Yellow Jackets Outlast Eagles in Defensive Battle, 16-7
Sat. August 25, 2012 at 12:33 a.m. | By Polk Preps Staff
By MIKE COBB
BARTOW | Bartow and George Jenkins both showed promise on defense Friday night in their preseason classic at Bartow's Veterans Stadium. Both offenses, however, showed they still need work.
Bartow did manage one explosive play plus another scoring drive and defeated Jenkins 16-7.
After being limited to 28 yards in the first half by Jenkins' defense and trailing 7-3, Michael Walker's 40-yard run with 4:59 left in the third quarter and quarterback Dimitri Leverett capped a 17-play, 80-yard drive with a 17-yard touchdown run to push the lead to 16-7 with 5:52 left in the game.
"Our defense played exceptionally well, they made some phenomenal plays," Bartow coach Brett Biggs said after the game. "Our offense is still a work in progress. We return nine starters on defense. On offense, we only have two."
One of those is Leverett, who was sacked seven times for minus-43 yards by the Jenkins defense, which spent a good portion of the night blitzing.
"Our defense played fundamentally sound," said Eagles first-year head coach Eric Gallon. "We put pressure (on the quarterback), but we want to be able to do it with just our front four."
Jenkins, hoping to rebound from an 0-10 season a year ago, played without running back Trent Rains and defensive end Tanner Reeves, who are nursing minor injuries and were held out as a precaution.
The Eagles held Bartow to just three first downs for the first 2½ quarters before the Jackets took advantage of a short Jenkins punt from deep in its own territory to set up Walker's touchdown run.
Bartow started at its own 40 and after no gain on first down, Walker broke free for the go-ahead score for the Jackets.
"I give the credit to the offensive line," said Walker, who finished the night with 82 yards on 10 carries, said. "We had to adjust to (Jenkins') different looks on defense. We made the adjustments, and the play worked."
For the night, Bartow finished with 153 yards of offense.
Jenkins had 75 of its 142 total yards on a 90-yard scoring drive (15 yards came on a Bartow facemask penalty) in the second quarter that ended with Dequan Green's 13-yard touchdown run.
"Our kids just dove in and started grinding (on the drive)," Gallon said. "They started to figure it out and got some good blocks."
Bartow opens the regular season at home next week against Mulberry. George Jenkins is at home against Lake Gibson.
GEORGE JENKINS 0 7 0 0 — 7
BARTOW 3 0 7 6 — 16
B — Alex Montes 35 field goal, 6:57
GJ — Dequan Green 13 run (Chandler Jones kick), 3:38
B — Michael Walker 40 run (Alex Montes kick), 4:59
B — Dimitri Leverett 17 run (run failed), 5:52