Jackets down Eagles, 44-12
By Goose Lindsay
The Coalfield Yellow Jackets continued their dominance over Morgan County opponents Friday night with a 44-12 victory over visiting Oakdale.
The victory over the Eagles improves Coalfield’s season record to 4-0 with three of those wins coming against Morgan County foes. After the game, the Jackets were awarded with the inaugural WECO/One Bank of Tennessee Morgan County Championship Trophy.
“It’s special,” Coalfield head coach Keith Henry said of winning the county championship. “All of our communities here having their own school is an identity. The schools are a focal point for all these communities… If you had a center point of attention, the schools and the young people for all these communities, that’s it… Everybody comes to support them so I think it’s really special.”
The win was also the 34th straight against county foes, a streak dating back to 2009. Since 2004, Coalfield boasts a 49-2 record against county opponents with only a pair of losses against Wartburg in 2008-09 disrupting the streak.
Henry praised his team for winning on the field, but also his coaching staff of Jason Wilson, Jared Henry, Shelly Burgess and James Bales, for their work in having the team ready to play.
“I appreciate these guys so much. They do such a great job and put the time in,” Henry said.
Coalfield entered Friday’s contest with 18 straight victories over the Eagles and the Jackets seemed ready for an easy night when they opened the contest with a 10-play, 52-yard scoring drive that ended with a 5-yard scoring run from Seth Lowe.
Lowe added the 2-point run to make the score 8-0 less than five minutes into the game.
But Oakdale (3-2) showed why there is so much optimism in the program as they took advantage of a bad Coalfield punt snap later in the period to set up a 1-yard scoring run from Tyler Boyer to cut the lead to 8-6 with 54 seconds left in the first quarter.
“(Oakdale Coach) JR (Voyles) and his staff do a really good job,” Henry said. “They’ve got some good athletes out there and they have a good cycle going on with some good players. We all have up and down years, even for us because we have nine new starters on one side of the ball and eight on the other, but Oakdale has some really good kids and the things they do really gives you trouble.”
A bad punt snap would set up a score for Coalfield as well, as after an Oakdale turnover on downs after their own 12, Coalfield’s Lowe scored on a 3-yard run with 6:50 left in the first half.
QB Cole Hines found Dawson Nitzschke on the conversion pass to make the score 16-6.
Special teams also played a role in Coalfield’s next touchdown. The Jackets successfully faked a punt on fourth-and-9 then Hines capped off the 55-yard drive with a 1-yard run by Hines.
Hines passed to Lowe for the conversion, making the score 24-6 with 2:50 remaining in the half.
Coalfield got the ball back with 1:30 left in the half and drove 67 yards with Lowe scoring from 2 yards out.
Lowe then ran in the conversion to give the Jackets a 32-6 lead at the half.
A 33-yard run by Hines and a 36-yard pass from Hines to Landon Lowe set up the score.
Coalfield put the game away with a touchdown late in the third quarter followed by another early in the fourth.
Canaan Bowling scored first on a 9-yard run then Landon Lowe closed the scoring for the Jackets with a 5-yard run.
Oakdale scored the final points of the contest on a 60-yard pass from Sydney Gregory to Nehemiah Cooney.
Coalfield will look to keep its unbeaten in tact Friday night when they host Region 4-1A power Gordonsville.
“Gordonsville is a really good program,” Henry said. “They’ve won some state championships and they’re good year-in and year-out. They’ve got a really good team this year. I will be a really, really good challenge for us.
Oakdale will also face an opponent from Region 4-1A as the Eagles travel to Red Boiling Springs (0-5).