Egg Bowl set for Thursday night

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By Chris Cannon

This one shouldn’t go over easy.

The 12th annual Egg Bowl is set for tonight (Thursday) as the LaFollette Owls travel to Jacksboro Middle School to take on the Eagles in what some are calling the “biggest game of the year.”

The battle is set for 7 p.m., and it is already boiling up to be a good one.

Since the beginning of the season, the Owls have scrambled from an 0-3 record at the start. Winning three straight, LaFollette will come into this game totally even at 3-3.

Jacksboro lost their first and only contest of the year to a very tough Oneida squad last Thursday night.

“It looks like it’ll be a good one,” Eagle head coach Mike Miller said. “They’ve won three in a row now. They’re on a roll. It should be a good game.”

Of the previous 11 games in the Egg Bowl series, Jacksboro has taken seven, including the 2011 contest in LaFollette. The Eagles won in 2011, 19-0, taking back the trophy from the Owls after a 10-0 LaFollette win in 2010.

For Owl head coach Chris Honeycutt, his team’s progress couldn’t have come at a better time.

“It sets up perfect,” Honeycutt said. “It’s exactly what I wanted: us to have a little momentum and them to have a little let down right before we play them. If I’m not mistaken, this is for second place in the district. We’re peaking at the right time, and I think they’ve (Jacksboro) proved they’re not invincible.”

Last year’s Eagles took the win 19-0, using the feet of Jacob Bunch. Bunch found the end zone for Jacksboro two times on runs of 10 and 40 yards.

However, only once in the 11 year history has the battle been a feather flyin’ fight. The 2007 game ended with LaFollette taking the victory, 6-0, making that the closest game by far in any of the previous meetings.

On average, the winning team has outscored their opponent 27.4 to 6.2. Jacksboro holds the biggest defeat, coming in 2008 when the Eagles prevailed, 46-0.

Miller expects the same performance from his 2012 squad as he found in the 2011 Egg Bowl matchup.

“We broke it to the outside a few times with Bunch,” Miller said. “We played pretty good defense, so hopefully we can do that again.”

This season, Jacksboro will look to Shane Bowman. The speedy, quick-minded quarterback has already been a proven leader for the Eagles in their quest for a perfect season.

“He’s a good little player, and he’s been really steady,” Miller said. “He doesn’t make a lot of mistakes. With him being a seventh grader, you would think he might have. We’ve kept him under our thumb, and he’s done well for us.”

According to Miller, however, the key to Jacksboro’s success for tonight’s game will be stopping the run game of LaFollette. With over 800 pounds of linemen blocking down field, Honeycutt feels that his big men will be key.

“I need a big game from my big guys,” He said. “(Jacksboro’s) fundamentally sound, they run hard, and they have good athletes. We’re just hoping that our size helps us out and we make fewer mistakes.”