Points have come fairly easy for Westside through its first five games of the season. The unbeaten Seminoles have crossed the 30-point threshold three times and have not been held below 20 points in a single game.
A stiffer challenge is expected some 40 minutes north of Macon on Friday when eighth-ranked Westside visits Jackson. The Red Devils boast 10 returning starters from a year ago, including a ferocious defensive front in the mind of Seminoles head coach Spoon Risper.
“They are probably one of the best defensive lines we’ll face all year,” Risper said. “We’ve already faced three pretty good D-lines with Harris County, West Laurens and Central, and this defensive front ranks among those teams, as well.”
The Red Devils (3-1) have won three in a row following a season-opening overtime loss to Mary Persons, a team that is 5-0 and ranked fourth in the most recent Georgia Sports Writers Association Class AAAA rankings.
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“It’s not like they lost to the ‘Bad News Bears;’ they lost to a good program,” Risper said.
Friday figures to be a stern test for a Westside offensive line that has played a major role in the Seminoles finding success both through the air and on the ground. The offensive line is paced by Undre Coverson and Kevin Reeves at tackle, Kalvin Adkins and Kevin Lately at the guard positions and Greg Thurman at center.
“Our O-line knows that they’re in for a long and physical game,” Risper said. “They’ll have to be ready.”
Westside’s effort up front has enabled the Seminoles to average 145 yards in a passing attack led by Savion Knowlton, In addition, Donta Pate, Lakelvin Clark and Nygel Woodard have been a major reason for Westside averaging 187 rushing yards per game, even when injuries among that group have forced the other two running backs to step up.
The Seminoles expect to need more of that balance on Friday.
“They know that we can’t just hammer Jackson and ram it down their throat; we’ll have to mix it up,” Risper said. “That front is huge, quick and physical.”
And with the season going past its midpoint, region title implications grow larger each week. A win over Jackson would enable Westside to keep pace with Peach County in the GHSA Region 2-AAA standings. The two teams play Oct. 30.
“This game is huge, Jackson how important it is, and so do we,” Risper said.