TOP PHOTO: An unidentified Cougar sacks Central’s quarterback as Mikey Albright (52) and Mason Shanks close in. (PHOTOS COURTESY OF DAVID GRAHAM)
JACKSBORO,TN (WLAF) – Friday’s season opener was there for the taking. However, the Campbell County Cougars came up just short against visiting Chattanooga Central. See 200 photos HERE and HERE in David Grahams Friday night photo gallery. Watch game highlights HERE and the band’s halftime performance HERE along with the full game HERE; all on demand from WLAF.
After the Campbell Cougars used turnovers to dig themselves a hole, they were about to climb out of it late in the game but just could not do it. Central took full advantage of early game turnovers and built a commanding 20-0 lead early in the second quarter to go along with a late first quarter goal line stand. However, the Cougars would score 21 of the next 28 points.
Campbell began chipping away at the three score lead chopping it down to make it a 20-14 contest at the mid-game break. Central pushed the lead out to 28 to 14 only to see Campbell come back to make it a 28-21 game with 8:23 to play.
In the second quarter, on a third and nine, Mason Shanks ran a post route toward the east end zone and caught a Landen Hensley pass in stride for the inaugural score of the season and Hensley’s first career touchdown pass. It was a 35-yard connection coming with 6:17 left. Eli Austin nailed the first of three PATs, the first of his career.
With 51-seconds to go in the second quarter, Hensley rolled right, side stepped a defender and tossed a pass down the south sideline to Peyton Ferguson. The senior shielded a cornerback from the ball and made the grab in the end zone.
Both teams headed to the locker room with the scoreboard reading 20-14. Central rang up the first 20 while Campbell tallied the last 14 points of the half.
The Cougars took advantage of a five-yard punt that was shanked deep inside Purple Pounder territory taking over at the 28. After a pass completion for no gain, the Cougars used a halfback pass for its next score. Wide receiver Devon Jones caught a pass in the flats from Hensley, stopped and lofted a soft pass from his left hand to a wide open Ferguson at the one. Ferguson tallied his second touchdown of the night.
About halfway through the fourth quarter, the Cougar defense made big plays on what was shaping up to be a promising Central drive with Will Lester, Payton Gilbert and Mikey Albright making game changing tackles on its way to a fourth down stop at the Campbell 28. With plenty of time, 5:35, and timeouts, Campbell trailed 28 to 21 as it began what fans hoped was a game tying or winning drive.
The drive stalled on a 4th down attempt with six yards to go at the Cougar 46. By that time, the clock had slipped to 2:24 to play, and Central capitalized scoring its last points to seal the 35 to 21 win.
“We responded to the turnovers we made early and gave ourselves a chance. We just weren’t able to make enough plays,” said Campbell Head Coach Justin Price during the TCAT Wrap Up Show on WLAF with Les Martin, the Voice of the Cougars.
The 0 & 1 Cougars travel to Maryville on Friday night to face the 0 & 1 Heritage Mountaineers in a 7pm game. Heritage lost 45-7 on the road at Maryville to open its season. The WLAF-Doyle’s Tire Shop Sports Network has all the coverage beginning at 6:30pm. (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 08/22/2022-6AM)