Thomas County Central’s pass defense is going to get tested next week against Lee County.
But the Class AAAAA No. 6 Yellow Jackets may get a quiz this week when they travel to face Northside-Columbus at 8 p.m. at Kinnett Stadium today.
While the Patriots have struggled to a 1-4 mark as they open Region 1-AAAAA play tonight, they have had some success in throwing the football.
Northside has rushed for 657 yards on 164 carries, while quarterback Jonathan Karastury has completed 40 of his 91 passes for 522 yards.
That balanced offense could challenge the Jackets’ secondary which gave up a pair of big pass plays in last week’s region opener at Bainbridge. While Central (5-1, 1-0) rallied for a 50-23 win, it trailed at halftime after the Bearcats scored on a 91-yard touchdown and an 80-yard touchdown — both coming through the air.
“Pass defense is always two parts,” Central coach Bill Shaver said. “One, getting pressure on the quarterback; and two, making a play on the ball when covering receivers. That’s the quickest place you can give up a quick touchdown if you don’t do both of those. That’s what happened last week.
“I thought we had good pressure on the long one they scored and they just made a play on the ball. We hit the quarterback right on the release. But when that ball goes up in the air, there’s always a chance if you don’t make the right play you’ll give up a big play. We’ve got Lee County coming down the road that’s relied on the pass and we want to be prepared for that kind of deal.”
See Friday's edition for more details