Overhills goes for its seventh straight football win as the Jaguars (8-3) host Knightdale (6-5) at 7:30 tonight.
The Jaguars were in the midst of a three-game losing streak when coach Mark Kirk asked principal Steve Matthews to be the speaker at the pregame meal before Overhills went for the Richards Trophy for the county title at Triton on Sept. 29.
Matthews asked if he could speak on winning and losing cultures.
Matthews, a former athletic director at Triton, must have delivered an effective message. The Jaguars topped Triton 17-7 and have won every game since.
Kirk said establishing the line of scrimmage will be a key tonight.
The second-year Jaguars coach has concerns because Harnett County is out for Veterans Day and his team won’t have the structure of a school day.
He has lined up a divinity student from Campbell to speak at the pregame meal.
Matthews will be involved. The Overhills principal will be grilling steaks for the occasion.
The Jaguars have some speed with backs Trevor Inninss and Latrell Lloyd that will challenge the Knights.
Autavion Bell has emerged in the quarterback competition with Zion Gilliam that lasted into the season to give Overhills an effective passing dimension.
Both teams line up in a 4-2-5 defensively, according to Kirk, although there are some schematic differences. The Jaguars are more of a threat in the vertical passing game.
Overhills has been building its football culture game-bygame in recent weeks and can take another step tonight.
— Al Myatt
Overhills football coach Mark Kirk (left) and high school principal Steve Matthews are shown with a framed award for the Richards Trophy for 2017.The Jaguars also won the Harnett County title in 2014 and 2015.
Daily Record Photo/Al Myatt
Will Mabry is a playmaker for Overhills, which hosts Knightdale at 7:30 tonight.
Daily Record Photo/John Lucas