Game: Lassiter (1-1) at Woodstock (0-3), 7:30 p.m.
Last meeting: Woodstock 24, Lassiter 7 (Oct. 25, 2019)
All-time record: Lassiter leads 10-8
Prediction: Lassiter 23, Woodstock 13
A week off has Lassiter healthy, focused and recharged ahead of its trip to Woodstock on Friday.
The focus for the Trojans (1-1) has been consistency. Lassiter scored 30 points across its first two games, a step down from the 20.1 points it averaged last season.
Moving the ball has not been as big an issue as missed opportunities have.
“We have done a lot of good things in all three phases, and I think now we just need to be consistent with our execution,” Lassiter coach Sean Thom said. “We have left a lot of points off the board. Red-zone offense is something we worked on during this bye week.”
Thom praised his defense for showing improvement between the first two games. After giving up 25 points in the season-opening loss to Etowah, the Trojans surrendered only 10 to Wheeler and escaped with a win.
Though Thom had never experienced this early a bye week, he said he likes it as a time to reset and improve on mistakes. He also saw it as a time to get players healthy and ready for the upcoming region slate.
“I don’t think there will be any rust,” Thom said. “We scrimmaged last week and gave the kids a few days to get healthy. It allowed time for us to focus and work on getting better.”
Bryson Harrison is having a nice start with 233 yards and a touchdown through the air, and another 154 yards and one score on the ground. He will be a primary focus for Woodstock’s defense, along with top receiver Rickardo Jackson (nine catches, 109 yards, one touchdown).
“He is a dynamic player,” Thom said of Harrison. “There are some things we need to get better, including that completion percentage, but at the same time, it is complementary football. Guys have to catch the ball. He is continuing to make proper reads, and he is tough. People know we are going to run the ball with him because he is such a threat.”
Woodstock (0-3) had a promising start against Cherokee last week and made plays on offense, led by running back Isaiah Peyton’s 12 carries for 63 yards and a touchdown. The Wolverines went into halftime trailing by just seven points.
The defense had moments, with Drew Burmeister and Carson Gray tied for a team-best 10 tackles last week. Gray also had five tackles for loss and one sack.
“Every week, regardless of who we are playing, that is what we are shooting for,” Hoff said. “We always tell our team that all we can ask of them is to execute, focus and play with a lot of energy. Take that game to the fourth quarter and see what happens.”
Outside of Adonis Garcia and Tyler Douthit, many of Woodstock’s key contributors are underclassmen. Burmeister and Peyton are both sophomores, along with starting quarterback Tyler Hoff.
Despite being exceptionally young, Woodstock will look to push Lassiter late.
“We are working hard with that because we are such a young and inexperienced roster,” Troy Hoff said. “Our coaching staff has done a good job of getting guys ready. A lot of times, these guys are seeing things for the first time, and that can be tough on Friday nights.”