David Crockett’s 52-25 victory over South Greene on Friday night was about more than winning on homecoming; it was about more than snapping a three-game losing skid; it was about more than football.
The Pioneers were playing for their school and their community. After more than two dozen students were involved in what could have been a tragic bus accident on Thursday afternoon, the win was about healing.
“It means a great deal for our community,” said Crockett head coach Kent Green. “Words can’t describe what this win did for this community. This community went through so much yesterday. I’m tickled for everybody.”
The Pioneers had an offensive output Green hopes will carry through the rest of the year. Crockett piled 443 yards of a total offense led by 172 yards rushing on 13 carries by Jordan Turner and by three fourth quarter touchdowns by Chevy Miller that blew apart what was a close game.
Miller said the Pioneers on the field were playing for their schoolmates that were hospitalized following the crash.
“This game was in honor of them,” said Miller, who also had a pair of two-point conversion runs. “It means a lot. It means a lot to our school.”
Until Miller’s fourth quarter outburst, it could have gone either way. The visitors scored the game’s opening touchdown, but then Crockett reeled off three unanswered to take a 22-6 lead into halftime.
South Greene’s Tim Lighfoot scored the first of his two touchdowns mid way of the first quarter, but the Pioneers answered quickly with a five-yard touchdown run by Caleb Arrowood and a 31-yard halfback pass touchdown throw from Turner to Devin Walker to make it 14-6 at the end of the first.
It looked like that score would take the teams into halftime until Turner broke off a 71-yard touchdown run with 10 seconds left in the second quarter to pad Crockett’s lead.
The Rebels made a game of it with a dominating third quarter where they got an eight-yard touchdown pass from Hunter Waddell to Justin Casteel and a one-yard scoring plunge from Waddell to cut the deficit to 22-19 heading into the fourth.
That’s where Miller and the Pioneers took control of the game. Miller scored on runs of five, two and four yards, sandwiched around a 35-yard touchdown pass from Waddell to Lightfoot for the Rebels. Miller’s three touchdowns had the Pioneers up 44-25 with 6:49 to play. If there was any doubt, Shawn Parker scored on an eight-yard run to put the game completely out of reach. The Pioneers went for two on all of their touchdowns, converting five-of-seven.
It wasn’t just a good offensive night for Crockett; the Pioneer defense limited South Greene (1-5) to a net 35 yards rushing. The Rebels had 279 yards of total offense.
Waddell was 16-of-24 passing for 242 yards. Casteel had eight catches for 118 yards.
For the Pioneers, the win snaps a three-game losing streak going back to the first game of the season. They are now 2-3, and Green hopes to carry that momentum into next Friday night.
“It’s going to give us confidence,” Green said. “We are going into a tough Volunteer team. We’ve got confidence, and confidence is everything. Confidence is better than any ball play you can draw up.”