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Rout of Wartburg sets stage for CAK showdown with Spartans

Christian Academy of Knoxville dominated at Wartburg Central High School during their match-up Friday, Sept. 21, and easily won the game with a final score of 42-8.

Head coach Rusty Bradley said he began substituting his starters during the second quarter of this region match-up.

“We just exploded the first half. I believe it was 35 [to] zero at the end of the first half. We scored on our first four drives,” he said. “We started rotating some guys early in the second quarter. We went with all backups the last four minutes of the second quarter and just kept going with younger and younger players throughout the second half.”

The Warrior defense held Wartburg scoreless until late in the third quarter.

Bradley said he attributes it to “our team speed and everybody getting to the football, playing their assignments and overall physicalness of our kids. I think we were a little better than they were in that area. Once we got some younger guys in, Wartburg made some plays in the second half and was able to score.”

Individually, “Ethan Poe stepped up and made a lot of plays for us. He had nine tackles. Wes Stooksbury played really well. They were probably the two best as far as linebacker goes,” Bradley said. “Up front, a lot of guys made some plays. Gabe Atkinson did a nice job. Steven Fortner came in, a younger player, and did some nice stuff. Tyler McCoy is a backup for us at free safety, and he had two interceptions. … Bo Sanford had an interception. I thought a lot of guys played well.”

CAK was balanced offensively, with 197 yards rushing and 199 yards passing.

The coach said, “We were really able to run it and throw it, and the ability to run the ball really set up our play action passes. Chris [Cates] was very accurate and threw the ball really well. Jay Scott scored three times and made a couple of nice catches.

“Keenan [Kolinsky] really ran the ball well, ran the ball hard. We had no protection issues on offensive line. They really did a nice job.”

Going into this week’s game against Webb School of Knoxville, Bradley said, “It’s an exciting game and is a big game for us because it’s a good program and Coach [Dave] Meske does a really good job at Webb. It’s good preparation for us, because they’re a fast team and pretty physical overall.”

As far as injuries go, he said, “We’re pretty healthy right now. We’ve got a couple guys that are nipped here and there, but that’s kind of normal for this time of the year.

“Jonathan Berube had a slight blow to the head, but he should be O-K. We held him out the rest of the game, but he should be fine. Outside of that we’re pretty healthy. … Joseph [Bennett] got a hip bruise, above his hip actually. He’ll be fine. I talked to him today and he said it was much better. He’ll be totally fine and ready to go.”

Several people have speculated what is in the box Bradley carries out at the beginning of every football game. Last week, he broke his silence.

“I gave every player an index card and gave them five minutes to pray and think about what their goals were for this season. We had a box at the foot of a cross, and each player placed their card in the box and surrendered it to God,” he said. “So every time we come out on the field I remind them about the box, that it’s about surrender and playing for God and not yourself.”


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