BRISTOL, Tenn. – Sometimes it comes off just as diagrammed, and that’s exactly what happened Friday night at the Stone Castle.
Displaying its many weapons, Tennessee High scored at will against outmanned Volunteer and rolled to a 49-0 thrashing of its Mountain Lakes Conference counterpart.
“I told the guys before the game to come out and take care of business,” said veteran THS coach Mike Mays. “And we came out like we were on fire.
“We were hitting on all cylinders and kids were making plays. A lot of kids got to play, too, so that’s always great. It was a very good night.”
The halftime score matched the final score as the Vikings took advantage of four Volunteer turnovers that led to short fields throughout the first half.
The Falcons (2-5, 0-3) would finish with just 84 total offensive yards.
“We thought they were a pretty good team coming in,” Mays said. “Of course, their starting quarterback didn’t play and them having a freshman back there kind of hampered them I’m sure.
“We took away their running game and played really well defensively.”
Offensively, the Vikings (5-2, 2-1) came at the Falcons from all angles.
Quarterback Cole McBrayer ran for 75 yards and also threw for 75 yards, completing 4 of 5 passes. The speedy junior scored on a 49-yard keeper and threw for touchdowns of 24 and 8 yards to 6-foot-6 tight end Nolan Wishon.
The passing game was money when needed.
“Cole is such a competitor and Nolan, we really rely on him,” Mays said. “He’s a big target who has great hands and works hard. He’s got a lot of upside.”
Short-yardage back Hunter Holt scored on runs of 1 and 3 yards, while slashing outside threat Ryan Gibson tallied on a 7-yard scamper.
Versatile senior Cade Mitchell turned in the game’s biggest play, a 54-yard punt return for a score to push THS’s lead up to 35-0 with 5:27 left before halftime.
The Vikings, with all their horses in the shed by halftime, finished with 291 offensive yards and took advantage of short fields all evening.
“The offensive line deserves a lot of credit,” Mays said. “We do have a lot of weapons and tonight we were able to spread it around and get the ball in all of those guys’ hands.”
Kelvin Coleman and Nathan Johnson both came up with interceptions for Tennessee High, as rookie Volunteer starting quarterback Garrison Barrett completed just 4 of 20 passes without the presence of a running game.
“They’re good,” said first-year Volunteer coach Justin Pressley. “I mean, they’re strong up front and they know that and we knew that coming in.
“There wasn’t a whole lot we could do between the tackles and their speed had us covered on the outside, so it was tough moving the ball.”
Tennessee High must travel to meet Cocke County next week.
“This is a great group to be around,” Mays said. “It’s always tough to go to Newport and play, but these guys handle business like you want as a coach.
“We’ve got a tough stretch coming up but we believe in these guys.”
Volunteer 0 0 0 0 - 0
Tennessee High 21 28 0 0 - 49
THS-Gibson 7 run (Kyte kick)
THS-Wishon 24 pass from McBrayer (Kyte kick)
THS-McBrayer 45 run (Kyte kick)
THS-Holt 2 run (Kyte kick)
THS-Mitchell 54 punt return (Kyte kick)
THS-Wishon 8 pass from McBrayer (Kyte kick)
THS-Holt 1 run (Kyte kick)
First downs: V 5, THS 15; Rushes-Yards: V 23-51, THS 30-186; Passing yards: V 33, THS 105; Passes (C-A-I): V 4-20-2, THS 5-7-0; Fumbles-Lost: V 3-2, THS 2-0; Penalties: V 5-21, THS 11-80; Punts: V 3-27.6, THS 1-33.