SCOTT R. FISHER
HARROGATE - When you find yourself in a shootout, you better make sure you bring enough firepower. On Friday night, the Black Knights ran out.
Cumberland Gap overpowered Chuckey-Doak and cruised to a 55-27 victory while celebrating Homecoming. The BRAC battle was more about offense than the defenses stepping up.
Both teams came out firing on all cylinders. Each squad scored on their opening two possessions. By the end of the first quarter, the Panthers led 21-14.
The total offensive output Friday night was 891 yards. The Black Knights (4-2, 2-1) gained 367 yards of their 431 total on the ground. Cumberland Gap (5-1, 3-0) chose to move the ball through the air. The Panthers gained 294 yards passing the football.
The most explosive weapon for Chuckey-Doak was senior Bryce Malone. He exploded for 255 yards rushing and two touchdowns.
Malone single-handedly kept the Black Knights in the game in the opening quarter. The senior tailback broke loose for two 46-yard scoring runs in the first nine minutes of the contest. Malone finished with 203 yards in the opening half.
After falling behind 21-14, Chuckey-Doak put together an 11-play drive that ended just short of the endzone. The Black Knights were denied on fourth down inside the five yardline.
The defense made up for the failure of the offense. On first down, the Black Knights came up with a safety with a swarming defensive play in the endzone. It cut the lead to 21-16 and gave the ball back to Chuckey-Doak.
The Black Knights could not take advantage of the defensive play and did not score again until late in the first half.
In the meantime, the Panthers added two more scores in the second quarter. Chuckey-Doak did manage to add three points on a 25-yard field goal by senior Colin Crews.
The Cumberland Gap offense continued to roll in the second half. The Panthers score twice more on offense and once on defense. The defensive score came off a interception return of a Kris Hinkle pass.
Senior Nic Alexander scored the final touchdown of the contest for Chuckey-Doak with 9:35 remaining in the game. Alexander's score capped a seven-play drive that covered 50 yards.
While Malone was shredding the Panthers defense, Cumberland Gap's Blake Franklin picked apart the Black Knight defense by throwing for 294 yards and three touchdown tosses. Franklin also rushed for three more scores.
Chuckey-Doak hosts North Greene on Friday night at the Black Hole.