By Les Dixon
The Williamsburg Yellow Jackets will be facing a familiar foe Friday during first round action of the Class A playoffs.
For the second year in a row, Jenkins will be paying a visit to Rose-Stanfill Stadium and Williamsburg is hoping to get the same results it got in 2011 — a win.
The Yellow Jackets (9-1) cruised to an easy 40-0 win over the Cavaliers last season, which included seeing the Yellow Jackets total 290 passing yards while then-freshman Skyler Griffith on the receiving end of six receptions, 179 yards receiving and two touchdowns.
Each team will enter Friday’s game going in opposite directions with the Yellow Jackets hoping to extend their five-game win streak while Jenkins looking to snap a five-game losing skid.
“They were on fire the beginning of the season, but since then they’ve had a few kids go down and their season changed a bit,” Williamsburg coach Jerry Herron said. “They play very hard, but now they are down to around 19 players.”
The Cavaliers opened the season in grand fashion, winning four of their first five games by defeating Phelps (43-6), Allen Central (38-16), Paintsville (28-22) and Jackson County (21-0). But since their win against the Generals on Sept. 21, things have gone downhill for Eric Ratliff’s squad.
They’ve been shut out twice during their five-game skid while only averaging 10 points a game on offense during the stretch. Defensively, Jenkins has struggled as well, allowing 46 points per game during the five-game skid.
“We’re not going to overlook them,” Herron said. “They do a lot of good things and our guys know this is a new season. You lose and you go home and we don’t want to be cleaning our lockers out Monday.
“Nothing is a lock once post-season play begins,” he added. “We know that anything can happen in the playoffs.”
Herron said one of the keys of the game is trying to jump out on Jenkins early and the Yellow Jackets have the weapons to do just that.
Williamsburg is led by quarterback Dalton Sizemore, who has completed 162-of-269 pass attempts for 2,435 yards and 32 touchdowns. He also leads the team with 462 rushing yards and five touchdowns while teammate Jefferson Patrick isn’t far behind with 381 yards on the ground and five scores.
Sizemore’s main passing targets are Corey Shelton and Griffith. Shelton has 53 pass receptions for 939 yards and 18 touchdowns while Griffith has 47 receptions for 900 yards and 11 touchdowns.
“We’ve got to take what they give us,” Herron said. “We know they’re going to blitz us and we’re going to be able to handle what they throw at us. They’re going to show us different sets and we can’t get confused.”
Herron is also excited that he will have all of his players healthy to begin the playoffs.
“This will be the first time since the Harlan game (Week Two),” he said. “It’s going to be nice to get everyone back. I know we’re ready to play. The kids are excited and we’re excited to be able to play at home. We just need to be ready to play.”