“You can’t tell from the score, but I thought we played better than we have.” That was Jo Byrns head coach Tom Adkins’ takeaway from the 41-0 loss against Moore County Friday night.
The Red Devils struggled to be consistent Friday night, as they have dealt with all season.
“We’re still not playing a four-quarter game,” Adkins said. “Offensively, at the beginning of the game, we couldn’t get anything going, so we went three-and-out on our first couple of series.”
Despite their struggle to move the ball on the first two drives, their third drive put them in position to cut the deficit in half from 14 to seven. They had the ball first-and-goal from the 4-yard line but fumbled. They would not get that close to putting points on the scoreboard again.
On the next drive, Moore County went for it on fourth-and-10 and threw a pass to the end zone for a touchdown, extending their lead to 20-0. Adkins was not pleased with how those two drives ended.
“You can’t have those lapses,” Adkins said. “You can’t have those lapses offensively. You’ve got to execute. You can’t have those lapses defensively. We’re not in position. We’ve got a guy out of position that’s not in his coverage area, and you give up a fourth-and-10 touchdown.”
Moore County pushed the lead to 27-0 before halftime and held control the rest of the way. Adkins says that one fumble put his team in a much harder position.
“Our effort is there,” Adkins said. “Offensively, we moved the ball. We’ve got to finish drives. You can’t drive the length of the field like we did a couple of times, and then you turn the ball over and don’t finish the drive. If you get opportunities to score, you’ve got to score, or you’re going to build yourself a hole.”
Senior running back Jake Chennault broke his arm against Red Boiling Springs earlier in the season, ending his high school career at Jo Byrns. Adkins misses his talent on the field, but Chennault still makes his voice heard, trying to help his team.
“It’s a loss,” Adkins said. “Anytime you lose a key contributor like Jake, I don’t think you replace him… He’s still there at practice everyday. He’s still out on the sidelines, shouting instructions. He looks like a coach over there.
“Jake’s been a leader for us for several years, and it’s unfortunate in his senior year to get that type of injury.”
The Red Devils head into their bye after playing every week thus far, a feat that few teams have been able to accomplish. Adkins says he will let his team rest and train and then prepare for a tough district opponent in Gordonsville.
“We’re going to give them a few days off,” Adkins said. “We’re going to get in the weight room. We’ve got to get ready for Gordonsville… We’ll get a little bit of film on them and start working on them and improve.”
The next game for the Red Devils is Oct. 23 at Gordonsville. They will then host Pickett County with a possible playoff berth on the line.