By TREY WILLIAMS
David Crockett’s defense helped dampen Sullivan Central’s spirits on a rainy night in Jonesborough.
The Pioneers defense produced a sack and an interception for a touchdown on its first two plays and Crockett rolled to a 40-0 victory Friday. It was the fourth straight victory for the Pioneers (4-2).
Daniel Boone was off for the second straight week thanks to its game against Dobyns-Bennett being canceled due to coronavirus concerns.
Crockett set the tone immediately against Central (2-3). Senior Tony Davis delivered a sack on the first play from scrimmage and sophomore Aidan Clark returned an interception for a TD on the ensuing play.
The wet conditions didn’t help Central quarterback Will Nottingham, who was without receiver Preston Staubus and only had receiver Connor Wilson one-plus quarters. But the Cougars would’ve had their hands full with Crockett Coach Hayden Chandley’s defense in the best of circumstances.
“We came out hot,” Chandley said. “The second play of the game we get a pick-six by Clark. That was really good to see. He just keeps getting better every week.
“To hold them to negative six rushing yards and only three completions, that was really good to see. Nottingham probably struggled a little bit because of the conditions, and the Wilson kid only played about a quarter or a quarter and a half. I’m not sure if he got shaken up or what.
“And they were without No. 7 (Staubus), who we thought was their second-best player. They were a little undermanned.”
Undermanned and overmatched when Prince Kollie had the ball. Kollie, a Notre Dame commitment, needed only nine carries to gain 145 yards and score two TDs.
Brenden Reid rushed for 148 yards and two TDs on 16 carries.
Crockett has outscored opponents 160-19 during its four-game winning streak.
The Pioneers are off this week and will host Cherokee on Oct. 9. A victory in that one would clinch a playoff berth.
“I think we’re getting better each and every week in the run game,” Chandley said. “And defensively, we feel really good about how we’ve played and how we continue to progress.
“The passing game is getting there, getting better each and every week.”
Kollie has rushed 88 times for 844 yards and 12 TDs. He also has a team-high 49 tackles. Johnny Loyd leads the team with four sacks.
Daniel Boone (0-1, 1-3) will be well rested Friday when it hosts Morristown East (1-1, 2-2).
The Trailblazers haven’t played since Parker Hughes blocked a short last-minute field goal to preserve defending state champion Elizabethton’s 23-21 victory in Gray on Sept. 11.
Morristown East is coming off a satisfying 35-28 win against rival Morristown West. The Hurricanes will have to recharge emotionally.
“It was a big game but this week we get back in conference play,” East Coach Caleb Slover said. “Our goal is to try to make the playoffs and we have to win conference games to do that. Boone is a big, strong and physical team up front. They have some great athletes that can make some big plays.”
Brennan Blair has rushed for 480 yards and three TDs for the Trailblazers. Phillip Page leads Boone with 17 catches for 225 yards and four TDs. Jackson Jenkins has passed for 510 yards, six touchdowns and four interceptions.
Hagan Edwards leads Boone with 40 tackles. Will Hamlin and Bo Newton have 29 and 27, respectively, and Hamlin has a team-high four tackles for loss.
East is led by quarterback Cole Henson. He’s 71-of-105 passing for 902 yards, 10 TDs and one interception. Receivers Micah Simpson, Shaffer Harville and Trevor Malone each have in excess of 15 receptions and 220 receiving yards.
The Hurricanes have balance on offense. Ethan Ledford has carried 75 times for 407 yards and a touchdown.
Linebacker Isaac Long leads the ‘Canes with 31 tackles. Defensive tackle DJ Everett has 22 stops.
“East has a dynamic quarterback who can beat you with HIS arm and legs,” Boone coach Jeremy Jenkins said. “They have two big-play receivers in Harville and Simpson. Nineteen of 22 starters return (from last year).
“It’s a huge conference game for us and we need to get off to a good start.”