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New faces, overpowering win for CAK in home opener

There were several new faces on the Christian Academy of Knoxville football field Friday, Aug. 29, but that didn’t stop them from overpowering Cherokee High School, with a final score of 45-21.

Most of the CAK points were scored in the first half, while Warrior starting players were still on the field. The Chiefs weren’t able to score more than once until CAK head football coach Rusty Bradley gave his second-string players some game experience.

“When it was 38-7 [at halftime] I wanted to get one more drive with our [first-string players] in the second half. Once it was 45-7 I was ready to substitute and get our younger guys lined up,” Bradley said.

Though CHS was able to score two more times before the clock ran out, “I am really pleased with this game. We had a bad taste in our mouth from the loss last week, and we just came out and exploded,” he said. “I told these guys that God had a reason for us not winning against Boyd-Buchanan. This team is better off after what happened last week. We’ve grown and developed because of it.”

The 45 Warrior points were distributed throughout the team. Matthew Warren scored his first field goal of the season in the first quarter.

All other points were earned through touchdowns.

Tailback Keenan Kolinsky ran for two scores, quarterback Michael Fromke passed to Ryan Brooksbank, Blake Houser and Quinn Epperly for three touchdowns, and Fromke scored an additional touchdown when he ran the ball for 66 yards in the second quarter.

The head coach said he was pleased with Fromke’s performance on the field.

“He is just phenomenal. I’m so pleased with him, his development, his demeanor. He has developed into a really great player… I love the kid to death,” Bradley said.

Fromke said he was surprised by his score.

During the play, “I got flushed out to the right, and I saw a way and just took off and ran. [Kolinsky] threw a great block. I thought I might get about five yards,” he said.

Several players stood out on defense, including Ethan Poe and newcomer Marcus Walker.

“Ethan Poe is just a tough, hard-nosed guy, who is where he is supposed to be when he’s supposed to be there, and he makes plays. That’s what this defense needs and between him, Jacob Duncan and Tyler Eichholtz, we’ve got guys who can make plays. It’s exciting because two out of the three of them are sophomores,” Bradley said.

Poe, a linebacker, led the team with 10 tackles, and he attributed his success to “great film study and the coach working with me. A lot of times I could see how the play was going, and if you know where it’s going then you know how to play it so you’re there for the tackle.”

Walker had two interceptions and was fourth on the team in total tackles, behind Eichholtz and junior Tyler Hardin, who both had eight.

“Marcus Walker is a guy that just kind of rolled into our laps,” Bradley said. “We’ve been very pleased with him. He’s a great athlete. He’s never played football before – a sophomore who’s never played organized athletics before.

“He’s really developed into a great player for us.”

Walker is new to CAK this year, a former home-school student, and said he was excited to be part of the team.

“It’s fun. I enjoy it. I stay focused and play my heart out,” he said. “I keep my eyes on the ball, and every time I get on the line I tell myself to stay focused.”

Next, the Warriors face their first Region 2-2A game, when they battle Loudon (1-1 record) at LHS Friday, Sept. 5. Opening kick-off is 7:30 p.m.

Fromke said he’s excited to meet up with this CAK rival again.

“I remember my sophomore year when we played there. The place sold out, and they were pumped up to play. It’s a cool atmosphere, and I’m looking forward to it,” he said.

“They’re going to be hungry to play. We beat them twice last year, and they’re a tradition-rich football team. We’ve got to enjoy this win for a little bit then get focused and ready to play.”


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