Jellico High School’s football team scored more points Friday night than it did in the first two games combined.
The result was a 33-14 home victory over The King’s Academy that gave the Blue Devils (1-2 overall) their first triumph of the season.
Jellico’s last win came in October 2009 against District 4 rival Oakdale.
The Lions (0-3 overall) are still searching for their first victory this year.
“Maybe (our win) will translate into a competitive game this week with Sunbright,” said longtime Blue Devils coach Danny Oakes.
“Maybe we can focus a little better in practice this week.”
Devin Oakes, senior quarterback and son of the coach, had a hand in four of Jellico’s five touchdowns. He ran for two scores and passed for two.
The Blue Devils got on the scoreboard first when Oakes bulled over from the 4-yard line with 7:59 left in the opening quarter. Jellico missed an extra point kick.
TKA junior David Lamon tied the game, 6-6, on a 1-yard TD run with 4:48 to go. The Lions also missed their first PAT.
On the final play of the first quarter, Jellico recovered a fumble on the Lions’ 30-yard line to set up a go-ahead touchdown. Oakes capped the drive with a 4-yard TD run at the 10:43 mark of the second quarter.
Gabe Mitchell’s PAT kick made it 13-6 in favor of the Blue Devils.
Jellico capitalized on another Lions miscue after recovering a fumble on the kickoff. On the following play, Oakes tossed a pass to Mitchell, who was waiting in the right flat. Mitchell then bolted 20 yards to pay dirt. The PAT kick hit the left upright and bounced harmlessly away.
The Blue Devils had the ball on the Lions’ 6-yard line with around two minutes left but failed to score. Jellico took a 19-6 lead to the locker room at halftime.
Speedster Craig Payne returned the second half kickoff 80 yards for a Blue Devils touchdown. Mitchell’s PAT made it 26-6.
Later in the third quarter, Oakes hit Mitchell on a pass that went for a 56-yard TD. Nathan Overton threw a key block near the goal line that allowed Mitchell to score untouched. Mitchell’s PAT put Jellico up 33-6 with 8:34 remaining in the third quarter.
The Lions scored the final touchdown of the game on a 2-yard run by Waldo Rabie with 5:27 left. He also ran for a 2-point conversion and the final margin.
It was a breakout game for Jellico’s offense, which had been outscored 80-28 earlier this season in losses to Williamsburg, Ky. and North Greene.
“We played Williamsburg a strong first half and, to be honest with you, we should’ve beaten North Greene,” said Coach Oakes.
“We should be 2 and 1 instead of 1 and 2. But compared to where we were in August, we’ve made improvement.”
Having thrown the ball all over the lot during the first two games, the Blue Devils came out running against the Lions.
Tyler Brummett rushed for 102 yards on a dozen carries to lead Jellico’s 144-yard ground attack. He also caught a pair of passes for 37 yards.
“We were just trying to balance out a little,” said Coach Oakes.
Devin Oakes completed 6 of 20 passes for 126 yards and has played a role in six of the Blue Devils’ nine touchdowns this season. Two of his passes Friday night went to Mitchell for a total of 76 yards.
Defensive end Daniel Steakley led Jellico with 11 tackles, 3 assists and 3 stops for minus yardage. Linebacker Austin Bowlin had half a dozen tackles and as many assists. Mitchell was in on 10 total stops, followed by Payne and Oakes with nine each.
“It’s a win,” said Coach Oakes.
“We play Sunbright at home Friday. They’re 2 and 1 and have a pretty good team. They’ve got a real good quarterback. We’ve got our work cut out for us.”
Sunbright won 38-20 last year. Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m. at Jellico’s Hoyt Morton Field.