TOP PHOTO: Campbell County fans, led by the Mighty Cougar Marching Band, came out in full support on Friday night in the season opener at Chattanooga Central.
HARRISON, TN (WLAF) – Campbell’s Zac Brady chased Chattanooga Central quarterback Ronye’ Watson like he’d taken his lunch money, and though he didn’t catch him, Brady forced Watson into making a bad throw. That throw ended up in the outstretched hands of Cougar Josh Heatherly. Number 54 shed a tackler, headed down the Cougars sideline, slipped past another tackler and made a beeline to the north end zone at Memorial Stadium. A Purple Pounder tackled Heatherly from behind as he dove in for the score with five-seconds to go in the first half. After that, the game was never the same. BOX SCORE. WATCH THE GAME HERE ON DEMAND.
Even though Central took an 18 to 14 lead into the locker room at halftime, Campbell took the momentum to its locker room, and the Cougars never gave it back.
On the TCAT Cougar Wrap Up Show, the Voice of the Cougars, Les Martin, asked Heatherly about making the turning point of the game play. “It boosted my confidence in the second half. I felt things to start to get easier for us,” said Heatherly.
The game had its swings, four lead changes, and its share of highlights, especially for Campbell County. Campbell opened the scoring with Hunter White connecting with Mason Shanks on a 22-yard touchdown and led 7-0 after the first quarter following the first of six Latham Carr extra points. Central answered with 18 points, led 18 to 7 and had the ball at midfield with under 10 seconds to play. That was right before Heatherly made his game changing, possibly season changing, pick six.
“It changed the game completely for us; Josh’s play. But plays like that at some point, and I guess in a few weeks we’ll know, but those can be season changing plays,” said Campbell Head Coach Justin Price.
Campbell took back the lead after its troublesome first half at the 9:00 mark of the third quarter only to see Central teeter in front again. C.J. Allen’s second touchdown of the night put the Cougars ahead for good at 28 to 24 as the third period wound down.
The 4th quarter brought more thrilling plays starting with a 4th and 14 at the Central 33 following a sack. Hunter White found Devon Jones open in the near flat and passed him the football. Jones made the catch, stepped up, and with a defender in his face, launched a left handed pass down to a wide open Peyton Ferguson at the two yard line. Ferguson reached back for the pass in stride and crossed the south goal line. It gave the Cougars their biggest lead of the night, so far, at 35 to 24.
With just over 8:00 to play, Central was in punt formation on a fourth down play when punter Donavan Smith had to leap for a high snap, ended up taking it off the hop and before he could secure the ball, Smith was hit by a hard charging Shanks. Shanks jarred the ball free and Caleb Muncy scooped up the ball at the Pounders 21 and raced in for the final Campbell touchdown of the night.
After trailing 18 to 7, Campbell outscored Central 35 to six with 28 second-half points to claim the 42 to 24 win. The Cougars improved to 1 & 0 and host Heritage on Friday night. The WLAF – Doyle’s Tire Shop Sports Network sends you all the live radio and TV coverage beginning at 7pm over AM 1450, FM 100.9, WLAF-TV 12, 1450wlaf.com, YouTube, Facebook, RokuTV and Amazon Firestick. (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 08/23/2021-6AM)