Author Archives: John Muse

The Volunteer Times/Grace Rehab Players of the Week 9/28

Junior David Bates came in with a strong 77 in the District Golf Championships to help power the Cougars to a dominating team victory. Bates finished second overall in individual play

Junior Hunter White was 15-24 for over 200 yards passing and 2 touchdowns with no interceptions in the Cougars shootout vs Karns. White also had several scrambles to extend drives in the game, and a key 4th and long touchdown pass.

Junior Sadie Cox shot a team best 96 to help her Lady Cougars win the District Golf Championship at Ruggles Ferry. Cox finished 2nd overall individually.

Junior Sadie Cox shot a team best 96 to help her Lady Cougars win the District Golf Championship at Ruggles Ferry. Cox finished 2nd overall individually.

Junior Jack Leach secured 1st place individually and led the way for the Cougars District Golf Championship with a tournament best 74. It was Leach’s second individual District Championship in a row.

Timmy Gibson had an amazing game against Jacksboro in the Battle of the Birds Friday night. Gibson played wide receiver, where he caught passes, quarterback where he both ran for and passed for touchdowns and he intercepted a pass and scored on defense on a 73 yard return.

Timmy Gibson had an amazing game against Jacksboro in the Battle of the Birds Friday night. Gibson played wide receiver, where he caught passes, quarterback where he both ran for and passed for touchdowns and he intercepted a pass and scored on defense on a 73 yard return.

Eagles Edge Owls in Egg Bowl Thriller.

The 2020 version of Battle of the Birds is in the books and it was one of the most thrilling entries in several years. Both teams played excellent and competitive football.

The game started in favor of the Eagles, as they won the toss and went to work on offense from the 45 yard line. It didn’t take the Eagles long to put points on the board with the duo of QB Landen Hensley and Riley Wolfenbarger hooking up a long touchdown down the left side of the field. The two point try failed, leaving the score 6-0 just over a minute and a half into the game.

Lafollette had more bad fortune on the ensuing kickoff. They weren’t able to field the onside kick cleanly and the Eagles jumped on the ball and took possession. Things looked very grim for the Owls as the Eagles drove it down inside the 10 yard line. Looking poised to score again, the Eagles instead fumbled and the Lafollette defense was there to jump on the football.

The Owls were very backed up and after several long horizontal runs they were finally able to turn up field and get a small amount of breathing room but their own turnover stopped their possession as Eli Dorton made an interception for the Eagles.

Dorton was quickly rewarded on the other side of the ball, he caught a Hensley pass over the middle and dashed over the goal line for six. This time Keegan Cowan converted the two point try and it was 14-0 Eagles.

The Owls took the Eagles onside attempt and started their next drive near the 40. The Eagle defense was too much for the Owls who gambled and went for it on 4th down. Jacksboro took over in Lafollette territory and began moving the ball down field.

Past Lafollette teams would have probably folded up shop at that point. This isn’t the Lafollette of old though. Instead Timmy Gibson picked off a Hensley pass at the 27 yard line and blasted off for a 73 yard interception return. The two point try was good on a Nelson to Mills pass and it was 14-8 with around seven minutes to go in the half.

The Eagles battled their way back down the field on their next possession. The drive was capped off with a five yard touchdown run by Cowan, who also converted the two point try. It was 22-8 Jacksboro with four minutes remaining in the half.

The Owls moved Timmy Gibson from wide receiver to quarterback and moved Keegan Nelson to wide receiver from quarterback. It worked very well. Gibson hit Nelson, who made a leaping grab, for a big gain. Gibson proved elusive on a jaunt down the sideline deep into Eagle territory. Then he hit Hayes for a touchdown from the 11 yard line. Nelson caught the two point try from Gibson and it was 22-16. There it would stay as the half ended.

The third quarter saw Lafollette take the opening kickoff and Timmy Gibson went right back to work. He ran the ball inside the Eagle 30 yard line and had an amazing 12 yard run on 4th and 10 to take the Owls inside the 20. It looked like the Owls may take their first lead in the series in several years when a bad snap struck. The ball flew past Gibson deep into the backfield and he picked it up and began scrambling. He managed to get a pass off down the field but Eli Dorton was in the backfield chasing Gibson and he was held by a LMS defender. This put the once promising drive into a 3rd down and 39. The Owls were forced to punt it away.

The punt was excellent and it rolled down inside the 10 yard line. The Eagle offense was able to go on the move behind great running by Cowan. They finally got inside the 10 yard line and Landen Hensley capped it off with a five yard touchdown run. Dorton picked up the two point toss from Hensley and it was 30-16 with only 3:22 left.

The Owls would not fold though. Gibson hit three different receivers on the way to a five yard touchdown pass to Tyler Selvy. Gibson took the two point try over the goal line and it was 30-24 with just over a minute to go. The Owls would need an onside kick, something they’d been successful at last week against Jellico. Unfortunately for LMS they touched the ball before it had went the required 10 yards.

The Eagles managed to pick up a first down with their power run game and that allowed them to kneel on the ball for the victory in what was an action packed game with high level football from both sides.

Jellico Discusses Replacing Fire Engine

Jellico City Council held a regular meeting on Thursday night, September 17. The agenda was packed, but the most notable items up for discussion were the recent Fire Vehicle accident and flooding repair for Myrtle Street and North Main Street.

On August 19, a Jellico fire truck crashed into the front of a home on the corner of Huger and Florence street in Jellico.

Mayor Dwight Osborn updated the City Council on the outcome of the recent damages.
“The insurance adjuster has been out and looked at the wrecked fire engine,” Mayor Osborn explained, “They have given us a preliminary figure and that figure has to go up through their loss and prevention department and be approved before it is finalized. We think that it is going to be in the neighborhood of $77,000 to settle on that truck and it is a total loss. They will offer us back salvage on it if we want to buy it back or anything. We need to replace it.”

Mayor Osborn added, “We will have to bid it out whether it is a used truck or new but the first option is, Charlie has offered to sell us this truck [we’ve borrowed] over here and it seems to be a pretty good truck. It is a 2003 Freightliner and he is asking $69,900 for that but like I said, we would still have to bid whatever we need to do on it.”

The City of Jellico was also contacted by the American Emergency Response Training program. The program offered a 2019 demonstrator model fire engine. However, the 2019 model would cost around $240,000/$250,000 and would take at least a year to build, according to Mayor Osborn.

Council member, Stan Marlow, said “I am going to make a motion that we buy the one that we got now.”

All voting yes, the council made a motion and agreed to buy the used truck, which in turn will carry the city through until Jellico can apply for a grant to buy a new fire truck. Mayor Osborn also read Resolution 2020-09-017A, the Accident Policy, for any city employees operating city-owned vehicles.

Mayor Dwight Osborn announced at September’s meeting that he had been in contact with TEMA, FEMA, and Community Partners to work on pre-applications for flooding issues in the City of Jellico.
“Most of you know on Myrtle Street we had some problems down there. We have got some other places in town where there is some flooding on North Main Street and so forth; so, we can do this in phases,” said Osborn “These grants are 90% federal, 5% state, and 5% local. They will come in and do the engineering for it and plan out what we need to do with different grants but we can take care of our storm drains and some of the flooding problem around Myrtle Street and North Main Street – that’s the two big ones that I know of.”

Red Lynch added, “Right there by the Squad building is an issue too.”

Mayor Dwight Osborn said, “ yeah, we can get that too.”

Mayor Dwight Osborn confirmed the City will do the pre-application and once they receive the application approval, they will come back at a later date to discuss further action within a Council meeting.

Mayor Osborn said, “We have some funds through the CARES Act and the State of Tennessee, the money can be used to purchase a digital marquee sign to advertise COVID regulations for Halloween with everyone wearing masks and that sort of thing. Anything that is related to COVID – it can be used for and we need to update that sign so that we can use it for events like that.”
The Mayor also confirmed the sign would be placed where the current sign is, on the side of the Jellico Public Library building.

Vice Mayor Jerry Neal said, “The sign is $2,185 from a company in Knoxville… it is controlled by keyboard so they won’t have to go outside to fix any of it.”

City Recorder, Marsha Bruce, suggested to donate the old sign to Buck’s Hardware, as a memory for the Jellico History Museum.

All voting yes, the council made a motion and agreed to buy the marquee sign for Jellico Public Library.

Vice Mayor Jerry Neal asked, “Are we not going to have a Christmas Parade this year?”
Council member, Suzette Davenport, replied “We haven’t had a meeting, but there is a possibility to still have the Christmas Parade, yes.” Davenport then announced the meeting to discuss the Christmas Parade was set for Thursday, September 24.

Cougar Streaks End vs Karns.

The Cougars had two streaks come to an end Thursday night in the rain at L. Hope Dossett stadium. One was the two game winning streak this season but more significantly the Cougars hadn’t lost to Karns in nearly a decade. The 8 game winning streak the Cougars enjoyed in the series was the longest in school history over any opponent. To an old school Cougar fan it was especially sweet, as Karns is the top rival in the eyes of many.

Thursday started as badly as possible. The Cougars lost the coin toss and Karns chose to take the ball. Desean Bishop, the sophomore star Karns back racked up his first touchdown of the night on the opening possession. It would become a theme on the evening.

The Cougars first possession resulted in a punt attempt and a dropped kick return had backed the up to start, so Thomas Johnson was attempting the punt from inside the 10 yard line. A rain slicked ball was bobbled and Johnson was hit hard and tacked for a loss immediately. This set Karns up at the Cougars six yard line. Mr. Bishop soon put touchdown number two on the board. It was 14-0 before the Cougars knew what hit them.

The next Cougar possession saw C.J. Allen turn into Herschel Walker. He absolutely thundered over a Karns defender in similar fashion to the famous Walker run vs Vol legend Bill Bates in the early 1980s. Allen finished off the drive a few plays later with a one yard crash over the left side into the endzone. The Johnson xp made it 14-7.

It didn’t take long for the Beavers to answer. Bishop once more began running by the Cougars. He scored on the first Karns snap with a long touchdown run down the right side of the field. The extra point was good and it was 21-7 with 2:21 to go in the 1st quarter. The Karns that had struggled to keep up with the Cougars for the last eight years suddenly seemed unstoppable.

The Cougars took their next possession and began to rapidly march towards the Beaver endzone. Another nice run by Allen followed by a pass play from Hunter White to Mason Shanks saw the Cougars sitting at the one yard line as the first quarter ended. CCHS quickly converted that opportunity into six but this time the Johnson xp missed by inches to the right.

The Cougar defense finally got a break when around 30 seconds after the touchdown Karns decided to try the rare pass on the evening, Gavin Newman snatched the ball away and Campbell County was back in business near midfield. This time the Cougar offense couldn’t make a go of it after some penalties, and they were forced to punt.

This possession saw Karns inexplicably go for it on 4th and four from their own 27 yard line. The Cougar defense would have none of it and they stuffed the Karns offense, giving their offense the ball back in great field position.

The Cougar run was slowed this time but Hunter White rolled right on 4th and eight from the 25 and spotted MaKyle Shepherd near the five yard line. He threw a dart into Shepherd’s arms and the speedy wideout dove over the goal line for six. The attempt for two failed and it was 21-19 eight minutes remaining in the half.

Karns came out on this possession looking to reestablish their running attack as the rain began to come down harder. It worked well for the Beavers as Bishop soon cashed in his 4th touchdown of the first half making it 28-19.

The Cougar offense took over once more and once more there was a healthy dose of Allen mixed with White to Shepherd. The Cougars quickly marched inside the 10 when disaster struck again and CCHS fumbled. Karns recovered and the Cougars were forced to hit the half trailing 28-19.

The teams played good defense and exchanged punts early in the third quarter. The Cougars mounted a drive midway through the 3rd that saw another short C.J Allen td run, it was 28-26 after the Johnson xp.

Unfortunately Desean Bishop was not going to be denied any longer and the Beavers answered as he scored touchdown number five on the night. The Cougars didn’t have an answer for running wide. The defense had a similar struggle against Carter. Campbell County caught good fortune with a penalty on the Beavers after the touchdown. Coach Price chose to enforce it on the xp attempt. The Beavers missed and the game was back to one possession, 34-26.

It very quickly became even closer. Allen burst out with a 70 yard touchdown jaunt on the ensuing Cougar possession. The two point try failed however and it left the score at 34-32 with around 2:30 remaining in the third quarter.

After the kickoff, Karns, feeling the pressure of an unrelenting Cougar offense seemed to revert to their normal state, which is a football team that makes a lot of mistakes. Things couldn’t have looked better for CCHS after a series of Beaver penalties left it third down and 22 from their own six yard line to begin the final quarter. The Cougar defense unfortunately got a hand in Bishop’s face mask on a 12 yard run that would have forced a punt. Instead the Beavers were awarded a first down via penalty.

Karns continued the drive in methodical fashion, Bishop simply took direct snaps and gained just enough yardage to keep the Cougar offense on the sidelines. Bishop once more hit the Campbell County endzone, his sixth trip there on the night. This drive had eaten away over seven minutes and the extra point made it a two possession game with seven minutes to go. 41-32.

Campbell County had a quick three and out on the next possession but the defense stepped up and was able to stop Bishop, forcing a punt.

The Cougar offense had just over three minutes of time and were down by two scores. They had to take to the air and take to the air they did. White began spreading the ball around and completed critical drive extending passes to Mason Shanks over the middle. The drive was capped off when White hit Devon Jones with a sideline strike and the sophomore speedster blew by a Beaver and burst into the endzone. The Cougars had scored quickly but time was short.

Karns recovered the onside kick but a determined Cougar defense was not going to let Bishop beat them. Allen was able to grab him by the tail of his jersey and drag him down short of the marker on third down. Because the Cougars had three time outs the offense got the ball back with just over a minute remaining.

White once more began completing critical passes and scrambling out of bounds for positive yardage when the passes were closed. The Cougars crossed into Karns territory as the clock wound below 20 second. White tossed a pass to Shanks that was incomplete around the 20 while Thomas Johnson warmed up for a potential game winning field goal attempt. It wasn’t to be this time though, a holding penalty in the backfield caused a significant loss of yardage and a false start on the attempt to spike the ball allowed the clock to expire before CCHS could attempt the hail Mary.

Karns, a school that normally has great athleticism but lacks fundamentals displayed both on Thursday. Desean Bishop rushed 42 times for 327 yards and six touchdowns. The Cougar offense matched those six touchdowns but a fumble, and a special teams turnover sealed their fate. Both those occuring inside the respective 10 yard lines meant maximum negative impact and a 14 point swing.

Allen was beastly. 244 yards and some of the most punishing hits you’ll ever see a running back put on a defender. Hunter White, MaKyle Shepherd, Mason Shanks, Devon Jones and Peyton Ferguson had the passing game humming. The Cougars had an uncharacteristic night of false starts but otherwise you will win ninety percent of games with a two hundred yard rusher and six touchdowns. However Karns having Bishop go for 327 yards and six tds meant they controlled the clock and therefore the game.

It was obvious neither defense could stop the other offense so time and number of possessions became critical. Karns won that war and the game. The Beavers seem to put their athleticism and fundamentals together for one unexpected game each season. Last year they beat a Fulton team that easily handled the Cougars and Oak Ridge. This year, for the first time in nine years the Cougars got that effort.

Body Found In LaFollette Identified

The body found on the property last week at 206 North 13th Street was positivity identified as Joey Steven Lively age 59. Lively was the owner and resident of the home. A positive ID was made and LaFollette Police officially released the name. No foul play was involved and Lively is believed to have passed of natural causes.