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CAK wins big, makes history at 6-0

This year’s Christian Academy of Knoxville football team has managed to do what no previous Warriors team has been able to — win its first six games of the season.

After a 41-0 shutout against Sequoyah, Friday, Sept. 25, at CAK, the Warriors are now 6-0.

“It’s a good feeling to know we’re the first C-A-K team in history to go 6-and-0, so we’re going to keep it rolling and see how far we end up,” outside linebacker Colby Maddux said.

But head coach Rusty Bradley doesn’t want to start celebrating yet. “That’s something I think after the season we can get excited about, but I think for right now we’ve got to focus on what it takes for us to be successful next week,” he said.

In this game, success came easily for the Warriors. Every CAK drive of the first half resulted in a touchdown.

Quarterback Quinn Epperly had a hand in five of them. He ran in the first TD, and then connected with senior receiver Blake Houser for the other four.

“We had a strict game plan for them. We threw it pretty fast on them. We were trying to tempo them in the beginning, and I think that caught them a little off-guard,” Houser, who had nine receptions for 147 yards, said.

“It was really easy to get open. They were bailing really fast, and Quinn was able to find me. He made some perfect throws; all I was doing was running under it.”

Bradley added, “Quinn’s a good player. He sees the field, and he understands our system and what we’re asking him to do. Our receivers did a good job of catching the ball and trying to do something with the ball after the catch.”

Epperly passed for 221 yards, all of which were in the first half.

CAK’s defense scored a touchdown early in the second quarter when Maddux managed to reach the end zone on a 34-yard interception return. The pick was his second of the night.

“My first pick I went over to run the other side,” he said. “I guess they were trying to get tricky and threw a screen and I just saw it coming.”

Later in the half, JD Arnett also had an interception.

The Chiefs (0-5) were the first team to really try to pass against the Warriors, but after the third pick in the first half, their offensive strategy shifted.

“I think our defense is well-coached. We swarm to the ball. We know what we’re seeing so it’s pretty easy if you can see film and read it,” Maddux added.

Bradley said he’s pleased with Maddux. “Colby’s a good player. I used to make fun of Colby because he’s a back-up fullback for us and he struggled catching the ball last year. So now every time he makes a pick he comes up to me and says ‘Coach Bradley, I’ve got hands now.’ He’s really developed into a good player for us defensively.”

Bradley, who put in his J-V team at the start of the second half, said he was pleased with their performance. “They did great. Our defense did a nice job; our younger kids kept them out of the end zone. I felt … our offense moved the ball,” he added.

Houser agreed.

“I thought our J-V guys did great. They kept our shutout. They got some much-needed reps that were very important for them. I thought it was a really, really successful second half.”

Next week in a District 4-AA faceoff, CAK hosts Scott County, another team that likes to pass.

“We haven’t really been pressed much against our defensive backs, but Marcus Walker and J-D Arnett do well back there,” Maddux said.

Bradley added, “[Scott County’s] in a lot of four-wide, one-back sets so this was really good preparation for us for what we’re going to see next week.”

Opening kickoff is at 7:30 p.m. at CAK.

CAK is working around some injuries and illness.

In addition to the flu, which Bradley said has been a problem for many schools in the area, receiver Davis Burton is still unknown for next week’s game due to a hamstring injury. In the second quarter against Sequoyah, outside linebacker Zak Smith suffered what Bradley believed was a broken right leg.


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