By TREY WILLIAMS
Daniel Boone’s football team had numerous chances to shoot defending Region 1-5A champion Tennessee High out of the saddle Friday, but kept shooting itself in the foot instead en route to a 14-7 loss at the Stone Castle.
David Crockett (1-0, 1-2) won its region opener 49-0 against Volunteer thanks, in part, to Prince Kollie, who needed only four carries to pile up 107 yards and two touchdowns.
The Trailblazers (0-1, 1-2) were coming off an impressive 35-34 victory at Greeneville. Of course, they were also bouncing back from the loss of linebacker-running back Devon White, who was leading the ‘Blazers in rushing and tackles entering the match up at Tennessee High.
“I’m gonna give our guys on defense a lot of credit for standing up to that offensive line and the H-back, which is really good,” Tennessee High coach Mike Mays said. “But they really miss Devon White. He’s the guy that’s gonna get a couple of extra yards.”
All of the scoring was done in the first half. With the score tied, 7-7, Boone had driven 45 yards in four plays to the Tennessee High 44-yard line when a go-ahead score suddenly went the other direction.
Linebacker Bryce Snyder intercepted a Jackson Jenkins pass deflected by Marquis Phelps and returned it 59 yards for a touchdown with 58 seconds left in the first half. It proved to be the game-winning TD.
Boone also lost two fumbles in backbreaking spots on the field.
“We keep turning the ball over,” Boone coach Jeremy Jenkins said. “You can’t turn the ball over in the red zone. You have the ball inside the 30-yard line, you’ve gotta score. We had the ball inside the 30 four times tonight, we scored once. …
“I’ll always be proud of my kids, because we’re gonna play hard and we’re gonna fight you. But we’ve gotta execute better. This one could bite us at the end of the year. I feel like we should’ve won that game. And they tried every way in the world to give it to us.”
Trailblazers defensive end Will Hamlin had productive game and Brennan Blair rushed 30 times for 138 yards. But Jenkins was 4-of-18 passing for 51 yards.
Jenkins did make a rollout throw in stride to Anthony Edwards for a 20-yard TD out of a timeout on a fourth-and-five with 4:37 left in the first half.
“That’s something we worked on Thursday,” Jenkins said, “running the flood route and reversing out and getting the ball to Brennan or Anthony.”
However, only one more pass was completed for positive yardage the remainder of the game, and that happened against a prevent defense in the closing seconds.
“I’m just really disappointed in how we executed,” Jenkins said.
Boone’s brutal schedule continues with respective matchups the next two weeks against defending state champion Elizabethton and another impressive unbeaten team, Dobyns-Bennett, which defeated Tennessee High, 35-0.
“Our leadership’s gonna be tested right now,” Jenkins said, “because it doesn’t get any easier.”
Blair has 338 yards rushing (unofficially) on the season after running for more than 1,200 last season.
Crockett wasted no time taking care of business against Volunteer. Kollie, a Notre Dame commitment, ran 76 yards for a touchdown on the game’s first play from scrimmage.
Quarterback Mason Britton was 7 of 14 passing for 113 yards, including a 67-yard TD to Brayden Reid. He also caught a 4-yard TD from Reid’s twin brother, Brendan.
“It was good to get back in the win column,” Crockett coach Hayden Chandley said. “We really made significant improvements in all facets of the game and came out from the jump really hot. We were able to get some young kids some valuable reps, and those were crucial seeing as we didn’t have any preseason scrimmages this year. Hopefully this gives us some momentum going forward and we can play well against a good Knox Webb team.”
Webb (2-1) defeated Boyd Buchanan, 45-28, on Friday. It was the third game for Webb and the season opener for Boyd Buchanan, which is coached by former Crockett head coach Jeremy Bosken.
“While it isn’t a region game, it could pose some weight in the case of a tiebreaker down the road so we want to win this one just as bad as the others,” Chandley said. “They bring a physical running game with their Wing-T offense and really challenge you up front and on the edges. We need to be able to get them in some second- and third-and-long situations to get them out of their comfort zone a little bit.”
Kollie, who played sparingly against Volunteer, has 48 carries for 349 yards and five TDs on the season. He’s also 10 of 14 passing for 85 yards and second on the team in tackles (19) to Johnny Loyd (20).