By Goose Lindsay
Four turnovers and 117 yards in penalties isn’t the usual recipe for success on the gridiron, but the Oakdale Eagles overcame all that last Friday in picking up an 18-8 victory over Jellico at Hollis Eble Field.
The victory was the second in as many outings for the Eagles in 2020.
“It’s absolutely a good start for us,” Oakdale head coach JR Voyles said. “Tonight wasn’t the cleanest, but Jellico had a lot to do with that… They gave us some trouble; some different looks on the defensive side, but my guys kept fighting and kept battling. It was good to see that.”
After a scoreless first quarter, Jellico struck first two plays into the second quarter when Joseph Paul scored on a 2-yard run.
The 2-point conversion was good, giving the Blue Devils an 8-0 lead with 11:16 left in the first half.
Oakdale answered with an 8-play, 51-yard drive capped by a 1-yard run from Nehemiah Cooney at the 8:19 make of the second quarter.
Oakdale’s 2-point try failed.
Jellico threatened to add to its lead late in the half. The Blue Devils had it first-and-goal at the Eagle 3, but back-to-back sacks helped kill the drive.
The second half opened with Oakdale having a drive of its own turned away inside the red zone. The Eagles had it on the Jellico 10 before a fumble ended the possession.
Oakdale would not come up short on its next possession as the Eagles drove 82 yards in only seven plays with QB Tyler Boyer ending the drive with a 4-yard run.
Boyer helped set up the score with three passes to Hunter Boyer covering 48 yards.
Oakdale’s conversion attempt failed leaving the Eagles on top 12-8 with 1:13 to play in the third period.
While Oakdale had its share of penalties, perhaps the biggest flag of the night came on the ensuing kickoff as a Jellico penalty negated a 75-yard touchdown return.
Jellico’s ensuing drive ended on downs at the Oakdale 17.
“They had a couple of red zone possessions and the defense was able to tighten up and get them stopped,” Voyles said. “Both teams had chances, that’s early season football but our guys just found a way to make a few more plays tonight.”
The Blue Devils stayed within striking distance for much of the final period, but Oakdale finally put the game away with 43 seconds remaining when Tyler Boyer scored again on an 8-yard run to make the final score 18-8.
Oakdale will look for its third straight win Friday night when the Eagles host Midway (0-1).
Voyles said this week’s game is more important than either of the first two.
“This is great, don’t take me wrong but it’s definitely big boy football now. It’s Region 2-A football,” he said.