Tina Atkins/For the Times Red Boiling Springs senior fullback Kendall Thompson attempts to break free from the grasp of a Jackson County defender during the Bulldogs’ 14-0 loss last Friday evening.

Tina Atkins/For the Times

Red Boiling Springs senior fullback Kendall Thompson attempts to break free from the grasp of a Jackson County defender during the Bulldogs’ 14-0 loss last Friday evening.

GAINESBORO -- Friday night's game had both Red Boiling Springs and Jackson County looking for their first win of the season.

However, it was the host Blue Devils getting in the win column with a 14-0 victory over the Bulldogs at Mack Draper Stadium.

Jackson County had been outscored by its first three opponents -- Clay County, Cannon County and Westmoreland -- by a combined margin of 104-14. However, the Blue Devil defense managed to hold the RBS offense -- which has been led by back-to-back, 100-yard rushing efforts by senior quarterback Hunter Kirk -- scoreless on Friday.

Kirk rushed for 50 yards on Friday.

"Control the football and feed the fullback," Bulldog head coach Matt Swoner said of the team's game plan. "We kind of expected them to key in on Hunter and not let him get outside."

Swoner changed his plans when Kirk and his fullback Dalton Thompson left the game with injuries early in the second quarter. Kirk would return but Thompson would be replaced for the rest of the game by his brother, senior Kendall Thompson, who rushed for 37 yards on eight carries.

"Losing Dalton and Hunter hurts considering they've been my workhorses for the better part of three weeks," Swoner said. "But I felt Joe (Rose, who stepped in at quarterback) and Kendall did a great job filling in that role for me."

The Blue Devils took the opening kickoff and drove 66yards on eight plays, capping it off with a 10-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Cole Parkerson to Justin Davis. Parkerson called his own number for the successful two-point conversion run, and with 7:59 left in the first quarter, the Blue Devils led 8-0.

The second and only other score of the night for the Blue Devils came in the second quarter, after the Bulldogs turned the ball over midfield. Prior to the turnover, RBS converted three first downs on the 10-play drive.

Rose was intercepted at the Jackson County 40 yard line, and the ball was returned to the Red Boiling Springs 19 yard line.

"Any time you turn the ball over, it's going to be a momentum killer," Swoner said. "Considering the mistakes we made on offense, I felt our defense did a good job."

Six plays later, Justin Lancaster had a 1-yard touchdown plunge.

Once again, the Blue Devils attempted the two-point conversion but were unsuccessful.

That Bulldog defense resisted two more Blue Devil trips deep into RBS territory. The Blue Devils tested the Bulldogs both times, going for it on fourth down, but incomplete passes ended those drives on the RBS 17 and 3 yard lines.

Helping the Bulldog defense were several new players to the program.

Defensive lineman Bobby McNeil was inserted during the last half of the game when senior Wesley Bean -- a four-year starter -- was taken out at the half after struggling due to the heat. Junior Walker Reynolds was finally cleared to play after transferring (along with his father, Bulldog assistant coach Kevin Reynolds) from Gallatin, and the linebacker made multiple tackles behind the line of scrimmage and also saw action at fullback.

"New players stepped in and did great," Swoner said. "As the season progresses, I believe they'll help us improve even more."

The Bulldogs put together a drive midway through the fourth quarter after the Blue Devils could not convert on fourth down at the Bulldog 30 yard line. RBS drove 11 plays, aided by a 20-yard reception by sophomore Michael Mathews as he fought off a Blue Devil defender to pick up the first down.

"Michael working for that first down goes back to his work ethic period," Swoner said. "He works hard in practice, and it showed when he worked hard for that first down."

The Bulldogs drive was stopped when a fourth-down conversion at the Blue Devil 23 yard line ended with a fumbled snap that was lost and recovered back at the 30 yard line.

Each team had 11 first downs, and RBS edged Jackson County in rushing yardage, 103-93. The Blue Devils had the advantage in passing yardage, 103-33.

The Blue Devils would win the air war with 103 yards to 33.

Mathews averaged 35 yards per punt.

The Bulldogs haven't started 0-4 since their winless campaign of 2008.

Friday's contest was the first meeting between the two programs since 2014, a game that Jackson County won by a 14-13 margin.

The Bulldogs will travel to Byrdstown to face Pickett County on Friday night. The Bobcats are 1-2, suffering a 50-18 loss to Clinton County (Ky.) on Friday.

Pickett County's win came in its season opener, a 22-0 victory at Oakdale.

The Bobcats have not defeated Red Boiling Springs since the 2008 season.

"We've got to be careful with Pickett," Swoner said. "Even though we've beat them for the last nine years, we still need to be prepared and not overlook them. They've had a taste of winning this year, and we know they're going to be hungry to keep winning."