East Jackson enters its game with Morgan County this week with a newly-minted 1,000-yard rusher.
Running back Nino Brown, who passed the mark last Friday (Oct. 25) against Hart County, has 1,016 yards on 161 carries this season for the Eagles with two games left to play.
East Jackson (3-5, 0-4 Region 8-AAA) hosts Morgan County Friday (Nov. 1) and closes the season Nov. 8 at home against Jackson County.
“We’re just so proud of him because he’s just continued to get better each week, and he’s a fantastic athlete,” Eagle coach Cameron Pettus said of Brown, “but he’s really grown as a player.”
The coach added the accomplishment wouldn’t have been possible without the efforts along the Eagle offensive front, which has paved the way for Brown to average 6.6 yards per carry this year.
“It’s also a credit to our guys up front, the unsung heroes, who allowed this to happen,” Pettus said. “Because you’ve got to have the blocking. Obviously, he does a lot on his own after he makes it to the second level, but you’ve got to have that blocking up front to get it going … Kudos to the guys up front and to Nino.”
Pettus called the 5-9, 190-pound Brown a “physical, very strong” running back with good speed. He also noted that Brown hasn’t played much football, despite being a senior.
“He’s really kind of blossoming and developing as a true running back,” Pettus said, who added that he’s been in conversations with college coaches about Brown.
East Jackson will likely need a big game from Brown this week as it takes on a 6-2 Morgan County team that’s lost just once in region play.
The Bulldogs are led by 6-2, 220-pound quarterback Trenton Folds, who possesses great arm strength.
“He’s got a fantastic arm,” Pettus said. “We’ve seen him throw 60 yards in the air on passes flat-footed. He’s a phenomenal talent, and they complement them really well with the run game.”
Pettus added that the Bulldogs do “a nice job at receiver, and they fly around.”
“It’s a very good program as well,” he said. “You can see why they’ve only got one loss in our region so far.”
Pettus said his team must generate some takeaways.
“Yeah, we’ve got to try and create some turnovers on defense, and then we can’t turn the ball over on offense,” Pettus said. “That’s going to be a huge part of the game.”
This will be East Jackson’s first home game since a Sept. 27 loss to Jefferson. Pettus said he’ll be happy to see his team back at Eagle Stadium for its final two games.
“Yeah, I think anytime you get a chance to play at home, you’re just more comfortable, you’re more relaxed,” Pettus said. “I just think everything is better from a mentality stand point … We’re definitely excited for the final two weeks to be home.”
HART CO. 49, EAST JACKSON 0
East Jackson enters this weeks’ game coming off a lopsided loss to Hart County.
The Bulldogs’ Malachi Thomas scored four touchdowns and J'Len Lackey added three scores as Hart County beat East Jackson 49-0 Friday in Hartwell.
The loss was East Jackson's fifth-straight since a 3-0 start.
Hart County (6-2, 2-2 Region 8-AAA) raced out to a 21-0 lead after a quarter and a 35-0 edge at the half. The Bulldogs tacked on two more scores in the third quarter.
“They’re very talented,” Pettus said of Hart County. “Hats off to those guys. We’re not there yet where we need to be physically, but you’ve got to give a compliment to their team because they did a nice job and executed very well.”