for four quarters instead of just one half.

“We got to put a full game together,” Lampman said. “We got to make the right reads, got to make the right pulls. And offensively we’ve been effective at times this year, but consistency is the key. We need to be consistent.”

Stonewall Jackson has been running the triple option all season, and at times have run it well.

Stonewall Jackson quarterback Brendan Hoover and running back Udreka Claude have led the way. However, the Generals will be without Claude this week. Claude is serving a one-game suspension after being ejected from last week’s loss to Page County.

Ritchie said other players will have to step up in Claude’s absence.

“We just got to know what we’re doing and fill in,” Ritchie said. “Young kids got to step up. I think we got a pretty decent plan going in there. We just got to make the right reads and execute right.”

Stonewall Jackson, which has lost 23 straight games, has an automatic playoff berth due to only six teams in their region having eligible teams.

Lampman said he just wants to see his team keep improving.

“I just want them to get better,” Lampman said. “Just trying to get better, making the right reads, getting better offense more consistently. I want them to keep tackling better and show some heart, really show some heart.”