Lumberton continues stay on a roll after picking up its second win in a row.
After being shut out in its first game of the season, Lumberton has averaged 47 points in the last two weeks. However, the Panthers will try to make a statement against region rival Sebastopol, which currently holds a 3-0 record.
As a team, the Bobcats have dominated their opponent by averaging 41 points on offense while holding teams to 9.5 points. Despite the dominance, Sebastopol’s opponents notably have a combined record of 1-9.
“I think it will be (a big test),” Lumberton coach Zach Jones said. “They are riding high. They are undefeated and rightfully so. They are going to be jacked up and we are going to get their best shot. We look forward to that challenge. Last time we played in a big game we didn’t play to our full capability and so we are looking for a chance to redeem ourselves.”
On offense, the Bobcats’ success is driven by their quarterback Jaden Mann, who has thrown for 705 yards and eight touchdowns, and has ran for 278 yards and three touchdowns.
“Offensively they are really similar us and run a lot of the same sets,” Jones said. “They run a lot more counters and throw it to the tight end. They will run more formations to keep that tight end in the ball.
“They have a really good quarterback. We faced him last year, so we know what he is capable of. He is a better player than he was last year. I know he throws it better than he did last year. They have a tight end that’s a really big target that they use.”
Mann’s main two targets are his tight end Jacob Williams and wide receiver Jahiem Johnson, who combined for 20 catches, 467 yards and five touchdowns.
“They have got a whole lot of skill people and they are pretty good up front,” Jones said. “They are going to be a challenge for us.
“(Williams) is a really big target and plays linebacker too. They do a really good job of keeping him in the passing game. (Johnson) is more of their speed guy. He is a smaller guy, but he looks like he is hard to tackle on film.”
Sebastopol has been equally dominant on the defensive side of the ball; Jones credits that success to the defensive line. On the season, the Bobcats have 35 tackles for loss, eight sacks, six interceptions and two fumbles.
“Defensively they are a 3-man front similar to us and like to bring pressure,” Jones said. “In a lot of ways we are going to see a lot of the same stuff that we see in practice. Their defensive line will get after you. Their linebackers tackle well. I think their front is the strength of their team. They like to stop the run and we like to run the ball so it’s going to be a test for our offensive line to see what they can do. We have to make sure those guys block so we can give our backs some holes.
“This (game) is a test. I’d like to see where we are as we head into a hostile environment and see where we are and see where we can improve.”