OCILLA -- With the Irwin County Indians having an off night on the opening day of the season, the team's coaching staff had the opportunity to be fans last Friday night.

But, that was not necessarily a good thing, according to Jute Wilson. Entering his fifth season as Irwin head coach, Wilson and his team have been preparing for the Turner County Rebels this week. Turner fell, 21-8, last week at Wilcox County.

"With an off week to begin the year, the coaches went around to see teams on our schedule. The coaches we had at the Turner game said this may not be the time to play them," Wilson said.

He added, "You would hate to judge them by a loss against Wilcox. From what our coaches told us, Wilcox is a very good football team."

While the off week made the Irwin coaching staff wary of the Rebels, it did have benefits for the Indians.

"We were able to get some guys healthy. We haven't even played a game yet, but we had a lot of injured players from the two scrimmages," said Wilson.

"I hope the weather will begin to get cooler, so the week off should also help us in the long run. We have a lot of players going both ways, so the later in the season that we can begin, the better," the coach added.

Irwin will be led by Justin Anderson. The 6-foot-5, 330 pound Anderson has been rated as one of the top linemen in the nation and has already verbally committed to the University of Georgia.

Anderson will be blocking for an experienced backfield featuring seniors Chavarious Carlton and P.J. Florence.

But, even with what should be a strong running game, Wilson feels like Turner will be a tough test.

"With their returning starters and their great coaching staff, we are preparing for a strong team," the Irwin coach stated.

He added, "They were defeated by Fitzgerald in a scrimmage and by Wilcox last week. But, Fitzgerald is probably as good a team as you will see in Class AA and like I said our coaches feel like Wilcox is a very good team, as well."

The game will be at 7:30 p.m. at Alan Hobby Field in Ashburn.

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