Although LaFollette’s passing game drew rave reviews at the beginning of the season, it was defense that won the Owls an Egg Bowl trophy Thursday night during their annual feud with archrival Jacksboro.
With a capacity crowd on hand, LaFollette (3-2 district, 4-2 overall) shut out the host Eagles, 10-0, to extend its winning streak to three games and earn a number three seeding next week in the first round of the Tennessee Middle School Athletic Association Football Playoffs.
Jacksboro (2-3 district, 4-3 overall) is seeded fourth. Both teams will host first-round playoff games on Oct. 14.
“Our defense won us the ball game,” said Cody Parker, the Owls’ first-year head coach who, ironically, helped win the inaugural Egg Bowl as a player for Jacksboro.
“The Courdle kid (Paul) has got some speed, but we bottled him up when he got to the line of scrimmage.”
“Also, a big key to the game for us was our first possession of the second half, when we took about six minutes off the clock.”
Running back Johnny Oakes scored the only touchdown of the game on a 1-yard plunge in the opening quarter. Quarterback Ethan Jeffers kept the ball for a 2-point conversion and an 8-0 lead.
It stayed that way until the fourth quarter, when Nathan Treadway was credited with a safety while forcing a Jacksboro ballcarrier to step out of the back of the end zone after two consecutive snaps from center went astray.
Eagles coach Mike Miller said half a dozen turnovers proved to be too much for his team to overcome.
“If we didn’t lose the ball, it stopped the play. You can’t win like that against anybody,” said Miller.
Jeffers completed 17 of 26 passes for 164 yards and was intercepted twice by Jacksboro defenders Darin Gillenwater and Jesse Sharp.
Tommy Lawson got most of the yardage for LaFollette with 108 yards on nine catches.
LaFollette’s celebration was short-lived, however, as the Owls lost their homecoming game, 42-14, Monday night to Norris. The game was called in the third quarter because of fighting.
The Owls will host Huntsville tomorrow (Thurs.) night for their final regular season game, while the Eagles will travel to Livesay.
Blue Devils fall
Huntsville Middle School blanked Jellico, 46-0, last week. On Saturday, Oct. 9, the Blue Devils will give up some of their royal blue to wear pink in support of the fight against breast cancer for Jellico’s Passionately Pink for the Cure Night. Jellico will host McCreary County, Ky.