CEDAR HILL – The Jo Byrns football team halted its four-game losing streak Friday night.
The Red Devils (1-4) scored 38 points in the first half to blow out winless Red Boiling Springs 44-14. Jo Byrns did not allow a touchdown until late in the third quarter, when the starters had already been subbed out.
“It’s a big win because it was our first win, but more importantly, it was a region win,” Jo Byrns coach Tom Adkins said. “We’re young anyway, but we got a chance to play a lot of junior varsity players in the second half.”
Running back Jake Chennault returned to action and rushed for 67 yards and two touchdowns on 11 carries. The junior did not play in Jo Byrns’ 35-14 loss at Houston County Sept. 13.
The Red Devils also had success through the air with junior QB Ryan Dowlen, who completed six of his 12 passes for 132 yards and two touchdowns. His first score was a 74-yard strike to Emmanuel Barbee, and the second was a seven-yard connection with DJ Johnson.
“We mixed it up pretty well,” Adkins said. “You’ve got to be two-dimensional. QB play is the least of my concerns. We’ve got to get better at the line of scrimmage, offensively and defensively.”
Jo Byrns entered the contest looking to improve its minus-4 turnover ratio. Chennault, Johnson and Bobby Ogg each grabbed interceptions, and Johnson and Ogg both reached the end zone on their returns.
Adkins said adjustments to the secondary helped make life difficult for Red Boiling Springs. Chennault returned to his safety position, and Dowlen and Johnson both started at cornerback. None of those three players started in the secondary against Houston County.
Maxie Owens led the Red Devils with seven tackles, while Rudy Tucker and Bailey Serignet both had six.
“We’re making adjustments,” Adkins said. “The starters played well and shut them out. We had good effort all around.”
The Red Devils travel to East Robertson (2-3) Friday at 7 p.m. Adkins and his revamped defense will have to find an answer for Taylor Groves, East Robertson’s star who already has offers from Kentucky, Mississippi State and Tennessee.
“The Groves kid is going to make plays,” Adkins said. “They move him around a lot. But they have more weapons than just Groves. We’ll have our hands full.”