BY WAYNE PHILLIPS
SPORTS EDITOR EMERITUS
JONESBORUGH - David Crockett quarterback Ryan Burger passed for 195 yds. and two touchdowns and rushed for two more scores as the Pioneers captured a 27-14 victory over visiting Chuckey-Doak here Friday night.
The Class 5A Pioneers, who have absorbed some thrashings during the past three weeks against the likes of Science Hill, Elizabethton and Dobyns-Bennett, celebrated Homecoming in style, but not without a scare provided by the boys from Afton.
The outcome of the contest wasn't decided until the Pioneers tacked on a clinching score with just under three minutes remaining in the game.
The two squads finished with near-equal offensive numbers, as the Pioneers totaled 299 yds. in the game compared with 282 yds. by the Knights. Chuckey-Doak's rushing game was solid, led by senior Tyler Coe with 104 yds. on 24 carries.
Penalties hurt both teams. Crockett was flagged 12 times for 138 yds. The Knights were called for 96 yds. in penalties with nine flags.
The Pioneers high-octane, no-huddle offense and the passing arm of Burger kept the Knights on their heels.
Plus, Crockett decided to celebrate Halloween early by opening up a bag of tricks on the Knights, right from the outset.
The first trick looked good enough when they took the opening kickoff and used what they hoped would be a lateral, then a pass to a streaking Pioneer Eric Day down the sideline for huge yardage to open the game. Unfortunately, officials ruled that the lateral attempt was actually a forward toss and the penalty nullified the play as you can't have two forward passes on the same play.
Still, the Pioneers used a splendid passing attack to move 93 yds. to score their first touchdown on a 17-yd. pass from Burger to Day.
They followed that up with their second trick, an onside kick which they immediately recovered. They took quick advantage, scoring on first down on a 39-yd. pass from Burger to Day.
That left the Black Knights on the short end of a 13-0 score (one point-after attempt failed).
But the Knights stuck to their game plan, which includes a lot of runs by bruising tailback Coe and the roll-out passing ability of quarterback Brent Knight.
The Knights moved from their 19 all the way to the DC 8 before turning the ball over on downs, picking up one key first down on a pass from Knight to Josh Lamb. Coe was stopped on a fourth and five play from the 8 yd. line by a blitzing Jacob Bennett.
But instead of moving the ball for a possible third touchdown to really put their visitors in arrears, the Pioneers fumbled the ball away at their own 5-yd. line and Brent Knight recovered from his safety position.
Coe scored on first down on a 5-yd. run and Carlos Guiteriez booted the point to cut the gap to 13-7.
Crockett threatened again in the second quarter, moving from their own 20 to the CD 10 before quarterback Burger bobbled the ball on the snap in the shotgun on fourth down and a streaking Brent Knight covered him for a 10-yd. loss back to the 20.
From there Chuckey-Doak moved 80-yds. to score with only 17 seconds left before intermission. Nick Sandstrom was the big noise, with two carries for 26 yds. He also caught two passes from Knight, the first for 16 yds. and the second for 11 with Knight somehow getting free from a huge rush by Crockett and unleashing the pass to Sandstrom who was downed at the 1-yd. line.
On a quarterback sneak, Knight took it in from there for the touchdown, and the PAT was good to put the Knights into a 14-13 lead at intermission.
Chuckey-Doak gained the second half kickoff but lost the ball on a fumble near mid-field. Crockett marched goalward to regain the lead for keeps.
The big play was a 17-yd. pass from Burger to Cody Chambers. The Knights also got flagged for two personal fouls, the second of which came after Dillon Brown had already sacked QB Burger for a big loss. Burger got the touchdown by weaving his way through traffic on a 10-yd. run, and T.J. Martin kicked the PAT for a 20-14 Crockett lead.
Crockett recovered their second onside of the game following the touchdown but couldn't move from midfield. However the punt pinned up C-D at their 8. They got out of the hole with Coe, Sandstrom and Dillon Brown rushing and picked up four first downs in a drive that finally fizzled out at the Crockett 21.
Another crucial penalty killed a good defensive effort by the Knights after Kaleb Gregg had sacked Burger for a big loss. A roughing penalty on the next play turned a third and 20 situation into a third and 5, and the Pioneers wound up getting a first down and moving on to score what proved to be the clinching touchdown.
Burger scored again, keeping right up the middle on a 6-yd. blast and the PAT made it 27-14 with 2:56 left to play.
Chuckey-Doak used a late hit penalty on Crockett to move the ball down to the Pioneer 23 but they couldn't pick up a first down and their final threat to score was thwarted.
Sandstrom picked up 60 yds. on the ground and Knight had 33 yds. to go along with Coe's 104 as Chuckey-Doak got 207 yds. rushing in the contest. Knight hit 6-of-17 passes for 75 yds. but completed only one pass in the second half.
Burger hit 12-of-21 passes for the 195 yds. Tailback Dalton Brown led the rushing attack with 77 yds. for the Pioneers, who evened their record at 3-3.
Chuckey-Doak is also 3-3 on the year and returns to Blue Ridge Conference action next week at home to Cumberland Gap.