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The Claxton Tigers will roll into Millen tonight to face the Jenkins County Eagles at 7:30 p.m. Coming in fresh off a 27-14 win over Calvary Day, the Tigers (1-3-1) have gotten rid of the 13-game winless streak that had become a downer in the early goings.
    "I think it was just a pick-me-up," said Claxton coach Allen Cartwright. "I think the kids felt like a weight had just been lifted off their shoulders."
    After winning their first game of the 2005 season, the Tigers lost their next nine and then the first three of this season, plus a tie on Nov. 23 with East Laurens.
    Much of the credit for the victory goes to the CHS offense, which has consistently moved the ball all year, but until recently hadn't learned how to control turning the ball over in crucial situations.
    The power running of fullback Delvin Diggs and the speed of wingback Adrian Brewton is the catalyst of the Tigers' option offense.
    On the defensive side of the ball, Cartwright has been impressed with the way his young group is maturing.
    "They're coming around," he said. "I think they're feeling less indecisive and they really came to life in the second half (against Calvary Day)."
    The Eagles of Jenkins seem to be going in the opposite direction. After posting a win in Week 1, JCHS (1-5) hasn't found the win column since. To add insult to injury, well, the Eagles are injured.
    Tailbacks Patrick Moody (groin) and Quentin Jenkins (ankle) will be out, and fullback Bob Hoke (ankle) is questionable for tonight's game. Moody has eclipsed the 800-yard mark in rushing yards already this season.
    Jenkins is coming off a 54-0 loss to the state's No. 1 team in Class A, Emanuel County Institute. JCHS turned the ball over seven times in that game, a problem which Conley said the Eagles hadn't had a problem with all year, and a problem he didn't foresee continuing down the road.
    On the defensive side of the ball, Jenkins is focused on trying to stop Claxton's productive running game.
    "It's something we've struggled with all year," said head coach Chuck Conley, on stopping the ground attack. "We've been trying a variety of things on defense and so far none of them have been super successful."
    The Eagles changed from a 50-front read defense to a 3-5 with plenty of blitzes to put pressure on opposing offenses. But an undersized defensive line has made things even more difficult in keeping opponents out of the endzone.
    "Offensively, (Jenkins' defense) is hard to prepare for," said Cartwright. "They give a bunch of different looks and have lots of skill. On defense, we have to eliminate the big play, because Jenkins has the skill players to score on any play."