For game three the Jaguars traveled to North Paulding Friday and took a surprising 41-30 victory over the Wolfpack, already making this New Manchester’s best football season in the school’s three-year history and showing the rest of the region they are now a force to be reckoned with.
Prior to the game, head coach Rob Cleveland said his players know they typically are the underdogs but, according to him, they “thrive on that” and this game was a test for them.
“I felt the previous teams were well coached, but were one-dimensional on offense. North will be the measuring stick to see how far we’ve come and how far we need to go,” said Cleveland.
Defeating Paulding County High 21-13 on Aug. 23 and taking down Lithia Springs 44-0 on Aug. 30, the Jaguars were off to the same start as they were last year, but Cleveland said this was expected.
“It’s a new season and a new effort. Last year we felt very lucky to be 2-0, but this year we felt like we should be 2-0. We’re bigger, stronger, faster,” said Cleveland.
Winning both games by a larger point margin than last year, Cleveland said it can be attributed to having another year in the weight room.
“A win is a win is a win; the margin doesn’t matter,” he said.
After the first two wins, the top four statistical players on the team were Omahri Jarrett, Tabashi Thomas, Nashon Hester and Tre Wilson.
Jarrett was the leading scorer with 123 rushing yards and four touchdowns – one punt return, one rushing and two receiving. Thomas was the leading rusher for the team with 161 rushing yards. He also led the team in passing, completing 11 for 16 passes for 211 yards.
Hester and Wilson led the team in tackles and consistently provide “great” senior leadership to the line, Cleveland said. Hester had 11 tackles and Wilson had 14.