Jake Chennault

Jo Byrns RB Jake Chennault ran for a touchdown against Monterey. 

Jo Byrns’ difficult football season continued with a 35-6 loss at Monterey Friday night.

The Wildcats (7-0, 3-0 Region 4-1A) jumped out to a 15-0 lead in the first quarter and never looked back. But Jo Byrns coach Tom Adkins said he saw improvement from his team after losing 30-0 to East Robertson on Sept. 27.

“I thought we played better at times,” Adkins said. “We are still giving pretty good effort, but we continue to make too many mistakes. We don’t have the size up front right now. You have to play a complete game against a team like Monterey.”

A 1-yard touchdown run from Jake Chennault cut Monterey’s advantage to 15-6 midway through the second quarter. However, Bryce Davidson ran for a 9-yard score just before halftime to give the Wildcats a 22-6 lead.

Jo Byrns finished with 155 yards of total offense – 95 passing and 60 rushing. QB Ryan Dowlen was 10-of-17 passing for 95 yards and was intercepted once. Chennault finished with 47 yards on 11 carries. The Red Devils also lost a fumble.

“We mixed it up with the run and pass,” Adkins said. “We had to throw it a little more once we got down. Some of that was due to Monterey. They handled the line of scrimmage pretty well.”

Monterey’s Jordan Key returned a punt 67 yards for a touchdown early in the third quarter to give the Wildcats an even bigger cushion. Key threw a 35-yard touchdown pass in the fourth quarter to seal the result.

Despite the loss, Jo Byrns (1-6, 1-2) is still in the playoff hunt. The Red Devils currently hold fourth place in Region 4-1A, ahead of Pickett County and Red Boiling Springs (both are 0-3 in region play). The top four teams in each region make the playoffs.

“We’re not out of the playoff picture,” Adkins said. “We still control our fate. You win your region games, and you’re in.”

Jo Byrns hosts Moore County (2-4) for a nonregion game Friday at 7 p.m. in Cedar Hill.

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