A-J set to welcome Nashville this week
The Anna-Jonesboro Community High School football team begins Southern Illinois River-to-River Conference Mississippi Division play at home against Nashville Friday.
Game time is set for 7 p.m. The game will be aired on WIBH radio in Anna.
Friday night’s matchup will also be the White Out game to benefit the Muscular Dystrophy Association.
The Hornets enter the game 2-1 after posting a 14-7 win over Wesclin last weekend.
The Wildcats are 3-0 after a 34-7 win over Massac County.
The teams have a common opponent in Massac County, which defeated Nashville 14-13 in week number two of the season.
A-J coach Brett Detering anticipates a new look for the Hornets this season.
“They are a different Nashville team than we’ve been used to,” Detering said. “They are not nearly as big as they have been.”
With the Hornets’ size down this season, instead of a powerful running attack behind a big line they’ve switched to a passing attack.
“They rely on a passing game,” said Detering, who has seen the team on film.
Senior quarterback Andrew Kash, 6-0, 155-pounds, leads the passing game.
In Nashville’s win over Wesclin, he was 7 of 11 passing for 108 yards with two interceptions. He also rushed for 29 yards in 9 carries.
Senior Ethan Reid, 6-1, 175 pounds, led the receivers with four receptions for 51 yards. Junior Cameron Parker, 6-3, 165 pounds, had 3 receptions for 42 yards. Reid rushed for 27 yards in 7 carries.
The offensive line is built around Junior Kyler Klingenberg, 6-1, 240 pounds.
Nashville's defensive standouts are Reed, sophomore Dylan Kwiakowski, 6-2, 250 pounds, and senior Neil Kachuba, 6-0, 140 pounds.
Detering remembers last year’s game between A-J and Nashville well, when the score was knotted 21-21 headed into the 4th quarter. The Hornets, who held on to win the game 35-28, went on to advance to the semifinals in the Class 2A playoffs last season.
The Wildcats, who were knocked out of a playoff berth after a 15-year run last season, finished the conference race with a 1-4 mark.
Detering sees a key to winning the game and logging the first league win.
“We have to take care of the ball against them,” Detering said. “I certainly think there is an advantage playing at home with a big crowd.”