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Grace stuns CAK

For the first time since 2008, Christian Academy of Knoxville's football team was defeated by a bunch other than Alcoa.

The Warriors fell just short of remaining undefeated, losing at Grace Christian Academy 32-31, Friday, Sept. 9.

“Bottom line is God's purpose for us tonight was not to win,” CAK head coach Rusty Bradley said.

“He doesn't mess up, and this [loss] is just part of His plan for this group,” Bradley added. “We've got to accept that and move on.”

A shaky start on both sides of the ball put the Warriors (3-1, 1--1) behind early, and they spent the rest of the game trying to catch up.

Quarterback Charlie High and the receivers “weren't really connecting in the beginning,” Josh Smith, CAK receiver, said.

Grace's “offensive line got after our defensive line,” Bradley added.

Inside linebacker Camden Winzenburg, who led the team with 18 tackles, said, “We came out in the first half and we thought we were going to win.”

Excitement grew on the crowded visitor's side with CAK's solid third quarter.

The Warriors defense kept Grace (4-0) out of the end zone, and CAK’s offense scored after a long, steady drive, cutting Grace's lead to one point.

So when the Rams scored in the fourth, making it 32-25, Smith, who caught 10 passes for 212 yards and two touchdowns, knew the Warriors’ offense needed to step up quickly.

On CAK's next offensive play, he caught a 67-yard pass from High and broke several tackles to get the TD.

“I was pretty upset, so I took my anger out and refused to go down.”

The Warriors failed to get the two-point conversion and remained one point behind with 6:31 left in the game.

The defense denied Grace another score, forcing the Rams to punt and giving CAK the opportunity to win.

Unfortunately, High, who threw for 328 yards in the game, fumbled on the first play, and Grace recovered the ball with 1:04 remaining.

“On our hitch-and-go, Charlie pumps it and resets it, and when he tried to pump the hitch it slipped out of his hand,” Bradley explained.


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