By Les Dixon for the Times-Tribune
It’s deja vu time for Jerry Herron’s Williamsburg Yellow Jackets.
For the second time in three weeks, the Yellow Jackets will be facing off against familiar foe Pineville.
But this time around, there is more at stake.
Herron’s squad will face-off against the visiting Mountain Lions with a region championship game appearance on the line.
If Williamsburg’s last game against Pineville was any indication of things to come, then the Yellow Jackets will be playing in the region title game for the third straight year.
Williamsburg is riding an eight-game win streak after starting the season 2-2, including a 47-0 win over the Mountain Lions just two weeks ago.
The Yellow Jackets scored early and often against the outmatched Pineville squad, and actually led 47-0 at halftime before Herron decided to put the reserves in during the second half.
Even though his team has beaten the Mountain Lions with ease on two different occasions this season — the other came during an SEKC scrimmage win in Middlesboro, Herron said his team isn’t overlooking Bart Elam’s squad.
“This is going to be a hard game,” he admitted. “It makes things a whole lot harder on the kids facing a team for a third time after you have beaten them twice. Kids are going to be kids, and they know they’ve had success against them twice already and our job as coaches is to continue to keep them focused. Pineville is going to work hard and you can count on coach (Bart) Elam having them ready to play.
“Everything clicked when we played them the last time, but this is a different week and game,” Herron added. “The big obstacle for us is to continue to do what we have been doing while remaining focused. That's the biggest issue — being overconfident. Our kids are working hard, and they're being professional about everything, so I believe we’ll be OK.”
If the past six games are any indication, it’s going to be hard to stop Williamsburg. The Yellow Jackets have recorded four shut outs during the stretch, including the past three, and have outscored their opponents 311-33 during the six-game stretch.
“We’re playing well right now, but we know we can’t be too relaxed,” Herron said. “We’ve got to come into this game and take what Pineville gives us.”
Williamsburg rolled up 388 total yards on offense during its last meeting with Pineville, as Dalton Sizemore completed 10-of-17 pass attempts for 200 yards and four touchdowns while Patrick Jefferson scored twice carrying the ball while finishing the game with 79 rushing yards.
The Mountain Lion secondary had no answer for the Yellow Jackets’ wide receiving duo of Skyler Griffith and Corey Shelton. Shelton had five catches for 101 yards and one touchdown while Griffith finished with four receptions, 90 receiving yards and three touchdowns.
“We need to do what we’ve done all year, and that is to do execute on offense and exploit what they give us,” Herron said. “Our defense has played great. We've got our kids running to the ball and attacking. We continue to do that, I believe we’re going to be successful.
“Like I said, anything can happen, but if we continue to work hard, I like our chances,” he added. “Our kids know what’s at stake, they just need to go out there and take care of business.”