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SJ football woes; another tough one today

Posted 2018-09-20 By Larry Beazley

    The road ahead gets no less challenging for Stonewall Jackson’s football team.

    After giving up more than 50 points in each of its first three games of the season, Stonewall Jackson today at 6 p.m. will host Luray.

    The game will be played a day earlier due to concerns about excessive rain resulting from Hurricane Florence.

    The outcome of the match is predictable. Stonewall Jackson and Luray have just one common opponent: Strasburg. The Generals lost their season opener to Strasburg, 47-0. A week later, Luray defeated Strasburg, 35-7.

    While Stonewall Jackson’s defensive line is big, strong and somewhat experienced, its secondary is slow. Runners who manage to get through the line invariably make it to the end zone.

    Two games into its season, Luray is undefeated.

    Quarterback Dalton Griffith leads a a strong running game of sophomore Austin Holloway and junior Timothy Trudell.

    The Bulldogs’ offensive line averages 250 pounds and is able to control the game.

    The Luray defense has allowed just 15 points, seven of them coming on a long touchdown pass in the Strasburg game.

    Stonewall Generals started senior Rion Dennison at quarterback against Wilson Memorial last week.  Dennison passed to Tyle Vanderpuye for the Generals’ first score of the season.  He had some success moving the ball.

    Unfortunately, Wilson Memorial’s Green Hornets had put up 47 points by the time Stonewall Jackson got on the scoreboard, and went on to win the game, 66-7.

    Stonewall Jackson’s defense in three games thus far this season has given up 155 points, an average of 51.6 per game.

    Unless the Generals can find a way to prevent opponents from running and passing at will, Stonewall Jackson is likely to endure yet another season without a win.

    The Generals opened the season in a 47-0 loss at Strasburg, then lost to Central at home, 42-0 in a game called before halftime due to a power outage affecting the stadium lights.

    The foray into Shenandoah District competition Friday was no less unpleasant. The Green Hornets put all their offensive talents on display.

    Senior Udreka Claude made his first appearance of the year against Wilson Memorial and added some punch to the running game.  Claude and Charles Streett can move the football down the field.

    Rated Division I due to its enrollment, Stonewall Jackson lacks the depth to compete against Division II teams. Most schools in the Shenandoah District are rated Division II.

    To get more consistency on offense they must reduce the number of turnovers and missed assignments and better control the football.      Their defense lacks size up front and they need more speed in the secondary.

    The Generals need a break-through game to end what has become yet another long losing streak. That’s not likely to come today.