CEDAR HILL - Jo Byrns (6-1, 2-1) extended its win streak Friday night to five games with a 40-0 shutout win over the RePublic Trailblazers. The Red Devils scored on nearly every single one of their drives, and did it quickly.
"It was a big win tonight," Red Devils head coach Tom Adkins said. "It's a region win, which puts us at 2-1 in the region. But we've got to take games one at a time."
The Red Devils got the ball first and it only took them 3:10 to put their first six on the board, courtesy of Taevon Watkins. Three minutes later, on the following drive, Eric Herring punched in his first score of the night for a 14-0 lead after Jacob Caira passed to Zach Henegar for the two-point conversion.
"I was not pleased with special teams at all," Adkins said. "We missed a couple of extra points. I wasn't pleased with kickoff either. We kicked a couple out of bounds, so that's something we work on this week. Special teams are 1/3 of the game. We have to hit the PAT. They aren't give-me's, but we have to hit those. I expect to hit all of them. We have to do better with special teams and we have to do better keeping the ball in play on kickoff. It hasn't affected us this season yet, but later on down the stretch it could be the deciding factor of a win
RePublic gained some ground, getting the ball on the 9-yard line for first-and-goal, but the Red Devils stopped them on four-straight tries. With a first-and-10 from the 5-yard line, Herring got Jo Byrns outside of sketchy territory with a 30-yard run.
Jacob Barnhart followed up with a 39-yard run to end the quarter. The Red Devils then strung together three more plays for another Herring touchdown to lead 21-0.
On Jo Byrns' next drive, quarterback Collin Richards threw a 73-yard missile to Jacob Caira for the pair's only touchdown of the night, putting Jo Byrns up 27-0 with plenty of time to kill in the second quarter.
With under five minutes to go, Jo Byrns started its drive in RePublic territory after a weak punt and a Red Devil bounce. A 27-yard pass to Tyran Douglas and a 28-yard run by Blake Shadrick put the Devils up 33-0.
On the next drive, Shadrick put it back in the end zone, but the play was brought back due to illegal formation. Richards had a 25-yard run on the next play, but that was brought back too, due to a block in the back. Herring put the Red Devils in a first-and-goal situation from the 9-yard line after back-to-back first downs, but they only had time for one play, which failed.
Watkins was the only one to score in the second half on an incredible 32-yard touchdown run, breaking multiple tackles on both sides of the hashes to make it 40-0.
RePublic snuck back into the red zone two more times in the second half, but Blake Jernigan and Henegar ended their drives with a pick in the end zone.
Oddly enough, Jernigan has had three end zone interceptions this season and all three have been in the left side of the exact same end zone.
Richards finished the game 4-of-6 with 153 passing yards and a touchdown. Caira led the receivers with two receptions for 112 yards and a touchdown. On the ground, Herring led all rushers with seven carries for 137 yards and two touchdowns. Barnhart had five carries for 100 yards and Watkins finished with 61 yards on four carries for two touchdowns.
"Early on I thought our defense played really well," Adkins said. "We forced a lot of three-and-outs. We gave up a few first downs, but we got a little bit of a lead and got a little lazy. We didn't do our technique and we missed some tackles, so Blake coming up with that interception really helped us out, and then Zach came up with a big one later on in the second half."
The Red Devils travel to projected region-winner Gordonsville Friday night for their biggest matchup of the season.
"I know it's fall break and we're out of school, but we still have a game. We've got to prepare to play probably the best game we've played all year," Adkins said. "They were picked to win the region for a reason. They're undefeated in the region, we have to go to their place, we've got to come in and prepare, have a great week of practice and prepare for the best team we'll face all year."