The 2019 Cougars defeated the Carter Hornets in the most gut wrenching fashion possible with a last second, walk off score. This time out a hive full of angry Hornets wouldn’t be denied revenge.

The Hornet defense had an awesome game last week against 5A power Rhea County. Only surrendering 14 points in regulation.

Carter was able to force a punt on the Cougars first possession but the Cougar defense stepped in with a big fumble recovery by Josh Moore to snuff out the Carter series.

Things improved for the Cougars on their second possession, they were able to march down the field on the Carter defense this time. MaKyle Shepherd caught several Hunter White passes, mixed in with some CJ Allen touches and a spectacular Mason Shanks catch. A pass interference call against the Hornets afforded the CCHS a 1st down on what had been 4th down and 10. A few plays later White hit Allen for a touchdown from the 11 yard line. The extra point was blocked and the Cougars led 6-0.

Carter began steadily moving the ball via quarterback runs and sweep plays on the Cougar D. This are up clock and eventually led to Carter getting a touchdown of their own to go up 7-6. The teams exchanged possessions with C.J. Allen getting his third interception of the season but with QB White throwing two interceptions in the first half.

With 6:16 to go in the first half, White spotted Mason Shanks over the middle behind the Carter defense and hit him in stride. 55 yards later the Cougars went up 13-6 on the Johnson extra point.

The Cougar defense put Carter in tough spot on the following possession. The Hornets decided to roll the dice on a 4th and long on their side of the field with around 3 minutes to go in the half. The gamble paid off in the form of a quarterback draw that went for 1st down. From there the Carter march continued and they took a 14-13 lead into the half after scoring with 30 seconds to go in the 2nd.

Things only got worse for the Cougars in the second half. The Hornets took the opening kick and marched down the field almost entirely on the ground, gobbling up clock as they went. The Cougar defense bowed it’s back deep in the red zone and forced a Hornet field goal attempt. The kick was good and Carter led 17-12 with around 7 minutes to go in the 3rd.

The remainder of the game went in similar fashion. The Cougar defense managed to get a stop but a great Carter punt was downed at the two yard line. The Cougars got out of the hole with a trick double pass play that saw Cahron Williams make a big gain. After that the Cougar offense couldn’t quite get in sync and were forced to punt again. This one landed deep in Cater territory but the Cougar defense gave up another time consuming touchdown drive to the Hornets. Suddenly it was 24-13 and Carter’s drive took another 6 minutes off the clock. That left the Cougars with under two minutes to try and make up an 11 point deficit. They, unfortunately, couldn’t do it. The game ended after a failed 4th down play with around 20 seconds to go.n

The Cougar offensive like did indeed need another new starter. Freshman Storm Webb came in and played well in his first ever varsity action. Webb only had 3 practices with the varsity leading into the game this week. The Cougars are without multiple offensive line starters after only 2 games in 2020.

The Cougars can play better than they played tonight and they definitely will need improved play next week as they travel to Oak Ridge to face a Wildcat team that is an early favorite to win the 5A state championship this year.