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Blue Devils fall to Longhorns

A methodical drive in the second half provided the momentum the Johnson County High School football team needed for its win.
The Longhorns outscored the Unicoi County High School Blue Devils, 13-0, in the fourth quarter to score a 26-6 Three Rivers Conference win on Friday, Oct. 10, at Gentry Stadium during homecoming night.
“I take full responsibility for the loss tonight,” UCHS head coach Glenn White said. “It is my job to have our guys prepared and put into a position to win and I did not do that. It is not the kids fault at all.
“Johnson County is a tough, physical team, but call it like it is … it is a loss. We had a good first half and I’m proud of our team’s effort. I’m coming back to the fieldhouse on Saturday to start again and get us ready for next Friday.”
Johnson County (4-3, TRC 3-0) struck first on its opening possession that saw a fourth-and-five fake punt attempt go 15 yards on a pass to Alex Tressler. Tailback Aaron Osborne capped off the drive from 4 yards out to put the ‘Horns up, 7-0, with 9:32 to go in the first.
Senior tailback Luke Fronckoski (19 carries, 108 yards) accounted for all of the Blue Devils 58 yards out their first drive and went in from 2 yards to cut the score within one, 7-6.
Cole Peters, who eclipsed 90 yards on the ground, gave the ‘Horns the 13-6 lead at half and did the honors of going in from 8 yards out during the ‘Horns 99-yard drive after a Blue Devil punt pinned them inside their own end zone.
UCHS came up with a second half fumble recovery thanks to Dylan Lewis, but the ‘Horns would capitalize late in the fourth with a run by Jordan Grubb, to secure the win.
The rain didn’t put a damper on the ‘Horns air game either with Warren Kerley going for over 140 yards through the air.
“It was a little bit sloppy,” JCHS head coach Don Kerley said. “It’s hard to come down to Erwin and get the win. Anytime you can do that it is a good game.”
Justin Nelson led the Blue Devil defense with eight stops. Chris Johnson added seven with a pair of tackles for losses. Dylon Burgess, Warren Shelton, Will Shelton, Jacob Smith, Derek Berry, Brandon Caldwell and Cameron Higgins each came in on stops for UCHS.
Blue Devils quarterback Hunter Hensley completed passes to Caldwell, Smith and Michael Howell for 25 yards through the air.
UCHS will travel to Happy Valley this week for a battle of winless teams. The Warriors also sit at 0-7 and were on bye last week.
“We’re just going to prepare,” White said. “We’re going to come back better this week and I believe we can go over and get the win. Our guys work hard and there are still positives to get out of this season.”
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UCHS got in the win column during junior varsity action on Monday, Oct. 6, with a 12-6 win over Sullivan East’s underclassmen.
The Blue Devil junior varsity team was back in action on Monday, Oct. 13, at Gentry Stadium against Johnson County after The Erwin Record’s press deadline.