Mavs swarm Hornets 48-14

ACHS maintains dominance of Region 2-4A

  • Anderson County High School’s Maverick defense was up to the challenge Thursday night against the Carter Hor- nets. Eli Nelson (52) and Cole Phillips close off this Carter run attempt. The Mavs won 48-14 to remain undefeated in Region 2-4A play. - Ken Leinart

  • Anderson County High School’s Garrison Terry brings back a pick-six against Carter in the first quarter Friday night. - Ken Leinart

The Anderson County Mavericks took over sole possession of first place in Region 2 4A with a 48-14 win over the visiting Carter Hornets.

Coming into the game, Carter (4-3 overall, 2-1 in the region) was 2-0 in region play and tied with the Mavericks for first place.

The Anderson County offense controlled the ball all night.

“We’re retooling on offense right now so we didn’t want to put a ton of pressure on the quarterback position and they [Carter] want to play fast,” said Davey Gillum, head coach of the Mavericks. “They go fast and get a bunch of reps and try to score a bunch of points.

“We wanted to slow the game down for a couple of reasons,” he said. “One, we’re trying to groom a young quarterback. We’ve got a good o-line, good tight ends, and good tailbacks. Secondly, we wanted to keep them [Carter] off of the field. It was what was best for us offensively and what was best for us defensively, too.”

The Anderson County defense came up big, forcing three turnovers and scoring two touchdowns.

“The defense played really well, as did our offensive line and our freshman quarterback,” Gillum said.

The Mavs took the opening possession and went 73 yards in 15 plays, but turned the ball over on downs at the Carter three-yard line.

Carter quarterback Chandler Wilson completed a 39-yard pass to Kaleb Harper and it looked as though the Hornets had momentum. But that ended when Garrison Terry intercepted a pass and returned it 55 yards for the score. Chris Nelson tacked on the extra point and the Mavs led 7-0 with 3:52 remaining in the first quarter.

Following the ensuing kickoff, the Hornets had the ball for three plays before Eli Davis intercepted a pass to give the ball back to the Mavs deep in Carter territory. Two plays later, Andrew Meier scored on a two-yard run. Nelson kicked the extra point and Anderson County led a stunned Carter squad 14-0 with 2:30 left in the first quarter.

On the next Carter drive, the Anderson County defense held once again. Facing fourth-and-one from their own 33-yard line, the Hornets tried a running play. But the defense stuffed the ball carrier for a three-yard loss to give the Mavs the ball on the Carter 30-yard line.

Three plays later, Nick Moog scored on a 14-yard run to open the second quarter. Nelson added the extra point and the Anderson County lead swelled to 21-0 with 11:54 left in the first half.

Carter answered with a promising drive, but it sputtered to a halt when Gavin Noe sacked the quarterback for a seven-yard loss on third-and-11 to force a punt.

Anderson County was held to a three-and-out and had to punt.

The Hornets got the ball and started slowly moving downfield until Moog ripped the football from the arms of the ball carrier and returned the fumble 40 yards for the score.

Nelson kicked the extra point to extend the Mavs’ lead to 28-0 with 5:58 left in the half.

The two teams traded possessions until late in the half when the Mavericks put together a seven-play drive, aided largely by a pass-interference call and two unsportsmanlike-conduct penalties following the play.

Quarterback Cody Miller threw a 12-yard touchdown pass to Bryson Vowell on fourth-and-nine. Nelson’s PAT kick made it a 35-0 Anderson County lead at the half.

Carter opened the second half with a 73-yard touchdown pass from Wilson to Spencer Russell. Harper scored the two-point conversion to cut the Anderson County lead to 35-8 with 9:31 left in the third quarter.

The Mavs answered with an eight-play, 51-yard drive that was capped by a 26-yard touchdown pass from Miller to Vowell. The two-point conversion attempt failed, but the Mavs led 41-8 with 6:11 remaining in the third quarter.

The two teams traded possessions until early in the fourth quarter when the Hornets scored following a controversial pass-interference penalty that robbed the Mavs’ Kaleb Livingston of a 100-yard interception return for a touchdown.

The two-point conversion attempt failed, and Anderson County led 41-14 with 10:07 left in the game.

The Mavs later finished off scoring when Noe scored on a four-yard run. The extra point kick by Josh Velero made the final 48-14.

With the win, Anderson County moved to 3-4 overall and 3-0 in Region 2 4A.

The Mavs visit Gibbs (3-3 overall, 1-2 in region play) Friday at 7:30 p.m. for another region contest. A win over the Eagles would lock up first place in the region for the Mavs as they would have the tiebreaker over every team in the region.