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Cates TD passes lead CAK past Sweetwater to earn third in Region 2-2A

SWEETWATER — Christian Academy of Knoxville ended its regular season play on a high note, defeating Sweetwater High School by a point, 15-14, Friday, Oct. 26, at SHS.

This victory secures CAK’s third place in Region 2-2A play, while Sweetwater takes fourth.

“It was great, especially the type of game it was,” CAK head coach Bill Young said. “It came down to the last play of the game.”

The scoreboard didn’t light up until the second quarter when the two teams swapped a pair of touchdowns.

The Wildcats’ Nash Smith ran it in from nine yards out. The extra point attempt was missed.

CAK got to work on a Chris Cates pass to Derron Logan for 16 yards and a touchdown. Matthew Warren converted on the Warriors extra point to give CAK the lead.

CAK led at the half, but it wasn’t long until Sweetwater got their running game going again.

Craig Latham scored on a 10-yard run to put the Wildcats up 12-7. And again the point after attempt was missed.

The Wildcats would keep the lead until the fourth quarter when Cates connected with Ryan Geist for a 26-yard touchdown.

CAK went for the two-point conversion to make it a three point game. Cates threw to Mitchell Moran for the score and the confidence of knowing the other team must score a touchdown, not just a field goal, to win.

Sweetwater would score again — but it wasn’t enough.

The Warriors gave up a late safety that wasn’t a dilemma. In the final nine seconds Cates ran towards CAK’s end zone to run the time out.

Cates completed 20 of his 33 passes for 278 yards, two touchdowns and one two-point conversion.

Bo Sanford had a successful night on defense with five tackles and five assists.

CAK placed third last year in Region 2-AA play as well as this year.

“I was really pleased,” Young said. “We didn’t really know where we stood this year. We lost a couple of seniors and I was really proud of the way the younger guys stepped up.”

The Warriors will begin TSSAA Class 2A state tournament play Friday, Nov. 3, against Region 1-2A top seed South Greene High School at SGHS.

This is déjà vu for the Warriors, who played them last year in the first round of play.

“It was a close ballgame,” Young said. “We pulled away at the end, but it was a pretty competitive game.”

Opening kickoff is at 7 p.m.


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