It’s not everyday you get to see one of the top senior quarterbacks on the football field. It’s even more rare when both teams have one.
But that’s the case when Southside and Heritage meet Friday night at Rowland Stadium in Fort Smith.
The War Eagles’ Josh Qualls threw for 2,400 yards and 26 scores last season while the Rebels have Issac Jackson, who accounted for 2,400 yards of total offense in 2012 along with 24 touchdowns.
Heritage got the better of the two last season as they stole a 20-19 decision at home last season, and that gives this year’s squad plenty of confidence.
“We played them last year,” Heritage junior Eric Grom said of Jackson. “We beat them. He gave us a fight but we`ll do the same as last year and finish the job off.”
“Had our defense pretty good but we have seven, eight returning starters on defense this year,” Heritage senior Jeremy Spickes added. “I think our defense will be enough to handle him them this Friday.”
Southside will have to slow down a War Eagles offense that scored 34 points or more seven times last season.
“He has speed. He has a good arm and we just have to keep him contained and let our linebackers do the job,” Southside senior Malik Jackson said of Qualls.
“He makes them go and he`s played really well against us the last two years and he`s a guy that`s an operator,” Southside coach Jeff Williams said. “He can beat you with his feet. He can beat you throwing the football. He`s very accurate, got some great receivers and they execute extremely well.”
Most eyes will be on Jackson when the Rebels have the football but Heritage coach Perry Escalante knows Southside has more than weapon.
“Southside always causes a lot of problems for everybody,” Escalante said. “They are always very well coached, have great athletes, always very big, very physical. They`ve got a really good quarterback, the Jackson kid is very, very good.”