By Ed Greif
"We played well offensively. We can't turnover the ball five or six times. Tyler Norris ran the ball well. We had some young kids step up tonight," said CCHS coach Ted McCaslin after the Jets dropped a 30-21 decision on homecoming night Friday against the Grundy County Yellow Jackets.
CCHS rushed for only 63 yards on 18 carries and Jordan Buckner completed 17 of 37 passes for 297 yards with three touchdowns and four interceptions. The Jets lost one turnover. The turnovers came at critical times, when the Jets were rallying in the game.
Norris led the Jets with 44 yards rushing on eight carries and caught one pass for 66 yards. Zakk King had eight catches for 105 yards, while A.J. Dick had three catches for 43 yards and Colton Dykes had three receptions for 82 yards. Ty Tabor had two catches for 22 yards.
Grundy County dominated the game offensively, completed 10 of 18 passes for 118 yards and rushing for 350 yards on 52 carries. Mike Nolan rushed for 223 yards on 28 carries for the Yellow Jackets.
After holding the Jets to three plays and out, the Yellow Jackets took over at their 36. Skylar Burgess raced 64 yards with 10:34 left in the first quarter to give the Yellow Jackets a 6-0 lead. Burgess' two-point conversion gave the Yellow Jackets an 8-0 advantage.
CCHS took the ensuing kick at their 30-yard line and unleashed the offense. Buckner completed four of five passes for 36 yards for two first downs. After a short gain by Kenny Brewer, Bucker then hit one of four passes for 17 yards; however, the Yellow Jacket defense would hold the Jets on downs at their 11-yard line.
Grundy County used five different runners to tote the ball into Jet territory, before being forced to punt by the Jet defense led by Tyler Cantrell, Seth Randall, Tyler Norris, Dylan Oakes and A.J. Dick.
CCHS took over at their 25-yard line following the Yellow Jacket punt. Buckner opened the drive with an eight-yard run and then hit Dykes with a 77-yard strike to slice the Grundy County lead to 8-6 with 2:23 left in the first quarter. Gene Cravens' PAT made it 8-7. Give credit to the Jet offensive line of Kobe Cox, James Vallecillo, Tyler Hoskins, Matthew Vaughn and Reed Shaw.
Grundy County took the ensuing kick at their 29-yard line; however, Burgess fumbled after being hit by several Jets, including Oakes, who returned the ball 20 yards to the Yellow Jacket 40-yard line.
CCHS ran five plays to end the first quarter.
The Jets had 175 total yards offense in the first quarter, while Grundy County had 136 yards rushing on 12 carries, including 63 by Burgess.
On the fourth play of the second quarter, Buckner passed nine yards to King for the go-ahead TD with 10:50 left in the half to cap the nine-play drive. Cravens' PAT made it 14-8.
Grundy County's first possession of the second quarter was stopped on downs at the Jet 12 by the defense led by Hunter Patterson, Chace Marshall, Daniel Richards, Cox and Cantrell; however, the Jets were held to three plays and out.
Grundy County would take over at the Jet 34, and score on a 32-yard pass from Houston Maynord to Logan Meeks to tie the game at 14-14 with 5:42 left in the half. The PAT made it 15-14 to cap the four-play drive.
After a short kickoff return by Dick, the Jets took over at their 35-yard line; however, Buckner was picked off by Dylan Cleek. Three plays later, Maynord scored from eight out for a 21-14 lead. Cleek's two-point converstion made it 23-14 with 4:50 left in the half.
Each team had two more possessions in the second quarter, with each team's defense intercepting a pass. Dustin Boles returned a Yellow Jacket pass, while Meeks picked off Buckner.
CCHS rushed for minus nine yards on three carries and completed two of 11 passes for 32 yards in the second quarter, while Grundy County had 114 yards rushing and 69 yards passing on 12 carries.
Grundy County opened the second half going four plays and out, aided by a holding penalty.
The Jets took over at their 34 after a 39-yard punt. Buckner hit Norris for a 66-yard bomb for a touchdown with 9:07 left in the third quarter, thanks to some fine blocking by the offensive line. Cravens' PAT sliced the deficit to 23-21.
The Jet defense led by Zack Smith, Oakes, Norris and an inteception by Dykes killed the next Yellow Jacket drive.
Cumberland used the running of Norris and the passing of Buckner to Dick, Tabor and King to move the into Grundy County territory as the third quarter ended, but CCHS would be stopped at the Grundy 28.
The Yellow Jackets completed three of four passes for 41 yards and picked up an additional 10 rushing on six carries to move the ball into Jet territory, but CCHS' defense led by Cox, Randall, Marhsall and Cantrell stopped the Yellow Jackets on downs at the 21.
Norris fumbled the ball after a one-yard loss at the Jet 20. Three plays later, Nolan scored from the two-yard line for a 29-21 lead. The PAT was good for a 30-21 advantage.
CCHS took over at their 27 and moved the ball into the red zone, but Buckner was picked off by Cleek to kill the drive. The Jet defense would then hold the Yellow Jackets to three plays and out, and their offense took over at the Grundy County 32.
Travor Hampton picked off Buckner to stop a final Jet drive.
A 46-yard run by Nolan into Jet territory sealed the Yellow Jacket victory.
CCHS closes out the season this week against Warren County for senior night. Senior night activities will be split into two parts, the first at 6:15 during pregame and the other half at intermission.