After suffering a home-game loss last week, Coach Ralph Jackson said the Bearcats are preparing for a tough game against Marvin Ridge this Friday.
“We’ve got to get ready for it,” Jackson said. “It’s going to be physical and at home.”
The Bearcats lost to Cuthbertson last week 14-28. Although Cuthbertson made the first touchdown, Anson quickly caught up when Jalen Powe (No. 99) scored theBearcats’ first touchdown in the first quarter. Octavien Harrel (#14) made another in the second quarter, and Nathan Fawkes’ (No. 92) PAT brought the score up to 14-7 in Anson’s favor by halftime.
In the third quarter, Cuthbertson made a touchdown and PAT with 55 seconds left in the quarter. They followed it with two more touchdowns in the final quarter with 7:27 and 4:41 left on the clock, giving Cuthbertson the game with 28-14.
Jackson spoke with his players immediately after the game. He delivered comfort, but some tough love, too.
“It hurts,” he said simply. “You guys are better than tonight.”
Jackson said the team “just didn’t play with enough intensity.” Although they did well for the first part, there was a definite shift in the third quarter and Cuthbertson took the game. Although the Bearcats still had time to take the game back, they gave up.
“It’s a psychological thing,” Jackson explained.
“We had three times in the end zone where we had the ball and dropped it,” Jackson said. “It’s the tale of two different teams.”
Still, Jackson said the team has improved since last year and will continue to get better.
“The process can’t be cheated,” he said. “The team will keep working.”
Jackson said that he did feel that the players were mentally maturing even as their football skills sharpened.
“I really felt they grew up last week,” he said.
The “process” Jackson mentioned is his plan to bring last year’s freshman up from being inexperienced players to team leaders by senior year.
“The process is coaching, establishing an identity, getting everyone on the same page,” Jackson said. “It should be done by four years.” Last year was Jackson’s first year coaching the team.
The Bearcats will face Marvin Ridge at Anson High School at 7:30 p.m. this Friday.
Reach reporter Imari Scarbrough at 704-994-5471 and follow her on Twitter @ImariScarbrough.