CHURCH HILL- David Crockett’s Cade Larkins threw for 174 yards and four touchdowns in their Region 1-5A opener at Volunteer Friday night to lead the Pioneers to a 48-19 win over the Falcons.
Crockett (3-0, 1-0) scored on their first three possessions for a 21-0 advantage and added another touchdown to forge a 28-7 lead at halftime. The Pioneers added 20 points in the second half to seal the victory over Volunteer (1-2, 0-1).
Crockett coach Hayden Chandley said he did not feel his team came out with their best effort after stepping up last week in their first ever win over Science Hill but more importantly they leave Church Hill with a victory.
“I felt like we took a step back tonight but we’re fortunate to get the win and that’s what we are concerned with,” he said. “But my hats off to Volunteer and coach (Justin) Pressley. He did a great job getting his kids ready and they are much improved from last year.
“We are going to get back to the drawing board Monday and get ready for a non-conference game. Cade got off to a slow start but a lot of that was my fault. I did not think our game plan was the best tonight and I will take full credit for that.”
Larkins connected with Mason Britton for the visitors’ first touchdown and Ronquille Joyner capped a 66-yard drive on a three-yard run and added a 35-yard touchdown run to extend the lead to 21-0.
Joyner led the visitors ground attack with 133 yards on 15 carries after running for about 140 yards last week against the Hilltoppers.
“He kind of gets overshadowed because of our passing attack,” added The Pioneers’ coach. “He ran for about 1,000 yards last year. It is good to see the performance he had tonight and our offensive line opening up the holes tonight.
“He’s short and compact and a really strong runner and he also played well for us on defense tonight.”
Volunteer’s Cameron Johnson, who rushed for 80 yards on 15 carries put the Falcons on the board with a 22-yrd burst up the middle.
Larkins added two touchdown passes of 13 and 22 yards to Eric Dunbar to extend the advantage TO 41-7.
Peyton Derrick followed with a five-yard touchdown run and Riley Little added the home team’s final six-pointer on a one-yard run.
Crockett’s Prince Kollie had four receptions for 120 yards including a 70- yard touchdown pass from Larkins for their final touchdown.
The Falcons’ second-year coach Justin Pressley said the game was to take away the play of Prince Kollie and Donta Hackler on the outside and they did that until Kollie hauled in a 70-yard pass from Larkins for their final score.
“Those two guys are really explosive,” said Pressley. “Last year we went to Crockett and they hit two or three long balls on us and I think this year we made them drive the ball more.
“Our game plan was not to let those two players get deep on us and other than the final play from Kollie we pretty well did that. I think we surprised some people tonight but we are going to celebrate a moral victory but get back and get better and better.”
The Falcon coach said they shot themselves in the foot a couple of times against the Pioneers but he was proud of his guys that fought hard and never once quit.
“I don’t think Crockett expected that much from us but we gave them everything we had,” noted Pressley. “I’m pretty pleased. That is a good football team and they may not lose the rest of the year.
“We put five in the box and basically gave Joyner up and tried to make them run it. We wanted to let Joyner have his touches and keep the ball out of the hands of Hackler and Kollie. Those two guys are really explosive.”
Volunteer’s lineman Clay Snapp said he was not sure how many quarterback hurries they had but was proud to see Johnson get up and hit the holes the lineman opened up.
“We put up 19 points tonight and did not score against them last year,” he said. “That helps us going into next week’s Homecoming game against (Sullivan) East and then Cherokee. We have to really focus on them.”
1 2 3 4 FINAL
David Crockett !4 14 13 7 48
Volunteer 0 7 0 12 19
DAVID CROCKETT – Mason Britton 13 pass from Cade Larkins (Edison Gouge kick)
DAVID CROCKETT – Ronquille Joyner 3 run (Gouge kick)
DAVID CROCKETT – Joyner 35 run (Gouge kick)
VOLUNTEER – Cameron Johnson 22 run (Dawson Dykes kick)
DAVID CROCKETT – Eric Dunbar 13 pass from Larkins (Kick failed)
CROCKETT – Dunbar 22 pass from Larkins (Gouge kick)
VOLUNTEER – Peyton Derrick 5 run (run failed)
DAVID CROCKETT – Prince Collie 70 pass from Larkins (Gouge kick)
VOLUNTEER – Riley Littleton 1 run (run failed)