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Another long bus ride, another 50-plus for CAK

For the second week in a row, Christian Academy of Knoxville’s football team had a lengthy bus ride to the game.

And for the second game in a row, the points, and ultimately the win, came easy for CAK, beating Stone Memorial 54-28 on Friday, Sept. 2.

“I was pleased offensively with what we did, moving the ball fairly consistently, and scoring every drive we had the ball in the first half,” CAK head coach, Rusty Bradley, said.

In the first District 4-AA game of the season for CAK (3-0, 1-0), quarterback Charlie High, a junior, completed 23 of 34 passes for 389 yards and six touchdowns before the reserve team took over in the fourth quarter. Davis Howell, also a junior, caught eight passes for 146 yards.

In his first game back after suffering a broken collar bone, Franklin Murchison caught five passes, including the first score of the night, for 140 yards.

“I wanted to get [Franklin] involved in the game early and get him some touches on that first drive,” Bradley said. “It was huge for us to get him back offensively. Now we have all three of our starting receivers back and healthy.”

Josh Smith and Jordan Ritchie had two touchdown catches. Chip Rhodes had one. The other two scores were on the ground, but not from Corey Rathbone, CAK’s usual starting tailback. Seniors Josh Henson and Doug Redford stepped in, each scoring a TD, so Rathbone could rest a shoulder that’s been giving him trouble.

Henson and Redford are key to CAK’s defense and are “both good players. They’re guys that we know we can win the game with, if they have to step in offensively,” Bradley said.

Senior Colby Maddux continued to lead the Warriors’ inexperienced defense. He and freshman Ryan Long each had 11 tackles for the night.

Ritchie was a force on both sides of the ball. In addition to his two touchdowns, he had nine tackles and caught one interception. Clay Powers started for the first time this season and did “a really good job.”

The Warriors will be on the road again for the next game, but this time significantly closer to home. Kickoff is at 7:30 p.m., Friday, Sept. 9, at Grace Christian Academy.

Bradley said, “We have to really focus on playing our game and playing football, and not get caught up in all the excitement.”


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