By Gary Smith
The average football fan won’t believe the area of the game with which Peabody Head Coach Shane Jacobs found fault, following a 72-0 shutout win over rival Humboldt during a Week 4 non-region match-up.
The fact that the Golden Tide was penalized twice for 30 yards presented Coach Jacobs a teaching opportunity for his players. The nature of the penalties drew Coach Jacobs’ ire more than the yardage. Detail-oriented, the coach challenged his talented team to remain focused on the goal of playing its best football.
Following Friday night’s 51-0 win over district opponent Halls, Coach Jacobs explained, “Last week, we were disappointed in a couple of penalties that were really uncharacteristic of us. We practiced Monday and Tuesday with good on good and tried to get our best players out there and get a lot of good competition. Our challenge right now is staying as sharp as we can through this stretch of games where we have a talent advantage over our opponents.”
He continued, “Overall, I am very proud of the lack of penalties, tonight. We were sharp in all three phases of the game. We still have some things that we need to continue to work on. We still have a long way to go in some areas, but I just really like this team. I like their attention to detail and the way they prepare for games. I am very proud of where we are right now as a team. We understand we still have a lot of things we need to continue to improve.”
The sharpness of execution was demonstrated on both offense and defense. The Tide rolled up 266 yards rushing on 26 carries for more than 10 yards per attempt and completed all eight passes for 157 yards and two touchdowns. On the other side of the football, the PHS defense limited Halls to only 45 total yards.
Trenton took advantage of its overall team talent to score all 51 of its points in the first half. The Tide offense demonstrated a variety of playmakers to score on every possession in the first half.
Scoring were Jarel Dickson, on a 65-yard rumble up the middle of the field to highlight a three-play, 80-yard series; Noah Halbrook, on a 53-yard bubble route pass from quarterback Cooper Baugus to end a one-play possession; Dickson, on a 15-yard blast to punctuate a four-snap, 42-yard trek; Josh Parks, on a 21-yard post pattern reception to finish a three-play, 55-yard excursion; Dickson, on a 30-yard gallop for this third TD; Isaiah Jackson, on a tackle in the end zone for a safety; Halbrook, on a 39-yard sprint to finish a two-snap, 48-yard set of plays and Jacquez Wilkins, on a four-yard burst to conclude a four-snap, 36 yard march.
Successfully executing all seven extra point attempts were Colton Cloyd, long snapper; Eli Hammonds, holder; and Isaiah Hicks, kicker.
With Trenton holding a lopsided 51-0 lead at intermission, the Mercy Rule was set into motion with two 10-minute quarters and a continuously running clock.
Statistically, Peabody amassed 423 yards of total offense with 15 first downs and Halls managed 45 total yards and two yardage sticks relocations. Tide starter Cooper Baugus completed all six passes for 112 yards and two touchdowns and reserve Triston Cook connected on both aerials for 45 yards.
The Tide lost its only fumble and the Tigers did not drop the ball. The home team was penalized twice for 15 yards and the visiting squad was flagged on four occasions for 18 yards.
Offensive leaders included: rushing – Jarel Dickson, with five runs for 125 yards and three touchdowns; Jacquez Wilkins, with six carries for 72 yards and one TD and Noah Halbrook, with one attempt for 39 yards and a six-pointer; receiving – Halbrook, with four catches for 88 yards and a TD and Josh Parks, with one grab for 21 yards and a score.
Top defenders were: Isaiah Jackson, with three solo tackles, a quarterback sack and a safety; Dickson and Rafe Hannah, with two solo tackles and an assist; Jasper Albea, with two primary strikes and a quarterback sack and Carson Vandiver, with one solo tackle and five assists.
Coach Jacobs noted, “The schedule picks up the next two weeks with Dresden and Gibson County. I think they are two really good teams that we, fortunately, get to play here. Dresden and Peabody have become a good little rivalry in the last six or seven years. Those guys will come out and play us hard and I expect our guys to be ready to play them tough. Next week, I think it will be a really good game and a challenge for us, physically. I look for us to have another really good week of focused practice and hopefully, we will play well next Friday night.”
Next, PHS (5-0 overall and 2-0 in Region 7-2A) hosts Dresden in a non-region match-up on Friday at Walter Kilzer Stadium. Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m.
Peabody is currently ranked No. 2 in the state’s Class AA poll.