Big plays help Crockett take 38-33 win against Cocke County
It wasn’t a Prince that carried David Crockett to a 38-33 victory over Cocke County during the Pioneers’ Homecoming on Friday night. But it was his older brother John Kollie that carried the load in all facets of the contest.
The David Crockett junior linebacker and wide receiver returned an interception close to 90 yards with 10:45 left in the final quarter and gave the Pioneers the lead for good at 35-27. That was just one of John Kollie’s spectacular plays on the night, as he also soared over defenders for two touchdown receptions on way to a six reception night for 91 yards.
“When I know it is coming to me, I know I just have to toughen up and go make a play,” said John Kollie who also racked up tackles on defense and special teams. “I just try to pace myself because I know my number is going to get called.”
David Crockett wideout Micah Robinson also had his number called multiple times as he hauled in six receptions for 100 yards, including a 33-yard grab in which he got just a little higher than the defender. That was part of the air assault for the Pioneers as quarterback Cade Larkins completed 19-of-49 passes for 332 yards, three touchdowns and an interception and a fumble. David Crockett’s Mark Sielder also split time at linebacker and wide receive, hauling in four receptions for 97 yards and a touchdown.
“We’ve got some pretty good players that know how to go up and get the football with their hands,” David Crockett coach Gerald Sensabaugh said. “Micah (Robinson) and John Kollie, and we’re playing without our best receiver Donta Hackler. But when teams are playing like that with their back to the quarterback, you’ve got to take advantage of the outside.”
Sensabaugh said that the Big Red were able to stop the Pioneers running game, but their opponent were just more physical up front. Cocke County held David Crockett to just five yards on 32 attempts.
“I thought we played really well up front, I mean the kid didn’t have anywhere to run, we pinned him up the whole night. We got pressure on the quarterback, so I think we played well up front,” Cocke County coach Caleb Slover said. “Our defense played well, we gave up some deep balls and I think they got helped out a lot, but you know, I think our kids played well. But it’s hard to play somebody when you’re afraid there is going to be a flag every play.
“But our kids played hard, it’s a judgement call and there is nothing we can ever do about that. It is what it is and we just got to responds and keep playing.”
The two coaching staffs exchanged words after the contest and had to be separated by a strong police prescience in what was a gritty contest the entire night. Cocke County had 12 penalties called on them for 151 yards, many pass interference calls, while David Crockett had six penalties for 60 yards on the night.
Even with all the trouble, it was Cocke County that ultimately hurt themselves late in the contest as two muffed punts on back-to-back possessions by Joesph Jones and McKayne Ramsey gave the Pioneers the ball in their own red zone with under four minutes remaining in the contest.
“Those were two big turnovers there at the end of the game,” Slover said. “We got some stops and had a chance to get the ball back and possibly go back and score, but one of them eventually ended up in the field goal that kind of put us behind.”
Jones led the way for Cocke County 19 carries for 82 yards and a touchdown, while also returning a
Carson Nichols led the Big Red with 127 yards receiving and two touchdowns. Quarterback Jarren Ensley completed seven of his 17 passes for 143 yards and two touchdowns and an interception. Cocke County was without the services of Raheim Meeks, who was out with an injury.
David Crockett started the contest with a 2-yard score from Devante Boozer to put them up 6-0. Boozer was injured later in the third quarter and he was carted off the field for precautionary reasons, after an apparent back injury. Sensabugh said on social media on Saturday morning that Boozer’s x-rays came back negative.
Crockett continued to build on their lead in the first quarter as Larkins found Seidler for a 36-yard touchdown reception. After the success of the two point conversion, the score was 14-0.
Cocke County found the end zone for the first time on the next drive as Nichols jetted over 50 yards to the end zone. Nichols showed off his speed during the next drive as he dashed 80 yards on a screen play to tie the contest at 14.
The Big Red would take their first lead of the night with a 34-yard rush from Jones, but a Kollie touchdown from the Pioneers would tie the contest. Cocke County would take the lead again after a 85-yard kickoff return from Jones to make the score 27-20.
Perhaps the biggest play-call of the night preceded that score as the Pioneers decided to go for a 4th and 12 from the Cocke County 12-yard line. That resulted in a 12 yard touchdown from Larkins to Kollie and a QB sneak on the two-point conversion gave Crockett the 28-27 lead.
The final big play of the contest came when Cocke County blocked a field goal and Joseph lateraled the ball to Nichols who took it 67 yards for a touchdown. But the Big Red were not able to recover an on-side kick attempt.
That recovery, though late, was just one of the things that Sensabugh could be proud of his special teams about on Friday night. They had many errors, that were apparent, but he said they were things they could work on and overall he was proud of his team.
“Our kids just showed a lot of fight,” Sensabaugh said. “We have a lot big time players that made a lot of big time plays…Week to week we are trying to get better and progress. That is the vision that our football team is going to have for the season.”
A hoarse-voiced Slover said he was proud of his team, who suffered their first loss of the season after three wins.
“These kids don’t want to lose, especially a game like that, when they really had an opportunity to win the ball game. ” Slover said. “But our kids played hard and I think you see a different mentality. They’ve lost a hard fought ball game tonight and it hurts them…and that is the way it’s suppose to be. When it means something to you, you get upset about it and it bothers you.”