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Jaguars' Scarbrough may not play against TCHS


Northridge running back Bo Scarbrough’s status for tonight’s game against Tucaloosa County is not known. Jaguars’ head coach Smith declined comment on whether Scarbrough was (Photo by Jason Harless)


TUSCALOOSA | The Tuscaloosa County Wildcats will try to extend their winning streak tonight to five games when they play at home against Northridge in a Class 6A, Area 5 contest.

Northridge, which has lost two straight games, might be without leading rusher Bo Scarbrough. Rumors have swirled this week that Scarbrough will sit out, possibly due to a suspension.

Northridge coach Mike Smith declined to comment on Scarbrough’s status. "That’s between Bo and me," Smith said.

Scarbrough, a junior, rushed for 144 yards, including a 60-yard touchdown, in last week’s 34-27 loss to Pelham. He announced a verbal commitment to the University of Alabama after the Jaguars beat Hillcrest on Sept. 7.

"When Bo’s got the ball in his hands, he can take it 80 yards," said TCHS coach Lee Gibson. "They’ve got some other backs who are capable of doing some hard running. Mike’s always done it with multiple kids. He’ll have them prepared to go in.

"They’ve got a big tight end and a couple of other big-time receivers. They go up and get the ball and make a lot of plays for them. They’re dangerous to look at because they can hit you at any time from a bunch of different positions."

TCHS, which won two games by 3-0 scores and shut out three opponents, is allowing 6.0 points per game.

"They’ve probably got the best defense in the region," Smith said. "The defensive line and the linebackers are the strength of their team. Most of those kids played last year. Not only have they got some talent, they’ve also got some experience. I hope we can get some turnovers to make it even."

Ted Colburn leads the Wildcats with 54 tackles. Terance Leatherwood has five sacks, and Hunter Jenkins has three.

Gibson said Jenkins, an end, is a leader who "gets us going at practice."

"We’ve been competing every day in practice, and I firmly believe that’s the key to what we’re doing," Gibson said. "We go live two days a week and have that competition. If you can win at practice Monday through Thursday, then on Friday you’re playing with the kind of confidence that even if you’re down or behind you’re able to come back and compete."

Gibson said Lucas Webb and Leon Tucker have improved as defensive backs from working against the TCHS receivers.

Tylan Perry, a former receiver, moved to tailback. Gibson said Perry had 121 receiving yards in last week’s win against Central.

"We were able to throw some screens to our backs, and Tylan had some good rushes for us also," Gibson said. "He’s probably our best guy with the ball in his hands, so we put him at tailback. Tyler Gates threw for 204 yards. He definitely had his best game the other night."

Jess Cooper, who missed three games with an injury, has returned at left tackle, allowing Mike Gray to move to guard.

"Having the whole offensive line back has been a big plus," Gibson said.

Northridge is coming off a 34-27 loss to Pelham.

"We had lost focus of what it took to make a good football team and that’s good practices," Smith said. "I thought we’ve had our best week of practice. Everybody is trying to do their part to win."

Tanner Cline will start at quarterback for the Jaguars. James Cox will play at wide receiver and defensive back. Cline and Cox teamed up for a couple of touchdown passes in the fourth quarter last week.

"Tanner is going to have to continue his improvement," Smith said. "People are going to have to step up in every phase of the game. James will probably have to play the full 48 minutes. We’ve got some other kids who are going to have to do the same thing because of injuries.

"People think about offense and defense, but injuries hurt you on special teams as well. We lost 14 points on special teams last week and lost the game by seven."

 

Reach Andrew Carroll at andrew.carroll@tuscaloosanews.com or at 205-722-0223.