A competitive high school football game Friday night against Knox Halls quickly turned sour for Campbell County during the final 5 1/2 minutes.
Trailing by a single point on their home turf, the Cougars (2-5 district, 3-6 overall) gave up two touchdowns down the stretch of a 28-13 loss to the Red Devils (3-4 district, 3-6 overall).
“The kids really played hard. We really had (Halls) on the ropes,” said Campbell County coach Dewayne Wells.
“We’ve been competitive this year in all of our games, with the exception of Loudon and Clinton. Those are the only two games where they were just better than us.”
Campbell County had hopes of a third consecutive playoff berth until the loss to Halls. Now, the Cougars are looking at this week’s regular season finale at Oak Ridge as their bowl game.
During Friday’s game, Campbell County intercepted three passes and recovered two fumbles.
“That’s what kept us in the game,” said Wells.
Senior defensive back Trevor Nolan led the Cougars with 14 tackles and a pair of interceptions. Freshman DB Bo Farris also picked off a pass. Senior linebacker Bradley Hicks made eight tackles and also gained 77 yards on a pair of kickoff returns.
Nolan scored Campbell County’s first touchdown while playing running back on offense. The Red Devils led 14-7 after one quarter and held the same advantage at halftime.
The Cougars got within a point, 14-13, early in the fourth quarter when junior quarterback Tuffy Shoupe hit senior wide receiver Zach Ward on a fade route that resulted in a 72-yard touchdown.
“It was a play-action pass,” said Wells.
The corner bit, and (Ward) was able to score.”
Shoupe completed 6 of 13 passes for 108 yards and a touchdown. The downside was that Shoupe was picked off twice.
Ward caught two passes for 85 yards. Nolan had three receptions for 23 yards.