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‘Road’ Warriors double up Cherokee

Playing in Rogersville, the season’s first away game, didn’t intimidate Christian Academy of Knoxville Friday, Aug. 31, against Cherokee High School.

The Warriors beat the Chiefs 42-21, and Rusty Bradley, CAK head coach, said much of the work was done in the first-half of the game, when five of the six touchdowns were scored.

“We played well, especially in the first half. Things were just really, really clicking, and I felt like we had a good mix of run and pass and play-action off of our run game. The kids came out and really executed well on both sides of the ball, because defensively we really shut them down in the first half as well,” he said.

CAK ended the game with twice the number of first downs, twice the number of offensive yards, but similar possession time as Cherokee.

“You know we picked up first downs, but we also scored quickly simply because we’re no huddle. There were times last night where we had gotten everything called, and we were actually ready to snap the ball pretty soon after they had just marked the ball and spotted the ball,” Bradley said. “Part of the game plan was to up-tempo them a little more, just because we felt like we had an advantage from a conditioning standpoint.”

Offensively, Bradley said, “I thought Chris Cates, our quarterback, threw well. I thought he made good decisions. Jordan Cross made a lot of plays for us at receiver; he had over 100 yards receiving and did something with the ball after he caught it. Jay Scott had some nice catches.

“Keenan Kolinsky ran the ball well, had a long run [53 yards] that he broke free for a touchdown. The offensive line did a great job at pass protection, and honestly did a great job on the run game, considering we were probably outmatched a little physically up front.”

After the final whistle blew, Cates had thrown for 297 yards, while Kolinsky rushed for 127 yards and three touchdowns.

But an offense can’t win a game alone, and Bradley gave much credit to his defense.

“I feel like guys were really doing a good job of playing their assignments and running to the football. Not just trying to make a play every time, but making sure their assignment was covered before they pursued the ball. I thought they were disciplined and really played hard,” he said.

Individually, “I think Joseph [Bennett] had 12 tackles; [he] did a nice job. Wes Stooksbury, I think, had 11 tackles. Taylor Moran had an interception. Bo Sanford made some plays for us at free safety; he had seven tackles,” he added. “Gabe Atkinson, one of our defensive ends, really caused a lot of pressure and disrupted a lot of stuff they were trying to do. He had two sacks and some other quarterback hurries and did a good job of getting into the backfield pretty much the entire night.”

CAK reported no injuries.

Looking ahead to the next game, hosting region rival Loudon Friday, Bradley said, “It’s going to be a huge game for us. They’ve had our number the last two years, and this will be our first region game. I think it’s important that, as much as possible, we get off to a good start in the region.” Opening kick-off is set for 7:30 p.m.


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