By WAYNE PHILLIPS
Sports Editor Emeritus
MOSHEIM -- It's been over 20 years since Chuckey-Doak High School could lay claim to an undisputed Greene County football championship.
But there were other bragging rights on the line Friday night, and the Black Knights could claim all of them as they romped to a 40-6 win over rival West Greene to improve their season worksheet to 7-3.
Not only did they take home the county championship trophy for the first time since 1992, the group of seniors on this team became the winningest bunch in school history.
But most importantly of all, the Black Knights will likely host a first round playoff game next Friday night. They will learn of their opponent this morning when the TSSAA honchos get together at Nashville to announce the playoff pairings for all classifications.
"I'm really happy for these kids, especially the seniors," an elated Coach Ben Murphy said among the celebration on Jim Sauceman Field after the game was over. "The 1992 seniors had 27 wins. We have 29. That's a great accomplishment. And it's our first outright county title since 1992. We tied for it in 2010, but haven't won it outright since 1992.
"But we've got a lot more in front of us right now. We've set ourselves up for a home playoff game, and that's huge for our school. I have no idea who it will be ... we'll find out in the morning when everybody else does. But we're looking forward to it."
Both the Knights and Buffs had last week off to prepare for this regular season finale, but Chuckey-Doak didn't seem to skip a beat from the lofty offensive numbers that they had been piling up in recent weeks.
West Greene was unable to slow down the wing-T offense, which was as smooth as silk, and the Knights put up some staggering rushing numbers with 478 yds. on the ground.
They were led again by senior back Tyler Coe, who rushed for 275 yds. on 18 carries and three touchdowns. That boosts him to 1858 yds. for the season heading into the playoffs.
"We're playing harder right now than we've ever played," Murphy said of the squad that has won its last four engagements. "Coe had another big game. His offensive line is his biggest asset, but he has some help back there to take the pressure off in Nick Sandstrom, Dillon Brown, Kris Hinkle and Trandon Ottinger. And our quarterback (Brent Knight) is getting the job done and executing very well."
Brown finished with 77 yds. on only four carries and scored twice. Knight threw to Rodney Greene for one touchdown and hit 3-of-4 passes for 79 yds.
Chuckey-Doak probably gave an indication of things to come when they had to drive 92-yds. for their first score after the opening kickoff, starting in the hole after Brown slipped down at the 8-yd. line after fielding the kick.
But a 61-yd. touchdown run by Coe put the Knights out front less than two minutes into the game. The PAT attempt by Carlos Guiteriez was no good.
The Buffs quickly made the game look like it was going to be a shootout when Dylan Kirk took the ensuing kickoff at his 2-yd. line and returned it all the way to the C-D 25.
But West Greene could get only a yard closer after four downs and turned the ball over.
Chuckey-Doak tried some trickery when they faked a punt on their next possession, but Kris Hinkle was swarmed under by the herd of Buffs and West Greene got the ball back in good shape at the C-D 40.
This time they took advantage, with senior Nathan Morgan breaking free on a 38-yd. run down to the 2-yd. line. Johnathan Padgett, returning after missing some time with a bad ankle, scored from a yard away two plays later. Brock Shelton missed the PAT but the score was tied at 6-6 with 5:01 left in the opening quarter.
But the remainder of the game was highlighted by the Chuckey-Doak offense. They took the ensuing kickoff and marched 73 yds. in 11 plays to score the go-ahead TD on a 12-yd. run around left end by Brown. Guiteriez made the PAT as the Knights went ahead for keeps.
It took only two plays to cover 82-yds. on their next possession, with Coe breaking off a 31-yd. run just before Brown crashed up a gaping hole on the inside and took off on a 51-yd. touchdown run to up the lead to 20-7.
They got another score just before intermission on a 9-yd. run by Coe, driving 80 yds. in 7 plays with two big pass plays: a 34-yd. strike from Knight to Brown, and a 25-yd. heave to Josh Lamb as Knight was hit as he turned loose of the ball.
Down 27-6, West Greene showed some spark in the third canto, taking the kickoff and moving from their 44 all the way to the C-D 14 before turning it over on downs. Morgan and Padgett led the way on the ground before the defense stiffened.
Taking over at their 14, C-D moved the length of the field again, with the touchdown coming on a 20-yd. pass from Knight to Rodney Greene. That drive was helped along by a 21-yd. run by Sandstrom and a pair of major penalties against the Buffs.
West Greene converted a third down and 20 when quarterback Austin Greenlee hit Trebor Wilson for 35 yds. and a first down, but the drive was halted on downs at the 40.
From there Coe scored his third TD of the night on one play, a 60-yd. run, when he was able to get to the corner of the Buff defense and bolt into the secondary, running over one defender along the way.
Both teams threatened once again. The Buffs got a drive going behind Padgett and an 11-yd. end-around run by Justin Pinkston that moved the ball to the CD-27, but again they couldn't convert a fourth down play.
Chuckey-Doak turned things over to reserves and they got the ball to the 4-yd. line before losing a fumble.
Chuckey-Doak finished with 557 yds. of offense, 478 rushing and 79 passing. West Greene had 183 total yds., with 148 rushing led by Morgan with 87 on 13 carries.
The Knights move on with their 7-3 record, while the Buffs more than likely end the year at 4-6, unless the TSSAA decides otherwise later this morning to extend West Greene's season.