Countdown to Kickoff: Jasper

The Wildcats return to the SIAC fresh off their Big 8 title run.

Posted: Aug 12, 2020 7:02 PM
Updated: Aug 12, 2020 10:20 PM

When Jasper defeated Mt. Vernon in the final regular season game of 2019, the Wildcats claimed the final Big 8 title outright.

"Jasper has had a great tradition and as we looked into that start of last year, we looked into as a group," said Jasper head coach Tony Lewis. "We wanted to send our seniors out with a Big 8 championship and we were fortunate enough to get on a run in the middle of the year and carry that goal out.

"It felt great," said Jasper Senior Quade Popp. "Going into the season that was a big goal for us as a team. We practiced everyday like it was going to be that game."

"It just shows how dominant Jasper has been in the Big 8 conference over the past years," said Jasper Senior Blake Mann. "It was awesome just to win the last Big 8, and be the final champs."

Jasper won 6 games last year, while scoring no less than 29 points in those games, and they will continue to rely on their ground game.

"Everyone had a factor with the line, the backs, the quarterback making his reads.. So, pretty much the same stuff just getting the little things down with every guy," said Jasper Senior Lance Dawkins.

"It's going to be really important this year," said Jasper Senior Ross Peter. "It starts up front with our offensive line and then it moves in the backfield with our backs and quarterback. People making reads and doing the small things right."

However, the Wildcats know that if they want to be contenders in the SIAC, they must tighten up on defense.

"We need to be physical at all positions," said Lewis. "We need to get off blocks as a defensive lineman, the linebacker and db's. We're working on striking and snagging guys getting off blocks, being physical, recognition, lining up correctly, your alignment, knowing your assignment and then recognition as the play unfolds, 'what is my job.'

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