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The Tullahoma High School freshman football team struggled in its 2012 debut, falling 29-0 to Ninth Grade Academy in the 19th annual Lion Club Jamboree Saturday night in Fayetteville.
Fortunately for the Wildcats, they’re able to hit the reset button and put the preseason contest behind them. Tullahoma’s frosh open the regular season Thursday night at home against Giles County.
Tullahoma freshman coach Maurice Shaw said he wasn’t putting too much stock into Saturday’s jamboree. Instead, he’s more focused on getting his team prepared for the long haul of an eight-game season.
“(Ninth Grade Academy) is a good football team, definitely,” said Shaw. “Hopefully we can overcome this and correct some things that we did wrong so we can go forward and have a good season. We just have to continue to execute our game plan offensively, defensively and on special teams.
“We need to tie up all the loose ends that we have where we can play a competitive ball game. That’s all we ask of them right now … be competitive. We don’t want them to think that it’s do or die right now. It’s just a jamboree. What we want to do is get better week to week.”
In Fayetteville on Saturday, Ninth Grade Academy opened the scoring when Eli Eason hit Logan Wheat for a touchdown from 29 yards out. Wheat booted the PAT to put the Falcons ahead 7-0 at the 7:11 mark of the first quarter.
The score came after a Tullahoma fumble.
With six minutes left in the first quarter, August Hill added an 18-yard touchdown run. Wheat’s PAT gave NGA a 14-0 lead at the end of the first quarter.
Ninth Grade Academy scored on a returned punt early in the second quarter.
Following a Tullahoma fumble at the 28-yard line, the Falcons moved the ball down to the 1. From there, Eason scored to give NGA its fourth touchdown of the night.
Thursday’s game against Giles County is set for a 7 p.m. kickoff. It’s one of four home games for the Wildcats. Tullahoma doesn’t have back-to-back home games this season.
The Cats travel to Fayetteville City on Aug. 23 and will be off on Aug. 30. Columbia visits on Sept. 6. Tullahoma will play at rival Coffee County Central on Sept. 13 and will have a rematch with Ninth Grade Academy on Sept. 27 in Fayetteville.
THS will close out September with a home game against Warren County. After another bye week, Tullahoma plays at Franklin County on Oct. 11. The Wildcats will wrap up the regular season at home as Shelbyville Central visits Wilkins Stadium.
By ROBERT HOLMAN, Sports Editor (firstname.lastname@example.org)