Balance was the buzzword Thursday night for Jacksboro in a 38-22 season-opening football victory over Rutledge Middle School.
The Eagles scored on offense, defense and special teams. Jacksboro also got tackles from 14 different players.
Tailback Trey Torres paced Jacksboro’s offense with 120 yards rushing and 3 first-half touchdowns. One of the scores came on a 76-yard kickoff return. Brothers Joseph and Daniel Elkins also got into the scoring act with one touchdown each for the defense.
“It’s always easier when you have a team that plays well together,” said Jacksboro coach Mike Miller.
“Hopefully we can keep it up and keep on improving. We still made a lot of mental mistakes like lining up off sides.”
The Eagles recovered a fumble on their side of the 50-yard line on the very first play from scrimmage. Eight plays later, Torres ran behind his blockers for a 3-yard touchdown with 4:06 left in the first quarter. A 2-point conversion pass fell incomplete.
Rutledge fullback Hunter Longmire bulled over from the one to tie the game, 6-6, on the opening play of the second quarter. A 2-point conversion attempt failed.
It didn’t take long for Jacksboro to get the lead back. Torres returned the kickoff 76 yards for the first of three touchdowns during the second quarter for the Eagles. Austin Raines tacked on the 2-point conversion. Torres also scored on a 61-yard TD run with 4:47 left before halftime.
“We have other kids that can beat (Torres) in the 40-yard dash, but he is just elusive,” said Miller.
“It seems like he has another gear.”
Joseph Elkins returned a fumble 20 yards to put the Eagles up 26-6 at halftime. The score came after Jacksboro’s Kaine Peel stripped the ball from Rutledge return man Justin Lawless on a kickoff.
Peel also had a hand in the Eagles’ first touchdown of the second half. Playing quarterback on offense, Peel connected with Darrin Gillenwater on a 9-yard touchdown pass play with 2:27 remaining in the third quarter. The Eagles were unsuccessful on 2-point attempts following both of their touchdowns in the second half.
Daniel Elkins put Jacksboro up 38-6 when he intercepted a pass near midfield and returned it for a score with 5:25 left in the fourth quarter.
Bobby Lamb closed the gap for Rutledge with a pair of touchdowns during the final three minutes. Longmire and Lawless ran for 2-point conversions to account for the final margin. The final Rutledge score came with only eight seconds on the game clock.
The Eagles will hit the road today (Thursday) for a game at Cocke County.