Vernon set to open up the playoffs at home Friday

There are six area high school football teams still practicing this week, still working towards a
possible state championship.

Vernon prepares for season opener Friday at Crestview

One of them is the Vernon Yellowjackets who are looking ahead to a round two state playoff game, or 1A regional semifinal, Friday night at home against Northview. Vernon head coach Gerald Tranquille and his Jackets going into that match up with a 7-3 record, their opponent Northview comes east at 8-2.

The Chiefs coming off a 41-14 win over Jay in their first round game. Vernon, as one of the higher seeds in 1A, getting a bye last week, and Monday I asked coach Tranquille how he felt about getting that extra time off?

"You know we started off so well and then we hit a few snags and road bumps." coach Tranquille told me. "And then we got things turned around and started to play well again. So you had a little momentum going. And you kind of worry with the break coming if it's going to kill your momentum or whatever. But I felt like for us we needed a break, we needed the chance to kind of step away, get refreshed, energized. We had a couple guys banged up, like I'm sure everybody does this time of year. So it was nice to kind of get away, get the guys a couple of days and break up the monotony. And I really think it paid off. You know we took Monday off and practiced Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday. And was able to kind of slow down a little bit and work on us. And work on some things that the guys didn't quite understand. And get some kinks worked out. So I think for us, it worked out better having the bye week."

As for Northview, coming off a 41-14 win over Jay, well coach Tranquille says he's taken notice of a few things in particular when watching film of the Chiefs.

"They're big, they've got some skill guys that can run. Their fullback, on film he looks like he's about 6-1, 220. And it takes about two or three guys to bring him down. And they're another traditional team that has always been in the upper echelon of this area. So to beat them you've got to play four quarters. And you've got to play physical and you can't beat yourself. So I mean it's a great challenge for us."

That game at Vernon Friday, 7:30 kickoff. We will have the highlights in our late news Friday night.