BY SCOTT R. FISHER
SUN SPORTS WRITER
The seniors made sure there was no doubt who would win Friday night at the Black Hole.
The Chuckey-Doak Black Knights cruised past Blue Ridge Athletic Conference foe Claiborne 49-30 on Senior Night.
The Black Knights improve to 6-3 overall and 2-2 in the BRAC.
"The seniors carried us," CDHS head coach Ben Murphy said. "They played great."
Murphy told his players following the game that the seniors are the first senior class to go undefeated at home in a season. The team finished a perfect 5-0 at the Black Hole.
The Bulldog offense came out firing on all cylinders to start the contest. Claiborne scored on its first two possessions and added two-point conversions on both touchdowns. The Bulldogs led 16-7 early in the game.
"You started slow," Murphy told his players. "But, what is the key to the game? Finish."
That is what Chuckey-Doak did Friday night. After falling behind 16-7, the Black Knights reeled off the next 28 points to build a 35-16 lead.
Claiborne opened the game by driving 80 yards in 10 plays to grab the lead. Dalton Lee nearly accounted for all 80 yards. He finished off the drive with a three-yard run for the score.
The Bulldogs used trickery to convert the two-point conversion. They led 8-0 less then five minutes into the contest.
The Black Knights responded with a quick scoring drive of their own. Chuckey-Doak covered the 73 yards in just 1:15 and five plays.
Two big runs helped move the ball down field quickly. Senior Nick Sandstrom busted one for 17 yards and then senior Tyler Coe capped the drive off with a 40-yard dash up the middle for a touchdown. Junior Carlos Guiteriez kicked home the extra point.
Lee found the end zone again for the Bulldogs on their second possession of the game. Lee drove the team 71-yards in eight plays. His three-yard run came with 3:14 left in the first quarter.
Chuckey-Doak appeared poised to answer with another score, but fumbled deep in Claiborne's territory. The ball was on the 11-yard line when it was fumbled away.
In some ways, that was a good thing for the Black Knights. The team stepped up and turned the game in their favor. The Bulldogs were forced to punt after three plays.
"We were not getting lined up right," Murphy said about the defensive struggles early on. "We changed out fronts and that helped our defense."
Chuckey-Doak was able to work with a short field after the punt. CDHS set up camp on their own 49.
The Black Knights required five plays and 2:02 of the clock to cut the deficit to 16-14. Coe scored his second TD of the game on a 21-yard run.
That is the point when the game truly turned in favor of the home team.
On the ensuing kickoff, the Bulldogs turned the ball back over to the Black Knights. Junior Nathan Blaylock recovered the loose football.
Two plays and 30 seconds later, Coe bulldozed his way into the end zone to give his squad their first lead of the game. Coe ran over one of the Bulldogs just shy of the goal line.
With 7:48 remaining before halftime, the Black Knights held a 21-16 lead.
The defense forced another punt by Claiborne despite a 42-yard run on first down. The punt pinned Chuckey-Doak back on their own six yard line.
The Black Knights simply chewed up the yards on a 12-play drive that lasted over five minutes. The Bulldogs helped out with a 15-yard facemask penalty.
It was senior Brent Knight who plunged in from one yard out to finish the long scoring drive. Coe and Sandstrom did most of the damage on the ground.
Knight's score came with nine seconds left and ensured the Black Knights led 28-16 at the intermission.
Chuckey-Doak opened the second half the same way it finished the first half - with a long, bruising scoring drive.
The Black Knights used 15 plays to traverse the 62 yards needed to get to the end zone, The drive was helped by a 15-yard personal foul against the Bulldogs.
It was Knight who carried the ball to pay dirt with another plunge behind his offensive line. The drive ate up almost six and a half minutes..
The 28 unanswered points gave CDHS a 35-16 lead with 5:30 left in the third quarter.
Claiborne responded with an impressive drive of their own. The Bulldogs ran off 13 plays and scored with two seconds left in the third quarter. Lee ran it in from two yards out. The two-point pass was successful and the lead was now 35-24 heading to the final quarter.
The next two touchdowns that Chuckey-Doak would score were lightning bolt scores.
The first run was a 65-yard burst by Coe. It would be his last carry of the night. Coe finished with 261 yards and four touchdowns.
Dillion Brown followed that up two minutes later with a 54-yard run to pay dirt. Brown broke several tackles. The last tackle he broke was one where the Bulldog defender had him by the ankle. Brown just kept moving his feet and eventually broke free and no one could catch him.
Claiborne tacked on a late touchdown with 2:43 remaining to close out the game.
The Chuckey-Doak offense churned out 476 yards. All of it was on the ground. Besides the 261 from Coe, Sandstrom gained 112 yards on 10 carries. Brown contributed 90 yards on only nine attempts.
On the defensive side of the ball, junior Hunter Cobble turned in an outstanding performance. Cobble was involved in most of the defensive stops all game long.
Despite a week off, Chuckey-Doak hopes to carry the momentum of a three-game winning streak into their final game with West Greene.