Nearly five weeks have passed since Jacksboro’s football team was beaten 16-14 in overtime on its home field by district rival Clinton.
And not a day goes by that the Eagles don’t remember that game and think about what might have been.
Jacksboro (6-3 overall) was undefeated before Clinton. After that, the Eagles lost two more games while struggling to regain the form that got them off to a 4-0 start.
Tomorrow (Fri.) night, the Eagles have a chance to finally put that game behind them when they go to Clinton for a rematch at 7 p.m. in the Class AAA semifinals of the Tennessee Middle School Athletic Association Football Playoffs. The playoff contest was moved to Friday night because of a conflict with the Clinton vs. Oak Ridge high school game.
“We think we’ve got a really good chance at (beating) Clinton,” said Jacksboro coach Mike Miller.
The Eagles led most of that earlier game before Clinton forced overtime. Jacksboro shot itself in the foot by losing three fumbles, which is something the Eagles hope to avoid tomorrow night.
Last week, Jacksboro advanced to the semifinals with a 22-8 opening round victory over Avery Trace, a team the Eagles had beaten 14-0 earlier this season during their 4-game winning streak.
Tailback Paul Courdle scored all three touchdowns for Jacksboro and also caught a pair of 2-point conversion passes from quarterback Kaine Peel.
Courdle, who finished with 170 yards on just seven carries, put the first points on the scoreboard less than a minute into the first quarter. He also ran for a touchdown on the opening play of the second quarter that gave the Eagles a 16-0 advantage at halftime.
Jacksboro’s defense shut down Avery Trace during the first half. Linebacker Daniel Elkins led the Eagles, who held their ground on four downs inside their own 40-yard line and again at their own 20.
Avery Trace finally got on the scoreboard in the second half, but Courdle answered with a touchdown to maintain a two-touchdown cushion for Jacksboro.
“I thought we played pretty solid defense all night,” said Miller.
“We didn’t have as many offensive mistakes, and that’s what had been killing us all year.”