Panthers’ passing catching on

Published 7:33 pm Wednesday, October 7, 2009

By playing on a Thursday instead of a Friday, the Jemison football team this week will miss a day of practice.

But coach Brad Abbott isn’t sweating the change in routine seven weeks into the season.

“Hopefully, at this point, there aren’t as many mistakes to correct,” Abbott said. “If they don’t know what to do by now, you could probably spend two weeks out here getting ready, and it wouldn’t matter.”

Besides, playing region contest against Greensboro a day earlier comes with a benefit: the game will be televised on WABM 68 as part of the station’s weekly “Thursday Night Lights” feature.

“They’re excited—they’re like me, they watch that game every Thursday night,” Abbott said about his players. “It’s probably a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for them.”

If the Panthers (3-3, 3-1 Class 4A, Region 3) want to impress on TV, they’ll have to control the line of scrimmage.

Abbott said Greensboro (3-3, 3-1) has large and skilled offensive and defensive fronts. The Raiders will try to run the football with senior tailback Jonathan Harris and junior fullback Favion Morse—and limit Chilton County’s leading rusher, Jemison sophomore Javae Swindle, who averages more than 7 yards per carry and 135 yards per game.

But the Panthers could have an edge because of a passing attack that has come on just as defenses have started loading up the box to stop Swindle.

Junior quarterback Scott Clements has thrown for an average of 205 yards in his past two games, and five different receivers average at least one catch per game.

And Clements has been intercepted only once all season.

“We’ve got a lot of faith in him,” Abbott said.

Pick: Jemison