Shorthanded David Crockett was facing long odds but rallied to win on Chase Schroeck’s 21-yard field goal on the game’s final play Friday night at Richlands (Virginia).
The Pioneers (5-5), who parted ways with starters Jaevon Emile, Garret Clark, Julian Emile, Jacian Emile and Javian Emile at the beginning of the week and were missing several other key players due to injury and illness, trailed the Blues 21-6 in the third quarter.
But Jake Fox ran for a 2-yard TD and threw a 40- yard touchdown pass to Lemarkus Dunn to help rally the Pioneers, who got three field goals from Schroeck, including a 44-yarder in the first half.
“Chase played great,” Crockett coach Hayden Chandley said. “A lot of credit goes to (kicking coach) Herbie Camp-
bell. AJ Boyd kicked the game-winner at Bristol in 2018. Edison Gouge kicked a game-winner at Bristol in 2020. And then Chase knocked that one through Friday night.
“We’ve been blessed with some good kickers, and obviously they get coached up by the legend. That’s what we call Coach Campbell, and we’re thankful for all he does for us.”
Fox impressively engineered the rally.
“Jake played his best game of the year, by far,” Chandley said. It helps to have Dunn, a talented sophomore. Dunn had five catches for 125 yards and a touchdown and ran an end-around for 18 yards on a fake punt on fourth-and-eight.
“Lamarkus has a bright future,” Chandley said.
Chandley emptied his bag of tricks. Dunn also caught a long pass from Jake Whaley on a halfback option pass during the opening series.
The defense delivered when it mattered most.
“We hadn’t gotten many stops all night,” Chandley said. “They had really moved the ball on us, but we were able to get a stop, get the ball back and ate about six minutes of game clock and kicked the game-winner with three seconds left on the clock as the buzzer sounded. So, you just couldn’t write a better script to finish the regular season.
“I just couldn’t be more proud. We had some kids step up that had never started, never played any varsity minutes. And they stepped up and started and played really well for us.”
Crockett now has the unenviable task of opening the playoffs at powerful Knox West (10-0)
on Friday. The Rebels’ undefeated regular season included wins against Alcoa and Maryville.