JASPER, Tenn. — After a tumultuous summer that included a head coaching change just one month ago, Grundy County's football team got a shot of adrenaline Friday night during the annual Sequatchie Valley Jamboree.
The confidence boost was obvious as Grundy players jumped and yelled and celebrated their 12-0 win against Sequatchie County.
"Our kids have been through a lot, and they really needed something good before we get the season started," said new Yellow Jackets coach Tracy Hayworth, whose team fell to South Pittsburg 7-0 in their first quarter. "You can see that even something like the jamboree can give kids a good amount of confidence and a belief in themselves.
"We've been teaching them that you can overcome any adversity if you just keep working hard to get better, and now they have something on the field to make them believe. I was very proud of the way they bounced back after a tough start."
Freshman fullback Gavin Tate ripped off a 20-yard run to the 4-yard line, then scored his team's first touchdown on the next play. Senior quarterback Ethan Nunley later added a 4-yard scoring run.
* South Pittsburg 7, Grundy County 0: The Pirates drove 60 yards in five plays before junior running back Ronto Tipton capped it with a 6-yard scoring run.
* Whitwell 14, Sequatchie County 0: It's been nine months since the Tigers' last game, but they looked to be in midseason form already. Whitwell was impressive on the ground behind a 45-yard scoring run by Hudson Petty, who also had a 40-yard run to set up a short touchdown plunge by Josh Wingo.
"I really liked the physicality we showed up front," Tigers coach Randall Boldin said. "We challenged our offensive line during the offseason, and they got after people right out of the gate."
Petty finished with just less than 100 rushing yards for the quarter.
"We wanted to come in and see where we were as a team, and I thought our offensive line did a great job," Petty said. "They made some nice holes for us to run through and really were just doing what they've done all through the preseason."
* Bledsoe County 7, Lookout Valley 0: Freshman quarterback Harmon Keith passed to Colby Rogers for a 12-yard touchdown to cap an 80-yard drive beginning the quarter.
* Marion County 7, Silverdale Baptist Academy 0: The Warriors drove deep into Seahawks territory before penalties caused them to turn the ball over on downs, but late in the quarter Tony Sampson's 10-yard scoring run gave the jamboree hosts the win.
* South Pittsburg 7, Bledsoe County 0: After a 30-yard run by Tipton, sophomore wingback Hunter Frame turned the corner and sprinted 41 yards for a touchdown, and the Pirates' defense made that score stand.
* Whitwell 9, SBA 0: The Tigers' defense, which was stout in each of its quarters, put points on the board first with a safety, and Jaren Thames added the exclamation point with a 20-yard catch in the back of the end zone.
* Marion County 12, Lookout Valley 0: Freshman Riley Rogers scored both of the Warriors' touchdowns, including an 80-yard sprint on the first snap of the final quarter.
Contact Stephen Hargis at firstname.lastname@example.org or 423-757-6293. Follow him on Twitter @StephenHargis.