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Despite mistakes, Warriors glide past Grace Christian

Christian Academy of Knoxville never trailed during its Friday football game at Grace Christian Academy, though some Warriors wouldn’t classify it as an easy victory.

As first reported on Farragut First Edition ( Aug. 21, CAK defeated the Rams 29-13. But they had fumbles, several penalties and threw three interceptions.

“We had turnovers, we had penalties, we missed tackles. Things weren’t perfect, but these guys fought through the adversity, and I’m proud of them,” CAK head coach Rusty Bradley said. “I love the hearts of these kids. ... They are very, very passionate about playing.

“We needed adversity tonight. That’s what this season is going to be about for us. It’s going to be about adversity.”

Senior Davis Burton agreed penalties were a problem.

“Penalties killed us. I think we could’ve gotten a lot more points on the board if it weren’t for penalties. They were really physical, and we expected that, but we should’ve kept our composure better,” he said.

CAK scored first, capitalizing on Tyler Eichholtz’s interception halfway through the first quarter.

“I dropped back into coverage and turned around to find the crossing route. It was a bad pass, and I intercepted,” he said.

The junior linebacker had nine total tackles and a recovered fumble in addition to the interception.

Leading the team with five receptions, Burton caught a pair of touchdown passes, the first coming 16 seconds after Eichholtz’s interception.

“It was exciting. I got some good down-field blocking, so it wasn’t just me,” Burton added. “Quinn [Epperly] threw some good balls to me. It was a good team effort.”

GCA answered Burton’s second TD with a quick drive to the end zone. Neither team scored in the second quarter, making the halftime score 14-7.

CAK scored in third quarter as junior Marcus Walker drove in from the 3, hopping over the Rams defense.

All remaining points were scored during the fourth quarter, including an unexpected two-point conversion play.

Burton, the team’s fourth-string kick holder due to injury, lost control of the conversion snap but ran for two points.

Bradley said his team is fairly healthy entering its first home game versus Seymour Friday, Aug. 28. Opening kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m.

“Seymour is going to be a huge game for us. They are a huge opponent,” the coach said. “We’re opening a new facility and dedicating a new facility before the game, so that’s going to be a big deal for us.

“With the way the playoffs are, every game is critical,” Bradley added. “Every non-district game is critical to win wildcard spots, so next week is going to be a huge game for us.”

Eichholtz added, “They are supposed to be big and tough, pretty physical, so we’ve just got to get prepared this week. It’s going to be a big game for us.”


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