It wasn’t the worst season in Campbell County High School football history, but 2010 will go down as one of the most frustrating.
The Cougars (1-7 district, 1-9 overall) had hoped to build on the two games they won last year, which included their first-ever victory over Knoxville Central.
Instead, Campbell County struggled most of the season and didn’t win a game (21-13 over Knox Halls) until the ninth week of the season. The Cougars concluded their season Friday night with a 48-7 home loss to longtime nemesis Oak Ridge.
“We competed very well in the first half,” said Campbell County coach Dewayne Wells.
“We gave up some big plays in the second half. We’ve been struggling with that all year.”
The Cougars gave up a pair of touchdowns in the first quarter before rallying with a 6-yard TD run by senior Keenan Evans early in the second quarter. Wesley Cook’s extra-point kick made it 14-7 with 9:24 left before halftime.
Oak Ridge (6-2 district, 6-4 overall) answered with a 12-yard score by Rian Hall, his second touchdown of the game, with 6:33 remaining. The Wildcats settled for a 21-7 advantage at intermission.
Oak Ridge star Rocky Fludd, who did not play during the first half for unspecified reasons, made up for lost time with touchdown runs of 55 and 40 yards in the third quarter.
Running behind mammoth offensive lineman Jose Valedon, a Vanderbilt recruit, the Wildcats churned out 344 yards on the ground. Oak Ridge finished the game with 486 yards of total offense and will travel to Cookeville this week to represent District 3 in the first round of the state playoffs
Junior quarterback Tuffy Shoupe led the Cougars with 139 yards on 20 carries.
“They were very fast on defense,” said Wells.
Despite the loss, Campbell County’s coaching staff is bound and determined not to have a repeat of the 2010 season in 2011. The Cougars are losing 13 seniors — including 4-year players Evans, Donovan Long, Tyler Green and Ethan Jeffries — but return a lot of juniors and sophomores that saw significant varsity action this year.
Wells said his team will begin hitting the weight room in the next few weeks to “get bigger, strong and faster.”
“We’ve got to play better in space and get more production from our skill players on offense,” said Wells.