Senators tagged with first loss vs CAK

Senator Charley Pressley (24) goes all out to get a piece of the CAK quarterback. — Ken Leinart
The Norris Middle School Senators dropped their first game of the season on Saturday morning. The visiting Christian Academy of Knoxville Warriors were able to capitalize on Norris turnovers, which lead to a 40-16 victory — the Senators first loss.

The Warriors jumped ahead early on a six-play 68-yard opening drive, that ended with a McKrae Guinn draw play from one yard out. Dario Love would find the endzone on a two-point conversion draw play, and CAK led 8-0 with 6:14 to go in the first quarter.

On Norris’ first drive, the Warriors would steal their first turnover of the ballgame. On a third and fifteen from their own 41-yardline, Quinton Stone intercepted quarterback Tate Russell. A crack-back block would give CAK good field position at the Senator 46-yardline.

The Norris defense looked as if it would hold CAK, as the Warriors faced a fourth and three from the Senator 28-yardline. However, a draw play to Love up the right side went for six. On the two-point conversion, Guinn would take a draw play up the middle from three yards out into the endzone. With 2:03 remaining in the opening period of play, CAK led Norris 16-0.

The Senators would respond with haste. After an incompletion, Russell would find wideout Bryson Vowell streaking down the sideline for a 67-yard touchdown bomb. Russell and Vowell would connect again on the two-point conversion, and Norris got on the board. With 1:42 left in the first, CAK led 16-8.

The Norris offense would not stay off the field long. Forced with a third and long, the Warriors ran a draw up the middle with Thomas Simpson, who would be met in the hole by Nick Moog. Moog’s hit forced a fumble that was recovered by the Senators, who gained possession from their own 22-yardline.

The Senators’ offense would put together their most impressive drive of the game. Norris would go 78-yards in seven plays, capped off by a Gavin Noe 31-yard dive play to the left. Noe’s scamper was followed by a Vowell to Nic Reynolds two-point conversion pass, that knotted the game up 16-16, with 3:30 to go in the half.

“We had to put Braden Miller, Nic Reynolds, Gavin Noe, and Bryson Vowell into a position to get the ball in their hands on the perimeter, and take advantage of their lack of size,” said Norris Head Coach Richie Noe.

Both teams were deadlocked at the break, and the Senators received the second half kickoff. Looking to take the lead, Norris started the opening drive of the second half from the CAK 46-yardline, after a great kickoff return by Dominic McCmillan. Unfortunately, this is when Norris’ turnover woes began, and Russell was picked off by Quinton Stone only three plays into the drive.

The Warriors gained possession at their own 49-yardline, but an illegal substitution penalty against the Senators moved CAK into Norris territory. A few plays later, Simpson would score on a draw play from seven yards out. The two-point conversion failed, and the Warriors took a 22-16 advantage with 4:11 left in the third quarter.

The Norris offense would not get a chance to counter. On the ensuing kickoff, Noe fumbled on the return, and the Warriors recovered. CAK started their drive on the Senator 34-yardline, and reached the redzone two plays later on a Guinn 20-yard draw play. With a third and goal from the three, CAK quarterback Quinton Stone rolled to his left and found Guinn for six. Simpson kept a successful two-point conversion read play to the left, and extended the Warriors’ lead to 30-16 with 2:05 remaining in the third quarter.

Both teams would exchange turnovers on unsuccessful fourth down attempts, and Norris’ offense headed back on the field looking to make it a one-score game. Yet again, the Senators’ turnovers would cost them. On a third and ten from their own 44-yardline, Russell was intercepted by Dario Love, who returned it to the house. Guinn followed with a draw play to the left that was good for two points, and CAK added on to their lead. With 3:21 remaining in the fourth quarter, CAK led 38-16.

On the ensuing drive, the Norris offense would be pinned with their backs against their own goalline. Trying to switch the field, the Senators attempted a punt from their own two. The punt attempt would be prevented by the CAK defense, and the Warrior defense earned a safety on the play. With 42.6 seconds remaining in the game, CAK led 40-16, and would take a knee on the next drive to seal the win.

“Next week we will work on us, and really we will try to fix the mistakes we made today, and move forward with a clean slate,” said Noe. The Senators look to get back in the win column on Thursday, September 13, when they travel to Concord Christian.

date this season as quarterback completed 11 of 12 passes for 195 yards and five touchdowns. Over the first three games, Martin has thrown 12 TDs.

AC Coach Davey Gillum said the Mavs’ performance over the host Wildcats far outpaced earlier wins against Carter and William Blount.

“We executed almost perfectly both on offense and defense,” Gillum said. “We fumbled the ball once, but we picked it up. We didn’t have any turnovers. It was a different performance from last week (against William Blount) when we played sloppy and suffered turnovers early.”

The Mavs, who head into Thursday’s 7 p.m. kickoff at home against Clinton, scored on every possession during the first half. They led 28-0 after one quarter and 48-0 at halftime. The mercy rule was in effect for the second half with a continuously running clock and Hixson did score three TDs. However, those scores came across Mav reserves as most of the starters ended their night at the intermission.

Gillum said one of the reasons the Mavs played better was the fact the lineup is getting back to normal.

“Some of our people who were out injured are back,” Gillum said. “We also spent a lot of practice time this week working on the things that caused us to play sloppy last week. Our players are responding well to all of this.”

Michael Carroll and Austin Elliott caught two TD passes apiece as Carroll finished with 83 yards on two catches while Elliott’s three receptions accounted for 59 yards. Ethan Powers caught two passes for 23 yards, including a TD. Anthony White caught three passes for 22 yards.

Rushing scores were earned by Ryan Moog and Logan Berry. Moog gained 79 yards on eight carries while Berry’s lone rush resulted in a 12-yard score. Joshua Miller carried three times for 44 yards while Jayson Terry rushed Grayson Terry rushed four times for 14 yards.

Defensively, Stone Cummins paced the Mavs with eight sacks. White contributed five while Sully Sexton and Maxx Oglesby finished with four.

Placekicker Steve Wagner converted on six of his seven extra-point attempts.

Game stats

AC Hixson

First downs 16 13

Rush yds. 150 209.

Pass yds. 205 32.

Total yds. 355 241

Comp/att/int 13-18-0 4-11-0

Turnovers 0 0

Penalties 6-44 3-30

Time of poss. 23:50 24:05