Off to a 4-0 start, Bobcats don’t want to slow down now

By CAMAL PETRO,

The Sumrall Bobcats are on so much of a hot streak to begin the 2018 season that even a malfunction with the on-field sprinkler system during last Friday’s game couldn’t even cool them off. In the last two games, Sumrall scored 73 points and only allowed 13 points to Sacred Heart and Enterprise.

From the outside looking in, all aspects of the game seem to be going well for Sumrall. That might very well be the case, but Sumrall coach Shannon White still sees a few areas he’s going to harp on in practice.

“We had six passes and (senior quarterback Dannis Jackson) got flushed on three of them, so the protection broke down three times,” White said. “That’s not good when you’re only throwing it three times. Defensively, I don’t know if there was anything the other night that was alarming, but our big deal is to contain. We feel good about things up the middle, but we’re always concerned about contain.”

His special team play is another area he’s not comfortable with either.

A 4-0 record isn’t a start to the season Sumrall is familiar with, so something has to be said about the players’ focus through the first four weeks and how they’ve handled their business. It’s a veteran team that’s experienced quite a few lows throughout their career, too.

White said his team isn’t scared to talk about their record, but the Bobcats hit a reset button when they come into work on Monday. As White puts it, “Friday will get here when it gets here.”

“We can’t afford to rest on our laurels,” White added. “If you’re not careful, you get arrogant and you get complacent. We’re in no position to do that. These guys have had some hard times here, and I think they’re smart enough to know we’ve got to continue to do things we’ve done so far to make us successful this year.”

To stay perfect, Sumrall will have to beat Richton Friday night, and the Rebels have won three straight games since their season-opening loss to Columbia. They lost by 27 points in the opener, but since, they’ve breezed past Sacred Heart, Enterprise and East Marion.

Offensively, senior D.D. Griffin leads the team with 473 rushing yards and seven touchdowns, and junior quarterback Dylan Farve has added 268 yards on the ground and five touchdowns to go along with his 96 passing yards per game. Senior Za’darius Mitchell is Farve’s favorite target at wideout, snagging 10 passes for 168 yards and a score.

“Man, we’ve been playing against them for forever, and they’ve always hurt us,” White said of Richton’s playmakers. “They’ve done some damage to us in years past. I’m sure it’s a game they’re looking forward to. They always play well against us.”

On the other side of the ball, White is impressed with Richton’s defense, too. It did allow Columbia to score 40 points, but teams are averaging 18 points against Richton’s defense while its offense is scoring 45 points since the Week 1 loss. Even in the loss to undefeated Columbia, White thought Richton played well.

“Defensively, I thought they stood toe to toe with Columbia,” White said. “The score looks like Columbia smoked them, but they really didn’t. I thought they did a good job defensively on Columbia. We have a great challenge ahead of us, for sure.”

The Rebels have racked up 14 tackles for a loss, five interceptions and seven fumble recoveries on defense, too. Jackson has yet to throw an interception for Sumrall this season with a 72-completion percentage, and as a team, the Bobcats have only lost two fumbles.