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Cougars fall 46-13 to AC in renewal of football rivalry

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By Dwane Wilder

Campbell County High School’s varsity football team will have to wait another year for a chance at a victory over Anderson County.

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After a 15-year hiatus, the series resumed Friday night at L. Hope Dossett Stadium, with the visiting Mavericks pulling out a 46-13 victory in the second half.

The Cougars (0-1 region, 1-2 overall) spotted AC (1-0 region, 1-1 overall) an early 12-0 lead before storming back to take a one-point advantage in the third quarter. The Mavericks scored five touchdowns during the final 23 minutes to put the game out of reach.

“We held our own in the first half,” said Campbell County coach Dewayne Wells.

“It was a dogfight in the third quarter. Our defense played well in the first half. We just made too many turnovers and too many mistakes. And they broke some big plays, also.”

The Cougars held AC to a pair of 27-yard goals by senior place-kicker Nick Beaty during the first quarter. Trey McCoy, a strapping 6-foot, 225 lb. sophomore, charged across from the 1-yard line to put the Mavericks up 12-0 at the 6:52 mark of the second quarter.

Anderson County would’ve been up three scores at that point had Zane Roberts’ 98-yard interception return for a touchdown not been waved off because of a block in the back penalty.

Campbell County finally got its option attack going with a 78-yard touchdown drive during the last six minutes of the first half. Senior quarterback Trevor Nolan broke a 50-yard run down the right sideline to give the Cougars a first-and-goal at the Mavericks’ 4-yard line. Two plays later, Nolan kept the ball again for a 1-yard TD. Wesley Cook booted the point-after kick to cut AC’s lead to 12-7 with 3:37 remaining before halftime.

Beaty missed a 28-yard field goal attempt with five second left that would’ve put the Mavs up by eight points.

“We missed (Wilson) three times on go routes or we would’ve had three touchdowns a lot earlier,” said first-year AC coach Davey Gillum.

Campbell County took a 13-12 lead in the opening minute of the second half when Zach Ward intercepted a pass by AC quarterback Tanner Williams and returned it 40 yards for a touchdown.

Less than half a minute later, the Mavericks regained the advantage with a 62-yard touchdown run by senior running back Chad Blakley. Beaty’s PAT made it 19-13.

The fleet-footed Blakley and star wide receiver Josh Wilson, a 6-foot-3 senior, made the difference for AC in the second half. Blakley rushed for over 100 yards and scored two touchdowns.  Wilson presented a huge mismatch problem for the Cougars and caught a 31-yard Hail Mary touchdown pass from Williams as the Mavs began to open up their lead.

McCoy and David Mabe also ran for AC touchdowns during the final 8 1/2 minutes of the fourth quarter.

Cook, a transfer from Bearden, finished the game with 61 yards rushing on 13 carries for the Cougars. Nolan gained 50 net yards rushing and also completed a 36-yard pass to senior Joe Goins.

Williams, in only the second start of his career, passed for 257 yards against a tough Campbell County defense. The junior from Jacksboro threw for 342 yards and five touchdowns a week before against Morristown East.

Senior linebacker Drew Hicks made nine tackles for the Mavericks and recovered a fumble to set up Beaty’s first field goal.

Campbell County and Anderson County both have road games this week. The Cougars will travel to Karns, while the Mavs will play at Knoxville Central.

“Coach Wells does a great job with their offense,” said Gillum.

“I hate playing against the veer (option). All it takes is for one guy to miss one assignment and one play for them to put points on the scoreboard.

“I didn’t really anticipate us scoring this many points. It was still in doubt nine minutes ago. We won’t face anybody better at coming up with a defensive scheme against us than they were.”