The Cougars had a bounce back game this week against the Seymour Eagles. A week after a tough outing agaisnt Oak Ridge, the Eagles came to town hoping to catch the Cougars down from that loss and distracted by homecoming.
The game got underway at 7:30, the heat of the prior hours blunted, but a steamyness would hang in the air, relentlessly, as the game unfolded.
The Cougars would have the ball first. They drove it just over midfield to the Seymour 41 yard line before facing a punt. CJ Allen booted the ball down to the 18 yard line. The Cougar defense seemed to have Seymour stopped cold but a 15 yard late hit on 3rd and 9 got the Eagles out of trouble. The Eagle quarterback got a long run, then hit a pass and Seymour took the 6-0 lead after a failed xp.
The Cougars hit the field on offense after the Seymour kick sailed out of bounds. Once more the offense couldn’t get going, and the drive ended after a Hunter White pass over the middle was dropped. Allen punted to the Eagles again.
This time the Cougar defense made sure the Eagles wouldn’t gain any offensive momentum. They stuffed the Seymour run on 4th and 1, giving the offense the ball back on their own 37 yard line.
On this drive White began peppering passes to MaKyle Shepherd, interspersed with CJ Allen dashing through the holes his front line was blowing in the Seymour front seven, as the first quarter came to a close the Cougars found themselves in Eagle territory. White picked up where he left off in the second quarter. He his freshman Mason Shanks over the middle for a nice gain, then turned to his seniors, Devlin Dukes and Anthony Gaylor. Gaylor took as pass, made some nifty moves and was finally forced out at the two yard line. Allen lined up at quarterback in the big package. Jadon White opened a truck sized hole and Allen took full advantage, plowing into he endzone. Thomas Johnson booted the xp through the uprights and the Cougars were up 7-6.
The Cougar defense once more bottled up Seymour, this time near midfield. Forcing the Eagle punt. It didn’t take long for the offense to strike again once they secured the ball. Hunter White hit Devlin Dukes on a 25 yard pass play and the Cougar offense was off to the races. White hit Shepherd for 7 more yards and the Cougars were at the Seymour 32. Allen did the rest, ripping off a 32 yard touchdown run. Johnson nailed another xp and it was 14-6 CCHS.
The next defensive series was similar to the one prior. Javan Mcculley, Desmond Gilbert, Allen, Blake Taylor, Michael Brown, Cobey Rains, Daymon Seiber and Jadon White all were gang tackling the Eagles. Once more they had to punt. The offense once again struck quickly.
White hit Dukes for a 45 yard gain as Dukes flew past the defense. White fired a pass to Mason Shanks who ran over a couple of Eagles on his way to the five yard line. White then hit Shepherd for a five yard td pass. The Cougars had went 65 yards in three plays. Their second three play touchdown drive in a row.
Shepherd’s pass catching prowess on offense wasn’t wasted when he played defense. He snatched an Eagle pass out of the air just before the half near the goal line to shut down a potential Eagles score before half.
The second half would go much like the first. White got Gavin Newman and Wyatt Sharp involved to give the Cougars another more catching threats. CJ Allen kept hitting the holes Ben Conrad, Chaz Duverney, Brennon Byrge, Caleb Osborne and Carson Meade were giving him. The Cougar defense continued getting stops, including Shepherd’s second interception of the game. There were seniors making plays, like Devlin Dukes fake punt reception that kept the Seymour offense on the sidelines, and players from every other class made them too. It was a total team effort on a night of relentless heat and humidity.
The full harvest moon hung over the Cougar Fieldhouse the entire game and the Cougars harvested another win to move to 3-1 on the season. White spreading the ball to a multitude of receivers was the thing that had been missing from the Cougar offense this season. It felt like he took another big step on his path to being the complete passing quarterback the Price era is famous for. Allen continued to improve as well. He had close to 200 yards on the ground and did it with his explosive playmaking. He didn’t have to touch the ball as much to get those yards and his three touchdowns.
Outside of a few penalties the Cougar defense played much better than last week. Seymour has a very athletic quarterback who in the part would have given the Cougars trouble with his legs. But they held him to one long play and otherwise shut him down. The Eagles final touchdown came with just over a minute to go in the 4th quarter against mostly future Cougar starters.
Up next for the Cougars is a 2-2 Gibbs team who handily defeated Morristown East last night. Last year the Cougars were dominating the Eagles when Landon Addington was knocked out of the game and Gibbs made an improbable rally. The game, like last year’s, is at Gibbs.
The Eagles students took it upon themselves to make a large banner and sign it for young Jack Price. The amazing young people also raised 1200 dollars for the Price family. The youth in East Tennessee are doing amazing things. The JROTC of Campbell County have themselves raised close to 10,000 dollars for the Price family.