BY SCOTT R. FISHER
Winning conference games at home are a must for any team to be successful. Chuckey-Doak took one step closer to being successful this season.
The Black Knights (3-1, 2-0 BRAC) won a thriller against the Grainger Grizzlies (2-3, 1-1) at the Black Hole Friday night, 34-33. The outcome was in doubt until the final moments of the contest.
"It is a big conference win," C-DHS head coach Aaron Christian said. "We will run with it. Now the key is to keep them focused."
The Black Knights go on the road to Cosby next Friday night,
Chuckey-Doak rallied from a 25-13 deficit to pull out the win. The Black Knights stopped the Grizzlies twice on fourth down in the second half.
The key to the victory for Chuckey-Doak was the big play. The team had four plays that covered more than 60 yards. Two of those plays went for scores.
As big as the offensive plays were, the defensive stop the Black Knights made with time running out sealed the win. Grainger drove down to the 14-yard line and faced a fourth-and-four with just over a minute remaining in the game.
Seniors Nic Alexander and Jackie Roberts stepped up and prevented Grainger from gaining the first down and continue their potential game-winning drive.
The Black Knights also held firm on a fourth down play at the start of the fourth quarter with the Grizzlies just outside of the red zone. One play later, Chuckey-Doak grabbed its first lead of the game.
Senior Bryce Malone raced 80 yards and staked his team to the 27-25 lead with 10:55 remaining in the game. He later had a 68-yard run that set-up the winning touchdown. Malone finished with 194 yards rushing.
The scoring came fast and furious at the start of the contest. Each squad scored touchdowns the first two times they had the football.
Grainger took the opening kickoff and drove 66 yards in five plays and scored on a 25-yard pass play.
Chuckey-Doak did not waste any time responding. O'Bryan Cox returned the ensuing kickoff 84 yards for the second score of the game.
The Grizzlies set up camp in the Black Knights' territory following a good return. Grainger covered the 44 yards in 11 plays and eat up 5:22 of the clock.
The scoring barrage continued once Chuckey-Doak got the ball back. Malone had a big return and the Black Knights also had a short field to work with.
Chuckey-Doak drove 49 yards in eight plays with Alexander scoring from three yards out. The drive was helped out by a face mask penalty against Grainger.
Fifty-nine seconds remained in the first quarter and the score was already 13-13.
The Grizzlies added to their total on a controversial play. Grainger punted deep into the Chuckey-Doak zone. The officials initially awarded the Grizzlies a touchdown as a result of a Black Knight turnover.
The referee ruled the ball had glanced off the foot of the player fielding the punt. When the Chuckey-Doak coaches protested, the play was whistled down at the four yard line. Grainger scored on its first play from scrimmage. The Grizzlies led 19-13.
The final touchdown of the first half was more traditional. The Grizzlies drove 59 yards in nine plays. The scoring play was a 19-yard pass with 2:03 left before the intermission.
The Black Knights defense prevented the deficit growing even larger. A 29-yard field goal was blocked with 1:07 left.
After the intermission, Chuckey-Doak was able to slice the deficit to 25-20 by scoring on its second possession. Alexander found the end zone on fourth-and-one with 3:55 left in the third quarter.
Alexander's touchdown capped a seven-play drive that began at the Black Knights' 38-yard line. The big play was a 64-yard pass from Kris Hinkle to Dillon Brown. The pass covered about 25 yards and Brown tried to race to the goal line but was tackled at the two.
Hinkle factored in the final scoring play for Chuckey-Doak. He found Alexander for a 10-yard score with 4:08 left in the thriller. Colin Crews made the all important extra point to provide the one-point cushion for the Black Knights.