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CAK warms up for Alcoa, improves to 9-0


Christian Academy of Knoxville fought hard against Elizabethton Friday, Oct. 22, and remains undefeated heading into its Thursday night, Oct. 28 showdown at unbeaten Class 3A power Alcoa.

Elizabethton is “by far the best team we’ve played thus far this year, and I was really pleased how hard our guys played. We came, and we executed,” CAK head football coach Rusty Bradley said of his team’s 34-14 win.

After CAK, now 9-0, punted away its first possession, Elizabethton threw the ball down the field for a touchdown, giving them the early lead.

“Last year, I know the seniors lost on their Senior Night and said it was one of the worst feelings ever. We came out and said we weren’t going to do that,” Warriors quarterback Quinn Epperly said.

Following the score, Epperly, who completed 21 of 30 passes, led his team to the end zone in 3:25.

Josh Henson, a junior fullback, caught Epperly’s pass for the touchdown. John Broyles’ extra point was good, and the game was tied at 7-7 at the end of the first quarter.

Elizabethton’s next possession ended in a punt. Warrior sophomore Josh Smith caught the punt at CAK’s 14-yard line and ran it to the Elizabethton 39.


Two plays later, the receiver caught Epperly’s pass and managed to get to the 1-yard line before he was tackled. Smith led the team with five catches for 92 yards.

Carson Pegram, a senior, ran the ball in for the touchdown on the next play. Broyles missed the extra point, and the score was 13-7.

The Cyclones, now 5-4, never made it to CAK’s side of the field the next time they controlled the ball, and the Warriors took advantage of the opportunity.

Epperly and his offense were in a groove and managed to score again in the second quarter.

It was 20-7 when the players hit the locker rooms for halftime.

The second half seemed to start off about the same for the Warriors.

Elizabethton slowly made its way down the field and scored first. But it was the Cyclones’ final score of the game.

“We eliminated [Elizabethton’s] big plays. We weren’t necessarily able to get them off the field as quickly as we wanted to at times, but the bottom line is we kept them to fourteen points. Elizabethton’s a good offensive team,” Bradley said. “I was proud of our guys keeping them from getting in the end zone and making stops when they had to.”

The CAK offense made it a two-possession game when it moved the ball 57 yards in seven plays for a touchdown.

Zach Scott’s interception ended the Cyclones’ next possession and led to the final CAK TD.

Scott said it was great coaching that led to his interception.

Elizabethton “ran exactly what our coaches told us they would,” he added. “They ran a slant, and I was in man coverage. We’ve been practicing that all week. … Coach Fred White played safety for UT on their national championship team. He’s a great coach, great teacher.”

Scott led the team with 10 tackles, followed by junior Colby Maddux with eight and senior Zach Mead with six.

The defense had three interceptions, courtesy of Scott, senior Jacob Duncan and sophomore Franklin Murchison. They also had three sacks: two from senior Bryson Leinius and one from junior Clay Powers.

“We tried to mix some things up, defensively, and get some different looks,” Bradley said about the interceptions and sacks. “We tried to get some guys free, and our corner did a great job of jumping some routes and making some plays.”

Opening kickoff for the Warriors’ game at Alcoa tonight is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.

“It’s a huge history there. We always play up to them, give them a good fight. This time we’re going to try to take it to the next level,” Scott said.

Davis Howell, who had two touchdown catches, said, “We’ve been scouting them all year, but we’re going to go in and watch some more film. We want to learn everything we can.”

 

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