A-J football team set to host unbeaten Nashville Friday
The Anna-Jonesboro Community High School football team will have its work cut out for it this week.
The Wildcats, 1-2, host Nashville, 3-0, for the annual Whiteout Game to raise money for the Muscular Dystrophy Association and Hadley’s Haven Friday, Sept. 14.
Game time is set for 7 p.m. The game will be aired on WIBH radio in Anna.
A-J head coach Brett Detering said he has watched Nashville on game film. “They’ve got a pretty good team. We’ve got our work cut out for us,” he said.
In their first three games this season, the Hornets have only given up one touchdown. Nashville defeated Wesclin 54-0 last Friday. Carlyle lost to Nashville 35-6 in the first game of the season and in their second game the Hornets defeated Massac County 33-0.
“So far, so good this season,” Nashville coach Stephen Kozuszek said. “But, I think A-J will be the best team we’ve played so far.”
Quarterbacking the Hornets are senior Daymeon Baugh, 6-0, 150 pounds, and sophomore Cole Malawy, 5-9, 150 pounds. Both players have been switching off at quarterback.
Junior Gavyn Novak, 6-2, 260 pounds, has been the main downfield target this season.
The backfield corps is led by junior Jullian Metcalf, 5-8, 160 pounds. He’s been averaging 100 yards a game. Baugh is also one of the team’s top rushing threats.
Anchoring the offensive line is senior Dylan Kwiatkowski, 6-3, 270 pounds, a Southern Illinois River-to-River Conference selection returning from last season.
Another key offensive linemen is senior Isaac Sexe, 6-3, 220 pounds. Sexe was a second team all-conference selection from last season.
Last year’s leading tackler, junior Justin Aulds, 5-11, 175 pounds, also returns. Kwiatkowski and Sexe also double over on the defensive line.
“It will be a big challenge for us,” Detering said. “We’ve got to find a way to slow them down. We’ll have to give our best.”
“A-J’s a really good team and I’m a little surprised by their record,” Kozuszek said. “To beat them, we can’t let A-J play ball control. They’ve got an option offense and it’s tough to play against.”