AFTON, Tenn. (WJHL) – The Unicoi County Blue Devils looked to be on their way to a 7-0 start to the season on Thursday night. They opened up a double-digit lead on Chuckey-Doak headed into halftime.

But, the Black Knights weren’t fazed.

“There was no panic in the locker room; we knew what we had to fix,” Chuckey-Doak head coach Dallas Kuykendall said.

The Black Knights may have been trailing 13-0, but Kuykendall believed the game was far from over.

“It wasn’t a whole lot of ‘rah-rah’ type speeches, it was just, ‘hey we’ve got to get better at this,'” he said of the game. “‘Here’s the adjustments we need to make’ and ‘we have to go out there and execute better.'”

That’s exactly what they did, storming back to score 34 second-half points by using the hot hand of quarterback Cayden Tullock.

“The first half, I just couldn’t get settled in, then second half I finally got settled in,” the senior said. “Receivers were always open. I just couldn’t find them, and then I started finding them.”

Tullock shook off a pair of first-half interceptions and tossed three touchdown passes over the final two quarters to go along with 267 yards through the air.

“He’s been that every week for us this whole season,” Kuykendall said. “He’s as steady as they come back there. He doesn’t get too high, he doesn’t get too low.”

But, Tullock credits his teammates – a tight-knit group, by his account – and his coaches for the can-do attitude that’s gotten them to this point.

“Listening to what our coaches say, trust them to put us in the right position, and when they do, we just go ahead and play as hard as we can – give it our all to end up on top,” he said.

The Black Knights would no doubt like to end up on top of Region 1-3A, and they’re well on their way with a 2-0 region record. Kuykendall believes having Tullock as the signal-caller gives the team a certain edge.

“I don’t know if we win South Greene if we implode there at quarterback. I don’t know if we win Unicoi if we implode there at quarterback,” he said. “His leadership is very key in keeping us on track and keeping this going.”

Chuckey-Doak (5-1) continues its season at Cumberland Gap on Friday night.