Mount Tabor, Reagan JV football teams ready to rumble

Mount Tabor, Reagan JV football teams ready to rumble
August 20
00:00 2015

In above photo: Mount Tabor wide receiver Qumar Price protects the football after making a catch against West Stokes. (Photo by Craig T. Greenlee)

Mount Tabor and Reagan needed a game to complete their junior varsity football schedule, so they have agreed to play each other twice this year.

These two rivals face-off today (Aug. 20) in the season opener for both teams. Kickoff is set for 6 p.m. on the Spartans’ home field. They will play each other again in five weeks (Sept. 24) at Reagan.

Today’s match-up promises to produce its share of fireworks. Mount Tabor ran the table last year to finish undefeated at 10-0. All during the preseason, coach Tiesuan Brown has placed heavy emphasis on being mentally ready to compete.

“Everybody is going to be looking for payback when they play us,” he said. “So, we have to be ready. We know we’re going to get every team’s best effort in every game we play.”

The Spartans have a big-play offense spearheaded by quarterback Thomas Brabham. The Legrande brothers – De’Vante and Je’Vante – will get their share of carries as runners. Both have the speed to score from anywhere on the field.

Defensively, Mount Tabor’s front line is the strength. Tim Pittman, Deanthony Black and Timar Jackson performed well in scrimmages during last week’s NewBridge Bank Invitational Jamboree. Theon Joe and Cameron Payne have the potential to emerge as a formidable tandem at linebacker.

“I like where we are right now,” said Brown. “We have a lot of sophomores who were back-ups last season. Now it’s their turn and they’re ready to go. We’re looking to keep our winning streak going.”

If the preseason is any indication, this could be an explosive season for Reagan’s offense. However, it’s still anyone’s guess as to who will start at quarterback. Entering the final week of the preseason, Coach Willie Quick had not made a final decision between Aaron Dorer and Ryan Ayers.

Even though the QB situation hadn’t been settled yet, there’s no question about Grant Carter’s status as the Raiders’ top player.  Carter is a run-stuffer at linebacker. Coming out of the backfield, he runs with power, leverage and break-away speed.

Carter isn’t the Raiders’ sole option on offense. Wide receiver Nick Cole does his best work after the catch. Because of his ability to change directions and accelerate quickly, Cole creates problems, especially when he gets single coverage.

“I’m confident in our ability to move the ball and put up points,” said Quick. “This group loves to compete. But there are times when we don’t keep our intensity level as high as it needs to be.”

This season could have its high and low moments for a Reagan team (6-3-1 last season) that features a large number of athletes who have no prior high school playing experience. For that reason, Quick has decided to avoid adding new wrinkles that might hamper the growth of a group that’s young and untested.

“We’ll keep everything simple and do all we can to be fundamentally sound,” he said. “Offensively, it’s about our linemen staying with their blocks. On defense, we have to continue to get better at getting off blocks so we can make the plays we need to make.”

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Craig Greenlee

Craig Greenlee

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