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Short-handed Devils lose to East, 49-13

Sometimes a loss can bring bring positives for a team.
It was one of those times for the Devils.
Unicoi County (2-6) (1-3) couldn't keep up with the rushing attack of Sullivan East (6-2) (3-1) during last Friday's affair in Bluff City, falling on Patriots' homecoming night, 13-49.
“We saw on film they were good,” Blue Devils coach, Jerad Huskins, explained. “Austin (Glover) is all 195 pounds of running back and did a good job running for them. Phillip Franklin was able to put a few good shots on him but we were just too beat up to keep up with them. They're a definate playoff team and the sky is the limit for them. Coach Locke has done a good job in his first year there.”
The Devils were able to produce offensively, even without the a host of key cogs used during the main part of the regular season.
“Injuries have been horrible for us here lately,” Huskins said. “Chase Honeycutt and Lucas Hensley were each out due to illnesses. Josh (McKinney) got a good lick on him and had to come out, then we had our starting guard go down (Tommy Fraizer) along with Thomas Tipton.”
All of the Devils points throughout the game would come in the first half, with Tipton coming down with a 20-yard reception from quarterback, Austin Hensley, in a group of Patriots defenders to give the Devils the chance to place seven points on the board during the second quarter.
It was the first start for Tipton, currently a sophomore, who's name was called up from the ranks of the Blue Devils JV core to come and fill in for the depleted wide-out rotation.
“We put a young offense out there and there were some growing pains,” the coach said. “I'm proud of the way they responded, though. We had a lot of kids shine tonight. Tipton did a great job filling in for us before he had to come out. Will Shelton also had a big game in the air for us during the night.”
The 6-4 freshman wide-out proved his worth on the field, being one of Hensley's key targets throughout the air, coming down with nine catches during his breakout performance for the Devils.
“Due to some unfortunate injuries, our team was down in numbers at wide receiver,” Shelton explained. “When the coach came in at halftime and said, ‘Will, you're starting’ I saw this as the opportunity I had been working hard for all year, and I wasn't about to let myself or the team down.”
With the increase of production coming from the underclassmen of the Blue Devils squad, Shelton shared the mindset of the JV players getting varsity time after the injury bug bit the Devils.
“We can't level out,” he said. “No one is where they want to be just yet. We just have to keep working hard. I know a man who has told me since sixth grade: ‘Good is not good, when better is expected’.”
Linebacker/tight end, Jordan Berry brought in the final Devil touchdown from three yards out after Hensley received heavy pressure from the Patriots D before going into halftime.
“Coach (Brian) Milan has done a great job coaching up the wide-outs and secondary getting them ready to play,” Huskins said. “The entire coaching staff has really done a tremendous job of keeping the offense and defense going during this time with all the injuries. Austin (Hensley) really did a great job out there of keeping our offense going, he's really stepped up his play and he's been a key to us still getting production done offensively.”
The two-year starting quarterback finished the night nearly eclisping the 300-yard total, finishing with 287 yards through the air surpassing the 1,000-yard marker for the season.
The JV wide-out core shared reps with senior Hunter Goddard, who finished with six catches for 100 yards, putting him at more than 400 yards for the season.
“Our seniors have been real supportive throughout this time,” Huskins said. “I talked to them in the locker room and just thanked them for everything. You can see them in the huddle pushing the younger guys. They know when they leave the program this year that they're leaving it in a better position then when they first started here.”
Unicoi County will be traveling to Stoney Creek Oct. 21, to face the Unaka Rangers who are currently coming off a 49-14 loss last Friday.
Kickoff is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.
JV News
Unicoi County's JV squad for the moment will be looking at a 4-0 record to finish their season.
“We just have too many injuries to finish the JV season with alot of our younger guys getting varsity time,” the Devils head coach explained. “You hate to have to cut some reps away from the younger kids but with the injuries we've encountered… we just don't want to risk it.”