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CAK rally falls short at Alcoa

Jitters plagued Christian Academy of Knoxville at Alcoa High School’s Goddard Field Friday, Oct. 12, and though the team managed to shake them off at halftime, they still came up short with a final score of 38-21.

The Warriors, down 31-0 at halftime, outscored the Tornadoes in the second half by 14 points against the three-time defending Class 2A state champions.

“Obviously we want to win. I’m not really into moral victories; we still lost the game, but our kids proved something to me that a win couldn’t, and that is that they will fight, they will compete, and they will not play in fear,” Rusty Bradley, CAK head coach, said. “I challenged them at halftime. I reiterated the fact that as Christians, we have no fear. I thought that sometimes in the first half there were guys who didn’t believe, but then we came out in the second half.

“I think we learned something about ourselves as Christians that we don’t have to have fear.”

Bradley’s pep-talk appeared to work, as Joseph Bennett, who led the team with 10 receptions, 93 receiving yards and 16 tackles, rushed for 40 yards for CAK’s first touchdown just 2:11 into the third quarter.

Warriors’ leading rusher Keenan Kolinsky scored the second touchdown early in the fourth quarter, which gave Matt Warren, who still has yet to miss an extra point, the opportunity to give the ball back to CAK with a successful on-side kick.

Three minutes later, Billy High caught a pass for the Warriors’ third touchdown. High also caught the team’s only interception.

“We’ve worked on the play all the time in practice. We’d tried it earlier, but it hadn’t quite worked out, but this time I got up there and got a good beat on the guy and got to the corner of the end zone. Chris [Cates] made a great pass,” High said. “It felt great; I got knocked to the fence, but it was a great feeling. I give all the credit to God.”

Jay Scott was second behind Bennett in receptions and receiving yards and said, “I just hated it that the 31-point lead at halftime was what it took to get us playing. I came out, and to be perfectly honest, I was down. I’m not taking any credit for [the change in the team during the second half]. My team picked me up.”

Scott caught an important seven-yard pass in the fourth quarter, giving CAK the first down that led to High’s touchdown. Scott said the catch was all luck.

“I kind of choked and dropped the ball, but then caught it with my feet. I caught it in between my feet. I looked over, the ball’s in my feet, the referee called it. It was a lucky catch,” he added.

Bennett suffered a minor hip injury three weeks ago against Wartburg High School, but he said it didn’t bother him against Alcoa.

“My injury’s back at 100 percent now, so it’s good,” he added.

Bradley said with the exception of Wes Stooksbury, who’s out with a broken arm, the team is healthy.

The Warriors’ next game is at Oliver Springs High School. Opening kick-off is set at 7:30 p.m., Friday, Oct. 19.

Bradley said, “We’re going to have to watch the films to prepare for Oliver Springs and what they do, and go from there.”


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