FRIDAY NIGHT PREVIEW: Jellico at Oakdale

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By Chris Cannon

When: Friday

Where: Oakdale High School

Kickoff: 7:30 p.m.

Records: Jellico (0-8, 0-4 District 4-A) at Oakdale (1-7, 0-4)

Previous meeting: Last season, Oakdale narrowly took this District 4-A meeting between the Blue Devils and the Eagles. Oakdale slipped away with a 32-20 win at Jellico.

Last week: The Blue Devils jumped out to an early 8-0 lead after a 91-yard pass from Ryan Payne to Devan Harmon. Payne later scored on a 1-yard keeper, as Austin Bowlin converted the two-point try. However, Wartburg busted open for 45 straight points, as Jellico fell 45-16.

Payne led the way, rushing 25 times for 105 yards and a touchdown. He threw two-of-10 for 90 yards and two interceptions. Bowlin added 40 yards on 13 carries and a touchdown.

Oakdale didn’t fair very well against King’s Academy. The Lions celebrated senior night right as every senior on the Lions squad scored in the 62-15 tromping. Harrison Atchley led the way with 134 yards and three touchdowns.

Keep an eye on: Jellico, still riding their 19-game losing streak, is in search of a win. This quite possibly could be their best chance. With the Eagles losing to King’s Academy 62-15, a team that Jellico only fell to 34-22, the Blue Devils have the clear advantage. Oakdale’s only win came against Pickett County who hasn’t won a game all season. For the Blue Devils, it will take the play of their seniors. Payne and Bowlin have obviously been the biggest contributors, and they will have to continue that trend this week.

Jellico is a much better team than the 32-20 defeat from a year ago as they travel to Harriman. Coach Brad Lawson is desperately looking for a win, so look for Jellico to be toughly prepared for this contest against the District 4-A rivals. The Blue Devils have won five of the nine contests, while taking five of the last seven.