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Warriors roll past Boyd-Buchanan in season opener

Christian Academy of Knoxville’s offense may have scored two touchdowns in the second quarter, but it was their defense that maintained the lead into the second half in Friday’s 14-0 home win against Boyd Buchanan.

“We kept our defense on the field a long time, and I think they did a great job of stepping up and keeping them out of the end zone and getting us the ball back,” CAK head coach Rusty Bradley said. “We can’t put them in the position of having to go right back out on the field again, but I thought overall our kids played hard.

“I think our defense is very disciplined. We have a lot of team speed defensively. Guys did a good job of getting to the football, making plays,” he added. “Joseph Bennett made a lot of plays. Bo Sanford always makes plays for us at free safety; he had an interception. I thought our corners played pretty well.”

The men up front weren’t forgotten. “I thought our defensive line, [particularly] Matt Huddleston did a nice job giving some pressure at some times,” Bradley said. “Jonathan Berube at defensive end made some plays. I was pleased with a lot of the guys.”

It was Bo Sanford’s interception with 4:49 left in the second quarter that resulted in CAK’s second touchdown just 20 seconds later. Jay Scott caught Chris Cate’s six-yard pass, and with Matt Warren’s extra point, the score changed to 14-0.

Bennett, who led the defense with 15 solo tackles and four assists, said, “I believe [the win] was due to a lot of hard practice this week. [On defense] I took my reads and followed my guards and ended up in the right place.”

With 7:17 left in the second quarter, Bennett scored CAK’s first touchdown of the night, and his first career touchdown, with a 43-yard reception.

“First one I’ve ever scored,” he said. “It was pretty awesome.”

Offensively, Chris Cates threw two interceptions, though neither resulted in a Boyd score.

Bradley said, “Offensively I thought Chris Cates threw the ball well. He had a bad decision on his second interception in the second half, but I thought he threw the ball well. I thought Keenan [Kolinsky] ran the ball hard. … I thought Jay Scott caught the ball well. I thought Billy High made a couple of nice catches.

“You’ve got to give Boyd Buchanan credit. They played hard; they played disciplined,” the coach added. “They are a very well coached team. Coming out in the third quarter, I think we let up just a little bit. We didn’t execute.”

Wes Stooksbury, who had four solo tackles and nine assists, said, “I’m a senior this year, and when I was in eighth-grade, once the middle school season was over, I played with the high school. After a month-and-a-half of going through the playoffs, we ended up losing to Boyd [Buchanan].”

Bradley said, “It really is nice [to get the first win]. I was, not really nervous during the week, but anxious. Today God just gave me a true sense of peace about the whole thing.”

As far as injuries go, “Right now we seem to be O-K. I think Andrew Frazer has a swollen knee, but I don’t know the extent of it. Other than that, we’re healthy,” the coach said.

Next week CAK plays at Cherokee, a team Bradley said he doesn’t know much about.

“I don’t know a lot about Cherokee. I know that they’re a fairly physical team. We’ll go out there; we’ll compete,” he added. “It’s an important game for us, because we need non-region wins to help us in case we have a tiebreaker situation with the playoffs.”

Opening kick-off is 7:30 p.m.


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