By AVERY DAVIS
The Friday night lights of Pioneer Country were certainly a thrill as the David Crockett Pioneer Football Team won what was projected to be a close game by a score of 31-7 against Knox Webb.
Not only did this game set Crockett at two wins and two losses for the season, but it also made head coach Hayden Chandley the winningest coach in program history with 21 wins.
Mason Britton, returning from labrum surgery in mid March, was at the helm of the offense most of the night playing quarterback. Last Friday was the most fans had seen him at the position and he didn’t disappoint.
Britton has been the successor to former Crockett standout Cade Larkins, who graduated last year and is currently attending East Tennessee State University to play quarterback for the Buccaneers.
Chandley said he’s keeping in mind that Britton is on the mend, but that the quarterback is showing signs of improvement each week.
“He’s not 100 percent yet, but he is definitely more than he was two weeks ago,” Chandley said. “He is getting stronger and stronger. We have put him on a new throwing regimen where he is only throwing every other day now, so limiting to throwing three days a week.
“I think that has been really good for him and will give that arm some rest. It has showed the last two weeks.”
Britton definitely showed out compared to prior games with a touchdown on the first offensive drive of the game putting the Pioneers up 7-0. Britton’s totaled 66% pass completion.
Britton continued a high level of production on the ground, rushing three times for 28 yards and averaging 9.3 yards per carry. He also had some help from teammates such as Prince Kollie and Brenden Reid, who both produced for the Pioneers.
“The whole team played great tonight,” Britton said. “The wide receivers did great. I made a few bad decisions, but all around it was a pretty good night. I’m happy with our offensive line and all the running backs played great tonight.”
Prince Kollie, a four-star athlete and Notre Dame commit, recorded 16 carries for 188 yards, an impressive 11.75 yards per carry. Brenden Reid recorded 11 carries for 49 yards with one touchdown run of three yards.
The wide receivers all had much more productivity as Brenden and his twin brother Brayden combined for six receptions for 126 yards playing wide receiver.
“I think Brayden is the best speed we have at the wide receiver position,” Chandley said. “He is very deceptive and can almost run by anyone trying to guard him in man coverage.
“Aidan Clark probably has the best hands of that group and John Rucker is kind of a do-it-all at the position. Isaiah Lang has big play-making capabilities too. We feel really confident in all four of our receivers.”
Meanwhile, the Pioneer defense continued to stand out Prince Kollie recorded six solo tackles and 10 assists. Brenden Reid recorded one of four interceptions of the night along with five solo tackles and nine assists. John Rucker recorded three solo tackles with two assists. The one and only sack of the night was by Johnny Loyd who also had two solo tackles and six assists.
“It’s hard not to be impressed with our offense, but the stress that their offense put on our defense can’t be underestimated,” Chandley said. “Half the time they lined up in a Wing-T formation and the other half was spread. They really keep you on your toes and that is a quality football team we beat tonight.
“Webb’s going to win a lot of games this year and we played really well and that showed on the scoreboard.”
The Pioneers will travel to Cocke County (1-3) this Friday at 7:30 p.m. before taking on Sullivan Central at home on Sept. 25.