By Gary Robbins
On a cool crisp evening on the Plateau, Stone Memorial High School celebrated their Homecoming and make some great memories with a decisive 35-7 victory over the Bobcats of Picket County.
"We were able to get a lot of guys a lot of live game action this week which was a big positive. We needed a little break as we have had about a seven-week grind. We had a very emotional week the previous week and this week being homecoming. It was tough getting them to focus at practice to say the least! We definitely have to refocus this week as we have a very tough four week grind ahead of us before fall break," said Coach Mark Wattenbarger.
The game never was really in much concern for Wattenbarger, although his team didn't start they way he probably had hoped as senior quarterback Brady Wattenbarger threw an interception on the Panther's first play from scrimmage. The Bobcats were unable, however, to do anything with the ball, as would be the case all evening.
Stone on their second possession went three and out , but quickly got the ball back. After the Panther defense smothered the Bobcat offense, Stone started in great field position at the Bobcat 44-yard line.
On the first snap of their third possession, Wattenbarger threw a strike this time to wide out Brian Frye and he took it in for the score. The PAT by Robinson was good and Stone led 7-0.
On the ensuing kickoff, Anthony Conley, for the second time in this young season, recovered the fumble and Stone was back in business.
Justin Johnson rumbled down to the 15 and Nathaniel Clanton would score on a pass from Wattenbarger to open the gates on Picket County, bringing the score to 14-0. Johnson powered his way into the end zone on Stone's next possession for a 51-yard touchdown run. Robinson once again drilled the extra point to put the game in complete control of The Panthers.
With 2:12 still remaining in the first quarter, Stone had a 21-0 lead and were well on their way to securing the homecoming victory.
The score was 35-0 at the half and remained the same until Stone gave up a score with only 2:16 remaining in the contest, with mostly underclassmen on both sides of the ball playing most all of the 2nd half.
Stone's defense manhandled the Bobcats and their offense proved to be too big and powerful for Picket County to stop, as they are in the rebuilding process of their high school football program.
A shout goes out to the young men from Picket County, as they showed a lot of heart being undermanned and over powered. Stone moves to 3-1 with the victory and will travel to Cookeville this Friday evening for another District matchup against the Cookevile Cavileers.