Jackson looks for solution to winless slide

Friday, September 27, 2002

The Jackson Indians (0-3) will attempt to avoid their first 0-4 start in 10 years when Graves Co., Ky., (2-2) visits tonight.

Pattonville, ranked fifth in Class 6, handed Jackson a 58-13 loss last week.

But Jackson coach Carl Gross came away with more positives from the school's most lopsided loss in nearly 20 years than he did from closer setbacks to Sikeston and Rockwood Summit.

"We were all embarrassed when you get beat by that kind of score, but we know we made some strides and we've all decided to keep working and keep plugging away and get better every week," Gross said. " Effort-wise it was by far our best game."

Pattonville repeatedly burned the Indians with their speed, but Jackson muscled out over 200 yards of rushing.

Senior running back Stuart McIntosh gave the Indians a boost by returning from an opening-week shoulder injury and sophomore Jason Meystedt continued to excel. The pair combined for 171 yards on 32 carries against Pattonville.

The Indians also found success by returning 260-pound fullback Justin Rollet to offensive guard, a position he played last year. Rollet did not have a carry in the Indians' first two games.

Graves County (2-2) has lost its last two games and has not defeated Jackson in three previous meetings.

"The kind of program they have, they're going to be looking for a win," Graves County coach Anthony Hatchell. "I know coach Gross is going to have them ready."

Sophomore Donnie Thacker (6-3, 210) leads a balanced Graves County offense. John Kyle Allred and Zack Clapp split the running duties and Ron Towery, Nathan Parchman and Cole Duncan are Thacker's top receivers.

"Graves County is probably more physical on the line of scrimmage than Pattonville, but not nearly as fast," Gross said. "And we match up better with that."

The Indians will be looking to win the turnover battle for the first time this season.

"We're right there on the verge," Gross said. "The big thing is we need someone to come in and exorcise the demons out and maybe buy a rabbit's foot. We need a couple good breaks and some things to encourage us and I think we'll be fine."

jbreer@semissourian.com

335-6611, extension 124

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