Energized by a lively homecoming crowd and a desire to reach the win column, Josey snapped its nine-game losing streak and won its first game of the season, defeating Butler 28-12 on at White Road Stadium on Saturday.
It was the first victory as Eagles head coach for John Noah, who took over for Barney Chavous in the off-season.
"This is what we've been working for," Noah said.
"We have been trying real hard to establish a fundamentally sound football team. We've had trouble stumbling out of the gates, but tonight we were able to put together a couple of nice drives early. We didn't make many mistakes and we put enough points on the board to hang on."
The Eagles (1-5), who hadn't scored more than 20 points in a game since the skid began last season, jumped on the Bulldogs early and took a 28-0 lead into halftime.
Josey's opening drive went 61 yards, capped off by a 9-yard touchdown pass from sophomore quarterback Markquis Burton to junior tight end Brandon Lee.
After Eagles running back Demarquies Dunn, who led all rushers with 97 yards on 13 carries, scored on a 23-yard run early in the second quarter, cornerback Conrad Wilburn picked off a pass from Butler's Clayton Johnson in a flat and took it back 36 yards to put Josey up 20-0. The extra point attempt was blocked.
Burton would later connect with Titus Jenkins on a 17-yard pass just before the half. A two-point conversion gave Josey its final points of the afternoon.
"We all came together and told each other what we were going to do today," said Burton, who completed 14 of 20 passes for 139 yards.
"I got to give a lot of credit to the offensive line. They blocked good and my receivers made the catches. We were able to get it done."
Butler (0-6) saw its school-record losing streak extend to 37 games.
The Bulldogs offense, which was managed only 80 total yards in the first half, showed signs of life in the second half, but Butler simply ran out of time with its methodical Wing-T formation.
Butler got a spark from running back Jeffrey Menefee, who had 18 carries for 89 yards and a touchdown.
It was only the second time this season that the Bulldogs have scored double-digits in a game.
Josey travels to Evans on Friday while Butler plays host to Westside.
Reach Joey Jones at (706) 823-3304 or firstname.lastname@example.org.