It has been weeks since the Eagles of Jacksboro stepped onto the gridiron. Sceduling and a first round playoff bye have kept the Eagles idle. This changed when the Red Devils of Horace Maynard Middle School came to town for round two of the TMSAA Playoffs. The winner of the game would advance to next Saturday’s title game to be held on The Hill at CCHS.
It was an emotional game for the Eagles as their classmate Conner Lane succumbed to cancer earlier in the week. A blue chair with blue balloons sat on the sideline in his memory and the Eagles entered Gibson Field carrying a “Conner Strong” banner.
It did not take long after that emotional entrance for the Eagles to draw first blood as Will Lester pounded his way through the Devil’s defense for a touchdown and then immediately followed it up by catching a pass from quarterback Ethan Miller for a 2 point conversion.
Then the defensive struggle began. Neither team could punch the ball into the endzone for the remainder of the first half. That changed in the waning seconds though as Peyton Ferguson picked off a Devil’s pass and took it 60 yards down the field for an Eagle touchdown. Lester added the 2 point conversion and the Eagles went into the half leading 16-0.
The second half saw the defensive struggle continue but in the third quarter something special happened. The Eagle defense recovered a fumble and the offense returned to the field. It was then that Will Lester broke through the front seven of the Devil’s defense and rushed past the 1,000 yard mark on the season. This was an extra special feat as Will and his father Brent, who also an Eagle coach, became the first father-son duo to join the Thousand Yard Club at JMS.
In the final quarter the Devils managed to score but it was not enough as the Eagles won the game 16-8.
The Eagles are now undefeated for 17 straight games and have back to back undefeated seasons with 1,000 yard rushers. They are poised for a championship game rematch against Cherokee at L. Hope Dossett Stadium where they have the chance to win their second straight TMSAA East Tennessee Title.