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Jackets stay undefeated

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By The Staff

On Friday night the undefeated Coalfield Yellow Jackets traveled to Midway to take on the Midway Green Wave.

Coalfield entered the game dominating opponents, winning all six of their games by 14 or more points.

That didn’t change against the Green Wave.

The Yellow Jackets dominated the Green Wave from start to finish with a 49-0 victory to continue their undefeated season and snap the Green Wave’s five game winning streak.

“I was really pleased with the way our young men came out and responded and executed things—both sides of the football,” coach Keith Henry said.

Entering the game, the Green Wave were coming off of a five-game winning steak, including winning a thriller against Tellico Plains on the final play of the game.

The Green Wave’s offense entered the game putting up big numbers, averaging over 35 points a game and scoring 37 or more in four of five games. However, when they were put up against the Yellow Jacket’s defense, they weren’t able to match those numbers.

The Yellow Jackets stingy defense entered the game allowing just nine points a game, and they continued their stellar performances against a talented Green Wave offense. During the Green Wave’s pass-heavy offensive attack, the Yellow Jackets continuously got pressure on the quarterback as they only gave up 68 yards of total offense for the game.

“Any goose-egg is really great,” Henry said. “We were worried; they’ve put up a lot of points all season.”

Offensively, the Yellow Jackets hadn’t scored under 34 all season and only scored below 48 once. By the half, they had 35 points.

The offensive attack was led by quarterback Parker McKinney, an Eastern Kentucky commit, and Ashton Jones.

McKinney took care of the ball as he led the offense on five touchdown drives in the first half. McKinney finished the game throwing 6-12 through the air with 117 yards passing and a touchdown without turning the ball over.

“He’s a great team leader,” Henry said. “He executed things very well from that quarterback standpoint to lead the offense.”

On the ground, Jones continued racking up big yards and finding the end zone. In the first half alone, Jones had three rushing touchdowns, including one that he took 59 yards.

He finished the game with 111 yards and three touchdowns.

“Ashton’s a super young man; he’s a really good athlete,” Henry said.

In the second half, the Yellow Jackets got several of their backups in the game, but their dominance continued.

On their opening drive of the second half, quarterback Lance Byrd broke off a long run, stepping out of bounds before he could reach the end zone. Byrd finished off the scoring drive on the next play running the exact same play to score the touchdown.

Marty Duncan also added a rushing touchdown of his own in the fourth quarter for the final score of the game.

Defensively, the Yellow Jackets didn’t let up in the second half, not allowing the Green Wave to reach the end zone.

“Every snap they get on a Friday night is a bonus getting them ready for next season,” Henry said. “There’s nothing like on the job training.”

With a win, the Yellow Jackets continue their march toward an undefeated season.

On next Thursday, they’ll collide with the Greenback Falcons in a showdown of two of the top teams in 1A football.

“We just have to prepare each day and try to get better each day, working for Thursday,” Henry said.

The Greenback Falcons went 14-1 to make it to the Class A state championship last season and handed the Yellow Jackets their only two losses in 2016, winning 42-27 in the regular season matchup and 28-21 in the quarterfinal.

The game will be broadcast on MyVLT as the Varsity All Access game of the week at 7 p.m.