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Warriors turn ‘Page,’ roll 34-9

Neither a wet field nor playing a Class 3A school kept Christian Academy of Knoxville, a 2A school, from realizing its goal of continuing a perfect record.

The Warriors beat Page High School 34-9 Friday, Sept. 14, at home, but the wet conditions, CAK head coach Rusty Bradley said, did take some getting used to.

“Early on I think guys were trying to get adjusted to the footing. We had an open receiver and he just fell one time; we had a bad snap because of a wet ball. But I thought overall guys adjusted, and it didn’t affect the game too much,” he said.

The Warriors, both offensively and defensively, stumbled a bit in the first half but recovered in the second, the coach said.

“I thought [defensively], guys stepped up in the second half. Early on I thought we were maybe a little flat. Page came out and did some things offensively that they had not shown on film, and so it took us a couple of series to get adjusted to that,” he said. “[Offensively] we had a chance to put up more points than we actually did. We had a turnover and had to kick field goals where I thought we could’ve punched it in, but I thought we came out in the second half and really turned things on.”

Kicker Matt Warren, who hasn’t missed a kick all season, “has gotten so much better, it’s amazing,” Bradley added. “[Assistant coach] Jeff Hall has really spent a lot of time with him. Matt has been phenomenal. For somebody his size, he has a lot of power; he has a really strong leg. He’s a huge weapon for us, I’m really pleased with him.”

Warren, a sophomore who converted two field goals and four extra points against Page, said he credits God first, his team second, for his success.

“I give all the credit to my line and God for giving me the ability,” he said. “Last year I was really focused on myself and not focused on God in my kicking, but this year I’m more focused on Him and giving all the glory to Him for all my kicks.”

Also standing out offensively, Bradley said, was “Chris [Cates], who I thought played well. Jordan Cross had several big plays for us. Keenan [Kolinsky] ran the ball exceptionally hard. Joseph [Bennett] made some plays for us in the passing game. I thought Jay Scott made some nice catches, [he] caught a deep ball for a touchdown. Ryan Brooksbank came in and relieved Billy High for a little bit and caught three or four balls, I believe.

“I thought our line protected well,” Bradley added. “We were able to run the ball with a good amount of success.”

Bennett made the game’s only interception and also “played well” on defense with 16 tackles, Bradley said.

High had eight tackles and an 18-yard catch that led to a touchdown on the following play late in the third quarter.

About his catch, High said, “It was third down, and we were slacking a little bit on offense so I just tried to go out there and do what I could to move the ball down the field.”

Freshman Jacob Duncan blocked a Page punt with 2:42 left in the game, giving the Warriors good field position for their last possession.

“I saw a hole and took it,” Duncan said. “The guy bobbled his snap, and I just got a good hit on him. It felt awesome.”

Bradley held Seth Burdette and Chris Jaeger out this game, “as a precautionary measure,” but he said he thought the team overall was healthy.

This Friday, the Warriors travel to Wartburg, their second regional game of the season. Opening kick-off for the Sept. 21 game is 7:30 p.m.


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