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Shepherd carries Crockett past South Greene

The David Crockett Pioneers (3-2) were desperate for a win following a tough 17-14 loss against Volunteer high school. On homecoming night against the South Greene Rebels (4-2) at Crockett, senior running back Victor Shepherd responded, carrying 30 times for 269 yards and five touchdowns in a high scoring ground game for both sides.
The Pioneers started strong, receiving the ball first and using a direct snap to Anthony Campbell who scampered 50 yards into the Rebel red zone. After runs by Matt Rosenbaum brought the Pioneers inside the 10, Campbell finished off the drive with a 9-yard touchdown run to give Crockett the early lead.
The Rebels of South Greene rallied behind converted running quarterback Jalen Shuffler and running back Tra Haney. The duo took to the ground and the air driving into Crockett territory before being stopped on third and short by Crockett’s Rosenbaum, who made his presence known all night on the defensive side of the ball. The Rebels elected to go for it on fourth and short where Shuffler carried for a first down to the goal line. A play later it was the quarterback again, keeping for a short touchdown run to tie the game following the extra point at 7-7.
After a 30-yard Campbell return the Pioneers were back in business, but the following play a muffed exchange resulting in a fumble recovery by the Rebels put Crockett on the fence. Once again it was Shuffler getting most of the carries from the quarterback position moving the ball inside the 10-yard line. Big Rebel fullback Cody Reaves punched the ball in to further their advantage to seven points. The South Greene scoring didn’t stop there, after another short Crockett drive, Haney fielded a punt cutting around Pioneer players up the left sideline for a 60-yard touchdown. Following the extra point, the Rebels took a 21-7 lead into the second quarter.
After another long Campbell kick return, the Pioneers got to work. Shepherd and Dallas Townsend carried Crockett past midfield, which was followed by quarterback Josh Richardson who had missed the previous game with an injury completing a pass to Shepherd bringing the Pioneers inside the 20-yard line. Shepherd capped off the drive with a 3-yard touchdown run up the middle.
The Crockett kicking game — which has been a bit shaky all season — elected to use some trickery, a fake extra-point pass from Richardson to Christian Taylor; a decision coach Kent Greene would benefit from several times throughout the game.
Down 21-15, Crockett sprung into action on the defensive side of the ball. Led by Rosenbaum, who finished the game with two sacks, the Pioneers defense stifled their opponent, eventually gaining possession back. On offense it was Shepherd, breaking off runs of 40 yards and 11 yards en route to another touchdown, gaining the lead back at 22-21.
The Pioneers didn’t stop there. After making dangerous pitches the entire game, Shuffler’s luck finally ran out as the pitch went awry and was recovered by Crockett’s Blake Johnson.
This time Shepherd only needed two carries to find pay dirt, one of 9 yards and another of 27 to cap off the drive. With less than a minute left until halftime, South Greene was able to cut the score to two points with a 43-yard Shuffler touchdown pass to Kenan Wilhoit. After a failed 2-point conversion, Crockett went into half with the lead 29-27.
South Greene received to start the third quarter, but the drive stalled as Campbell who had spurred the Crockett offense early, came up big defensively intercepting a Shuffler pass.
Crockett continued to roll up the yardage on the ground, once again taking it to the Rebel defense, which was finished by another drive capping touchdown on a 3-yard Shepherd run. After a blocked extra point the Pioneers led 35-27.
Following a South Greene touchdown to bring the game close, it was the man of the night, Shepherd, scoring from 23 yards out to give Crockett a 42-33 lead. With less than two minutes left to play in the final quarter, Rosenbaum intercepted a Shuffler pass to slam the final nails into the Rebel coffin.
Crockett held on for a final score of 42-40.
With the win, Crockett moves to 3-2 on the season, but Science Hill looms on the horizon. The Pioneers will host the Hilltoppers on Friday, Oct. 1.