HOPSPTS-10-21-21 HOPTOWN FB-PHOTO1

Hopkinsville will lock up the second seed in Class 4A District 1 on Friday with a win against Hopkins County Central.

Even off the heels of a blowout win over Calloway County, the Hopkinsville Tigers are still looking to get better.

“There are always things you can improve on,” Tigers head coach Craig Clayton said. “Overall it’s all pretty good right now. We’ve kind of settled out what guys will play where.”

Hoptown dismantled the Lakers last week at the Stadium of Champions, winning the game in all three phases en route to a 59-3 victory last week.

Clayton said fresh off the bye week, his team began to hit their stride after coming back from their break. Friday brings a date with Hiopkins Central.

“I think we’re kind of starting to hit our stride and play with more confidence,” Clayton said. “I think we’re playing looser. Defense has been good all year and I think letting Trey Jefferson carry the ball has opened the offense up for us. It should slow down the pass rush a little bit too.

“We’re focused on closing out Hopkins Central, securing that first home playoff game and getting ready for the playoffs. We always aim to be playing our best at the end of the year and I think we’re on target now.”

Offensively, last week’s game was the best the Tigers look all year. Quarterback Trey Jefferson is responsible for a good bit of that. Not only has Jefferson been efficient in the passing game but he has also developed as a runner as well, rushing for a season-high 103 yards and two scores in the win.

Clayton said his quarterback’s progression as a runner has definitely helped his team progress offensively.

“He was losing about 60 a game early because he was choosing to run on passes — now it’s more designed runs,” Clayton said. “He has that capability. I think now he’s more certain about his running. A lot of times when he scrambled around with more lateral running, now he’s more downhill with it. I was impressed with his running the other night.”

The defense has been Hoptown’s bread and butter this year. Unless the team was named Bowling Green, points have been hard to come by.

Hopkins Central does bring a new look to the Tigers’ defense as Adrian Stringer isn’t afraid to take the top off of a defense with his arm.

The Storm are fearless with Stringer throwing the ball. But despite that, Clayton is confident in his defense to continue to play as well as it has all year long.

“They’re going to complete some passes, that’s just part of it,” he said. “Main thing is not giving them big plays and make them drive the football. I think we’ll get some interceptions. I think it’s hard for teams to throw it 30 or 40 times a game and win. You have to be able to run the ball and control the tempo. We probably aren’t a great matchup for them — but we still have to go there and play the game.”

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