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Crockett stays on top against Central


H&T Correspondent

David Crockett quarterback Cade Larkins stayed on pace to have a chance at the all-time state passing records for yards and touchdowns despite not playing in the second half of Friday’s 49-7 victory at Sullivan Central.

Larkins passed for five TDs and 245 yards while helping the Pioneers (5-0) build a 42-0 halftime lead.

He’s some 1,500 yards away from the career passing mark. His 182 yards passing against Ooltewah will not count unless the season-opening game that was suspended with Crockett leading in the second half would have to be resumed due to playoff implications, and there’s a slim chance of that.

Not that Larkins or the Pioneers are preoccupied with individual achievements.

“We know it’s there but we’re just focusing one day at a time,” said Crockett second-year coach Hayden Chandley, who improved to 17-1.

Sullivan Central coach Chris Steger is impressed with Larkins.

“The quarterback’s phenomenal,” Steger said. “He throws the deep ball. His pocket presence is about as good as anybody I’ve ever seen.

“When people try to bring pressure he knows how to slide around in the pocket and make that play last, keeping those eyes downfield looking for those receivers.”

Prince Kollie and Donta Hackler each had two TD receptions at Central.

The Pioneers also took some peeks at the future at quarterback against Central.

Mason Britton, a 6-foot-4 junior receiver, moved to quarterback for much of the second half after catching a TD pass prior to intermission. And freshman Hayden Wesley finished up.

“One of the brightest spots was Mason Britton at quarterback,” Chandley said. “He completed three or four balls and looked extremely crisp. He got us about three quarters of the way down the field – and that was his second drive and we took him out to get our freshman some reps, too.

“So that was one of the brightest spots to see. He hasn’t got a whole lot of time at quarterback and reps at quarterback, but it was a good opportunity to get our backup some work. And I thought Hayden Wesley came in and ran the offense extremely well once Mason exited the game.”

Crockett played crisply in the first half.

“We came out and really hit on all cylinders straight from the jump,” Chandley said.

“I feel like we’ve gotten better each and every week at starting faster and it was good to see us come out and play the way we did to start the game.”

The reserves finished the game with focus, too. Freshman Aiden Clark and senior Jackson Warner had their moments.

“Aiden Clark caught a couple of balls on offense and made a couple of tackles on defense,” Chandley said.

“Jackson Warner, a reserve defensive lineman for us, had a big sack on their first possession the second half. That was good to see as well.”

Larkins is 89 of 145 passing for 1,405 yards, 21 TDs and one interception (not including the Ooltewah performance).

Ronquille Joyner, who had a 45-yard TD run at Central, leads the Pioneers with 472 yards rushing and seven TDs on the ground.

Kollie leads the Pioneers with 34 catches for 684 yards and eight TDs. Hackler (28 catches, 368 yards, four TDs) and Britton (18-266-7) are the other top targets.

Kollie also leads the Pioneers with 31 tackles. Caleb Hackler has a team-high 3.5 sacks.

Chandley hopes to get receiver-defensive back Eric Dunbar (knee) back when Crockett returns to play in Region 1-5A next week at Cherokee. The Pioneers are off this week.

“We’re very hopeful to get him back for Cherokee,” Chandley said. “If we’re in the NFL he’d be probable.”

Daniel Boone — Dobyns-Bennett 38, Daniel Boone 0

Injury-hampered Daniel Boone (1-4) returned from a bye week with a 38-0 home loss to Dobyns-Bennett. Second-year coach Joey Christian’s Indians improved to 5-0.

Brennan Blair had nine carries for 55 yards for Boone, which will return to Region 1-5A play when it travels to Morristown East on Friday.