By Ed Greif
"When you create five turnovers, you have to put more points on the scoreboard. We did everything right to give us a chance to win. I am proud of my football team," said CCHS Coach Ted McCaslin, whose team dropped a 12-6 decision to the Bledsoe County Warriors Friday night on a wet Holder Field. "We battled, but came out on the short end."
The two teams opening possessions ended with three plays and out; however, the Warriors converted a short Jet punt into a short drive into CCHS territory, before Jet Nolan McClain recovered a fumble by quarterback Conner Boynton at the Jet 16.
CCHS gave the ball right back to the Warriors, when Dorian Holt fumbled after a short gain.
Holt redeemed himself by battling a Warrior receiver in the end zone for an interception.
Quarterback Jordan Buckner hit Colton Dykes for a 20-yard gain to the Jet 40, but the Warrior defense stymied the Jet offense to force a punt.
After a couple of possession changes, the Warriors took over a their 26 and marched the distance in seven plays to take a 6-0 lead, but the PAT was no good.
Cumberland County's first two possessions of the second quarter ended with punts, as they shot themselves in the foot with penalties. They were wrestled for four penalties for 30 yards.
The Jet defense held possession to three plays and out, while Dykes returned a Warrior interception 20 yards to thwart another drive.
After Dykes interception, Buckner completed three passes for seven yards, as he moved the Jets to the Warrior 11-yard line.Tyler Norris, Holt and Kenny Brewer toted the pigkskin four times for 37 yards; however, the drive stalled with three incomplete passes as time wound down toward the break.
CCHS rushed for 61 yards on 15 carries in the first half, as Holt collected 44 yard on eight attempts. Buckner completed seven of 14 passes for 43 yards to Holt, A.J. Dick and Dykes.
CCHS was whistled seven times for 55 yards.
Leading the defensive charge for the Jets were Norris, Dick, Holt, Dykes, Chace Marshall, Ben Church, Dylan Oakes, Seth Randall, McClain, Zach Smith, Brewer, and Tyler Cantrell. Randall had a fumble recovery for the Jets.
After a series of possession changes to open the third quarter, the Warriors took over a their 30-yard line. Randall forced a Warrior fumble, which was recovered by Boynton; however, a penalty on the Jets on a Boynton incomplete pass gave the visitors a first down at the Warrior 41.
Seven plays later, Randall battled a Warrior defender for an interception at the Jet 22. He had two other tackles on the possession for the Jets.
CCHS used a time-consuming drive to score with 7:02 left in the game on a six -yard pass from Buckner to Dick, but Gene Cravens' PAT hit the crossbar and bounced back toward the field of play, leaving the score tied at 6-6.
Norris led the rushing attack with 37 yards on five carries, while Holt carried the ball four times for 17 yards. Buckner completed three of four passes for 26 yards.
Bledsoe County then drove 76 yards on 12 plays to take a 12-6 lead with 1:20 left in the game; however, the two-point conversion was no good. Bradley Smith rushed for 55 yards with the one-yard TD run.
CCHS took over at their 31-yard line after a short kickoff return. Buckner completed three of four passes for 31 yards, but penalties killed the opportunity for a game-tying TD.
Holt rushed for 70 yards on 14 carries and caught four passes for 15 yards, while Norris rushed for 42 yards on seven attempts. Dykes had four catches for 33 yards and Dick had four for 42.
Dykes was 13 of 24 for 120 yards.
Leading tacklers for the Jets were Dick, Dykes, Norris, Marshall, Oakes, Church, Randall, Holt, Smith, Brewer, Reed Shaw and Cantrell. Randall had a fumble recovery and an interception; Holt had an interception and McClain had a fumble recovery.
CCHS travels to Scott County Friday night. The Highlanders beat McCreary Co., KY, 61-0 last week.