Jackets try to build on opening-week performance
by Carlton D. White
cwhite@mdjonline.com
August 28, 2014 06:24 PM | 1214 views | 0 0 comments | 6 6 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Sprayberry’s Jonathan Palmer and the Yellow Jackets face Kennesaw Mountain tonight in their annual pre-region matchup.
Sprayberry’s Jonathan Palmer and the Yellow Jackets face Kennesaw Mountain tonight in their annual pre-region matchup.
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Game: Sprayberry (0-1) at Kennesaw Mountain (0-0), 7:30 p.m.

Last year: Kennesaw Mountain 48, Sprayberry 27

All-time series: Kennesaw Mountain leads 5-3

Prediction: Sprayberry 42, Kennesaw Mountain 35

For the past two seasons, the Andy Scott regime at Kennesaw Mountain has started the season with victories over Sprayberry.

Today marks the third straight season opener for the Mustangs against the Yellow Jackets and Scott is excited to see what his team is capable of.

“The kids are excited,” he said. “It’s an opportunity to open at home in front of our fans and community. We had a tremendous offseason and we’re ready to get started on a good note.

“We’ve played Sprayberry the last two years and we’ve beaten them every year. But, it’s a new year and they have a tremendous roster and a great coaching staff. So, we know we’ll have our hands full.”

Sprayberry could hold an advantage over Kennesaw Mountain having already played a game this season. The Yellow Jackets clung to a fourth quarter lead against South Paulding last week before falling 24-19 in regulation. That one game of experience could prove beneficial to Sprayberry.

“I think it’s a unique advantage that goes both ways,” Sprayberry coach Billy Shackelford said. “We have an advantage because we’ve already knocked some of the rust off. They have an advantage because they’ve seen us twice, once on film and once in person, so they have a good idea about what we do well.”

Scott says Sprayberry’s effectiveness starts and ends with its kicker, Rodrigo Blankenship.

“They’re tremendous on special teams,” Scott said. “They’re very good on offense too with that Auburn commitment (Bailey Sharp) anchoring the line. They have tremendous defensive players too, and when you look at the team across the board, they’re very athletic on both sides of the ball.

“Offensively, we’re as good as we can be for our first game. Our offense is ahead of our defense right now, but I think they’ll catch up (tonight).”

— By Carlton D. White

cwhite@mdjonline.com

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