Satsuma opened the season with a win over 4A B.C. Rain 20-6. They took their first region contest with a victory over Robertsdale 22-15.
"In the Robertsdale game we have a chance to go up 21-0 early in second quarter, but fumbled at the two-yard line," Justin Thomas said. "We later fumbled in the 4th quarter at the one-yard line."
"Our offense and defense played really well in that game, but turnovers allowed Robertsdale to stay in the game. We have to learn to finish."
The next two weeks have not been so kind, losing to Daphne (56-6) and Pensacola (49-19).
"Against Daphne, we had several mental breakdowns on both sides of the football. Daphne is a good football team. We can't afford to lose focus and make mental mistakes against a good football team like Daphne," Thomas explained.
"I think our kids lost focus early on in that ball game due to the fact of who we were playing. They seemed a little intimidated, and that is what we are trying to change here at Satsuma."
"Pensacola was another story. We had a great week of preparation. Our kids seemed to learn from their mistakes after watching the Daphne film. We knew it was going to be a challenge to go over to Pensacola and beat a good football team with us having five starters out with injury or disciplinary issues."
"We had a really good offensive game plan for the Pensacola game. We finished with 386 yards of total offense. We came out of the gate running the football with Greg Brown."
"He had an outstanding game for us. We put a lot on his shoulders this week because Daniel Manning, our other running back, is out for a few weeks with a shoulder injury in which he obtained in the Robertsdale game."
"Greg Brown would of had 16 rushes for 153 yards in the first half, but there was a big play called back late in the first half where Brown broke a run for 70 yards. The play was called back on a controversial holding call. We would of extended our lead on Pensacola by 14 at the time."
"On the next play, after the holding call, we fumbled the football. Pensacola scored four plays later. That was a 14 point swing in the game. That one play really got to our football players. They have to learn to overcome adversity and continue to fight."
"Greg Brown sustained a mild concussion in the second half ending his night. He finished with 18 carries for 105 yards and a touchdown and had two catches for 22 yards."
J.T. Baxter was 13-of-19 for 254 yards and a touchdown. Steven Lumpkin had six catches for 160 yards and a touchdown. Our defense has been struggling due to injury."
Satsuma takes on 5A Citronelle this week, a good team who has lost by a total of 23 points in four games.
"Citronelle runs the football very well," Thomas said. "They transitioned to the Wing-T this year, and they run it well."
"As a defense, we have to play flawless to be able to stop them. They only run a few plays, but they use multiple formations hoping to out flank you. When they find your weakness, they take advantage of it."
"They have a really good fullback who is tough to tackle and great speed at the wing backs. On defense, they have two tackles that are really good. Both are big and physical."
"I think that is the strength of there defense. We have a tremendous challenge ahead of us this Friday night. Satsuma and Citronelle has always been a big rivalry game."
Satsuma is not without injuries as Thomas reported, "Daniel Manning(RB/WR/QB/DB)--sprained AC joint in shoulder. Out a minimum three weeks. Greg Brown(RB/DB)--sore hamstring/mild concussion. Day-to-day. Lankston Stallworth(DB)--sprained ankle. Day-to-day. We get a couple kids back from injury this week."
ScoutSouth.com is monitering the play of several players this season.
Greg Brown: "He is a really good athlete for us. We ask him to do a lot by playing both ways. This past week we limited his defensive play to get more out of him on offense, and he really put on a show. He is averaging almost seven yards a carry."
Jamian Spear: "Jamian is very raw. He really hasn't played much football up to this point. He gets by with having great athletic ability. He is 6-3, 270 and runs a 4.8 forty. He continues to work on his technique. Pensacola ran away from him the entire night."
Daniel Manning: "Daniel started out really good this season playing both running back/wide receiver and cornerback for us. He is our best corner, but he is also our fastest player on offense. When he touches the football, look out. He plays extremely hard. He hurt his shoulder early in the Robertsdale game which has limited what he can do. He is out a few more weeks."
J.T. Baxter: "J.T. is a quality quarterback. He stands 6-3, 175. He has thrown for over 150 yards in each of our three games. He has good command of the offense. He was an I-formation quarterback last year, so he has made a good transition to our spread offense this year. He makes good decisions with the football. He has yet to throw an interception. Friday night against Pensacola, J.T. was 13-of-19 for 254 yards."
Devin Crawford: "Devin Crawford is 6-0, 300. He is a physical run blocker. When he puts his hands on you he finishes the deal. He is one of my better pass protectors. He needs to play the same way on every snap."
Allen Boasten: "Allen is 6-1, 175. He is our biggest play maker at wide receiver. Allen is a guy that can go up and get the football. He has had to play both ways for us the last couple of weeks to fill the shoes of injured Daniel Manning. Our game plan in the Daphne game was to get the ball to him. He made a couple great catches, but they doubled him most of the night. He had great game against Robertsdale with two touchdowns, both over 30 yards."
Clay Squires: "Clay is 6-2, 265. He is my most athletic offensive lineman. I have him at left tackle to protect J.T's blind side. He gave up his first sack Friday night late in the fourth quarter. He is my back up center, where I think his natural position will be in college."
Donald Bush: "Outstanding football player. He stands 5-9, 170. He runs a 4.5 forty. He is going to be a quality corner. He gets better every day. He is just learning to play the position. Donald's confidence is growing every day. He is going to be a player."
Jonathan Parnell: "Jonathan is 6-3, 275. He has done more as a sophomore than any other player I have coached. He has been a starter from day one. He does everything he is coached to do. He studies the game and improves each day. He is probably my most consistent offensive lineman. I can't wait to see how good he will be in the future. This kid has only played one year, freshman football, and already looks like a veteran. This kid is one to keep an eye on."
An twain Brunei: "An twain is 6-1, 280. He plays on the defensive line. He is still learning how to play defensive line. He already has the size and ability. He went to the AB camp this summer, and they really liked him. He is another sophomore who is getting better every day."
We know teams take one game at a time, but after this week the Gators go on the road to meet their toughest opponent, McGill-Toolen, a region game.
"We can't afford to look ahead," Thomas said. "This week is more about us than anything. We are fortunate to have had the injury bug hit us during two non-region weeks. We have to get healthy and limit our mistakes in order to make a run at the playoffs."
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