Jacksonville head coach Rick Russell was very stoic this week about his team’s 57-33 win over the McClellan Lions on Friday.
Up 23-6 at halftime, the Red Devils found a new spark when quarterback Aaron Smith returned from a leg injury he sustained against Maumelle.
The night statistically belonged to Kevin Richardson who had a combined 250 yards of total offense.
Reggie Barnes who got the starting nod at quarterback instead of Smith threw for a pair of touchdowns in the second half.
Russell’s offense has come into it’s own since it’s installation in the offseason.
“We’ve gotten a lot better,” Russell said.
The Devils have athletes that can and have stepped in when needed with Barnes being a prime example.
But Russell said his defense must play better this week against rival Sylvan Hills.
“It’s a gigantic game,” said Russell. “They are very much a come from behind team. They did it against Newport and won. They did it against Mills and won.”
Russell said it’s critical that his team put together as complete of a performance as possible.
“We’ve got to play a full 48 minutes,” Russell said. “We’ve got to play complete football, assignment football.”
Week six could prove to be what separates the conference contenders from the pretenders.
— Bruce Guthrie