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Warriors stay perfect, end skid against Loudon 38-21

The Christian Academy of Knoxville Warriors remain undefeated, as they beat Loudon for the first time since moving up to Class 2A three years ago.

A final score of 38-21 at home launched CAK to a 3-0 record Friday, Sept. 7.

“It feels great. I think we took advantage of some things that they gave us defensively,” Rusty Bradley, CAK head coach, said. “They gave us opportunities for big plays, and for the first time in three years we were able to take advantage of those opportunities.

“The guys executed well. Chris [Cates] had some balls get away from him a little bit, but I thought overall we threw the ball well. I was really pleased.”

Individually, “Jordan Cross had a big catch. Billy [High] and Jay Scott played well. I thought Keenan [Kolinsky] ran the ball hard. On the offensive line we had no protection issues,” he added.

Cross caught a 31-yard TD pass with 7:06 left in the third quarter.

Pointing out the play was a switch in strategy, Bradley said, “We were trying to work to the weaker side of the formation to try to keep the defense on us and not have them overshift everybody to the two receivers’ side.”

Cross said, “It was a play we had talked about at halftime. Coach saw the play, called it perfectly, and told me about it. … It felt great getting into the end zone for the first time. It was a great throw by the quarterback.”

The touchdown, coming just 51 seconds after an LHS touchdown, “brought my spirits up, and I think it brought the whole team’s spirits up, because we all really wanted to beat Loudon; that’s been a major goal of mine this season,” Cross added.

Kolinsky ran for 97 total yards, while Scott had four receptions for 106 yards. High caught the only interception of the night, with 5:40 left in the fourth quarter, denying LHS the opportunity to narrow CAK’s lead.

Loudon’s possession time exceeded CAK’s by more than seven minutes.

“I thought our defense did a great job of stepping up and stopping them when they had to,” Bradley said. “Joseph [Bennett] played well. I think up front Gabe Atkinson did a very nice job for us. Our defensive line overall did a nice job. Wes Stooksbury had some nice plays. Trevor Brown played well. Billy High made some plays at corner, broke some plays up for us. Overall the whole unit played well.”

Bennett led the team with 20 tackles and three sacks. John Glafenhein had 10 tackles, and Bo Sanford had 13.

“I think every time I lined up I was praying for the strength to compete, and the Lord blessed me with that,” Sanford said. “I had a couple of plays that I’d like to take responsibility for the reason they scored, but I think as a team we were able to pull together and stop them.

“In our history we’ve never beaten Loudon. We moved up to 2A my sophomore year, and we lost to them my sophomore and junior years,” he added.

Atkinson and Seth Burdette had an important sack late in the second quarter, ending the first half.

“It felt great; [Loudon’s quarterback is] a pretty speedy little guy,” Atkinson said. “Mainly our job is just to watch and contain, make sure no one moves inside of us. Me and Seth just did what we were told, came in slowly and just got him out of his game.”

Bradley said the team remains “a little dinged up,” but generally healthy. The Warriors face off against Page at home Friday, Sept 14. Opening kick-off is 7:30 p.m.


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