Craig Harris/Macon County Times Red Boiling Springs junior Dalton Thompson tackles Jo Byrns senior tailback Eric Herring.

Craig Harris/Macon County Times

Red Boiling Springs junior Dalton Thompson tackles Jo Byrns senior tailback Eric Herring.

RED BOILING SPRINGS - Senior Wesley Bean of Red Boiling Springs has been a physical and verbal leader on the field in the 2018 season.

Due to a season-ending injury last week, the four-year starter's presence was missed on the offensive and defensive lines last Friday night as Jo Byrns pounded the ball between the tackles all night and cruised to a 45-0 win.

"It has been a revolving door on our offensive line," said Bulldog head coach Matt Swoner. "We've got guys that should be in the backfield and are on the offensive line. Of all the losses we have faced, Bean is the toughest."

The Bulldogs were looking for their win against a Red Devil squad that sits in second place in Region 4-1A, having lost their only region game the previous week to Gordonsville by a 25-7 score.

Over the past four seasons, Jo Byrns has defeated the Bulldogs by a combined score of 113-15, including a 20-7 win last season.

The Bulldogs celebrated the careers of Bean, Joe Rose, Spencer Harp, Hunter Kirk, Colton Eaton-Robinson and Kendall Thompson on senior night.

After losing the opening coin flip, Swoner tried to take the Red Devils by surprise with an onside kick to start the game, but the kick went right into the arms of one of the Jo Byrns front men, giving them great field position at the Jo Byrns 49 yard line.

From there, the Red Devils converted three first downs and scored when senior running back Eric Herring rushed in from the 5 yard line. Bobby Ogg kicked the point-after touchdown (PAT), and the Red Devils had the early lead 7-0 with 7:25 left in the first quarter.

The Bulldogs struggled to move the ball in the first quarter, gaining only one first down.

Meanwhile, the Red Devils scored twice more when Herring rushed 41 yards for his second of four touchdowns on the night, and Jacob Barnhart dashed 53 yards for the second.

Ogg was successful on his first PAT but missed the next one, creating a 20-0 advantage for the Red Devils.

"Getting behind so quickly put us in a spot you don't want to be in," Swoner said. "One score is survivable, and two scores is a hole that is hard to get out of."

The Bulldogs could not stop the Red Devils on the ground as they would have 12 plays of 10 yards or more in the game.

As the second quarter began, the Bulldogs gained only one first down and were forced to punt.

The Red Devils, who did not punt the whole night, took the ball at their own 28 yard line, converted two first downs and scored when junior quarterback Cooper Richards connected with senior wide receiver Blake Jernigan for a 44-yard touchdown. An unsuccessful two-point conversion kept the margin at 26-0 with 8:25 left in the first half.

Then, the Bulldogs put together one of their best drives of the night, moving the ball from their own 14 yard line to the Jo Byrns 37 yard line by gaining three first downs in the process.

On their seventh play of that drive, senior quarterback Hunter Kirk had his pass intercepted at the 14 yard line by junior Maxie Owens, who returned it to the 50 yard line.

Five plays later, Herring broke through again for a 24-yard touchdown run. The Red Devils were stopped on the two-point conversion when sophomore linebacker Devin Justice broke through the line made the tackle in the backfield.

Hoping to cut into the lead as the first half was coming to a close, the Bulldogs started their drive on their own 24 yard line after a Ty Collins kickoff return. Facing fourth down, Kirk broke through the line and scampered 67 yards to the Jo Byrns 1 yard line.

A delay-of-game penalty with seconds left and a pass to Rose that only gained 3 of the necessary yards to the end zone ended the half as time expired.

"That was a killer for us," Swoner said. "It would have been nice to go into the halftime with some momentum. I wished I had a different play called there.

"Hunter seems to break one every night."

The Red Devils scored twice more in the second half while the Bulldogs did not gain another first down.

On the first Red Devil drive of the second half, Herring - who rushed 19 times for 169 yards - scored his fourth touchdown with 4:13 left in the third quarter. Ogg missed the PAT, and the scored stood at 38-0.

That enacted the mercy rule as the lead reached 35 points, resulting in a continuously-running clock for the remainder of the game.

The final touchdown for the Red Devils came midway through the fourth quarter.

Senior fullback Jacob Arms punched it in from the 3 yard line, and Ogg kicked the PAT to cap the scoring.

The Red Devils led in first downs, 14-4.

The Red Devils rushed for 373 yards on the night and passed for 44 yards.

Kirk rushed 120 yards in his final home game.

RBS sophomore Michael Mathews punted five times for the Bulldogs for an average of 33 yards per punt.

The Bulldogs will play at Monterey on Friday night, facing the possibility of going winless for the first time since 2008.

RBS has been shut out in three of its last five games and have allowed its opponents in each of the last four games to score 36 points or more.

Meanwhile Monterey has won back-to-back games, clinching third place in the region and earning a playoff berth.

Since 2001, Montery has won all 15 meetings between the two schools, with the closest contest being a 21-14 game in 2011.

"We are going to spend this week getting better," Swoner said. "I told them at halftime that we have one more week to get better. Monterey is a well-coached, physical football team. They are sound. Coach (Scott) Hughes is one the best coaches in our region."