Blue Devils heat up after slow start

  • Keshawn Toney of the Williston-Elko Blue Devils attempts to haul in a touchdown pass in Friday’s game against Denmark-Olar.

Williston-Elko High coach Derek Youngblood wasn’t left discouraged by several early glitches in a 48-6 blowout win over Denmark-Olar High Friday night.

Youngblood came away fairly pleased overall despite a couple of first-half turnovers on offense.

“We started a little slow, but sometimes there’s going to be some sloppy play now and then. However, I have to give my players credit how they responded after a tough start. We cleaned up our play in a hurry to take control of the game,” Youngblood said.

With the win, Williston-Elko High completes another undefeated run through region play. Williston-Elko improves to 8-2 overall and 7-0 in the region.

The Blue Devils, who notched a No. 1 seed, will have a bye this week before hosting the winner of the Blackville-Hilda versus Dixie game on Nov. 10.

“Right now, I feel pretty good about our chances. This bye week gives us a chance to get our players healthy. We had a great run the second half of the season, but this is a new season now so we’re not looking to take anything for granted,” Youngblood said.

Through the first 12 minutes of the game, with the teams locked in a scoreless tie, it appeared Denmark-Olar High was going to give the Blue Devils a run for their money.

That, however, quickly changed with 9:32 left in the second quarter. On a third down and five from the Vikings’ 39-yard line, quarterback Tyran Parker completed a short pass to Keshawn Toney, who outraced three defenders to the pylon. The point after failed.

Down by a touchdown, the Vikings looked to answer on the ensuing drive, but encountered a Blue Devils ball-hawking defense led by Jasper Lott, Kendell Myers, Evander Tyler and Meddikis Priester.

On first down, Lott corralled a Viking runner behind the line-of-scrimmage for a three yard loss. On second down, Myers and Tyler teamed up to make a stop after a three yard gain. The Vikings attempted to pass on the following play, but Priester stepped in front of the intended receiver for an interception.

The Blue Devils quickly cashed in on the turnover. On second down and five, Parker fired a pass to Demarkiis Doe over the middle. Doe then broke free from a defender and wove his way through the secondary for a 45-yard touchdown.

After the score, it took just 10 seconds for the Blue Devils to get the ball back. Darian Folk of the Blue Devils recovered a fumble on the ensuing kickoff return at the Vikings’ 48-yard line.

Again, the Blue Devils would go to the air for success. This time on third and eight, Parker completed a 23-yard pass along the sidelines to Toney to the Vikings’ two yard-line.

Two plays later, Terrell Young ran into the end zone untouched.

The point after gave the Blue Devils a 20-0 lead with 2:06 left in the first half.

“Tyran Parker had some really good throws in the second quarter. He made really good reads and he put the ball in position where his receivers could make plays,” Youngblood said.

In the second half, the Blue Devils continued to heat up on offense. The team scored four more touchdowns on scores by Parker, Jarius Tobin, Tres Rimes and Toney to close out the game.