Sophomore quarterback Ryan Burger threw for two touchdowns and ran for two more to lead David Crockett to a 27-14 victory over Chuckey-Doak on Friday night at Pioneer Field.
The Pioneers evened their record to 3-3 with the victory, while the Black Knights fell to 3-3.
“Eric Day and Luke Hopson made some great catches and our line was just getting us blocks and giving me time to throw the ball,” said Burger, who completed 13 of 22 passes for 202 yards, and rushed for another 40 yards. “Then, I had Dalton Brown giving me great protection as well as running the ball. That’s all I can say, we did our jobs.”
Day ended with three catches for 79 yards and two touchdowns, while Hopson was Burger’s favorite target with seven catches for 54 yards. Brown did his part on the ground with 16 rushes for 82 yards.
In addition to the offensive efforts, Crockett head coach Jeremy Bosken pulled out all the stops on special teams. He had the Pioneers try a lateral, similar to the Tennessee Titans’ famous “Music City Miracle” play to open the game, and the Pioneers recovered two onside kicks.
“It’s not like we’re trying to pull out all the stops as much as we’re trying to embed an attacking mentality in the kids,” Bosken said. “They’ve sat on their heels and pulled the brakes for so long. Now, we’re trying to get them to attack, attack, attack. We’re trying to show them as coaches we’re not scared of anything, so they don’t need to be scared of anything.”
Day made it to the end zone on the opening play. However, the lateral from Burger was called back for an illegal forward pass.
It was just a temporary setback as the Pioneers marched down the field 93 yards on 12 plays.
Burger hit a diving Day on a 17-yard pass play for a 6-0 Crockett lead at the 7:59 mark.
The Pioneers then recovered an onside kick and wasted no time converting it into points. Burger hit Day down the right side for a 39-yard touchdown and a 13-0 lead.
Then, the Pioneer defense took over stopping Chuckey-Doak on third and fourth downs at the Crockett 5-yard-line to hold the 13-0 lead after one quarter.
However, the Pioneers fumbled on the first play of the second quarter and Chuckey-Doak took advantage on the next play. Tyler Coe ran up the middle five yards for a touchdown as the Knights trailed 13-7.
After the Pioneers couldn’t convert in the red zone late in the second quarter, Chuckey-Doak took over with 2:30 left.
The Knights went 80 yards on just seven plays. Quarterback Brent Knight escaped Crockett defenders on two separate plays to complete passes to Nick Sandstrom. Knight finished off the drive with a 1-yard quarterback sneak. An extra-point by Carlos Guiteriez gave Chuckey-Doak a 14-13 halftime lead.
Preston Tilson change the momentum when he recovered a Chuckey-Doak fumble on the first possession of the second half. Burger led the Pioneers down the field 55 yards, the last 11 on a quarterback keeper for a 20-14 Crockett lead.
With Crockett getting the ball back with 7:26 left in the fourth quarter, the Pioneers had a 12-play, 60-yard drive to take over four minutes off the clock. Burger’s six-yard quarterback keeper provided the game’s final touchdown.
The Crockett defense, led by Chevy Miller, Shawn Parker and Ryan Phillips, then held off a final Chuckey-Doak scoring attempt. Miller recorded 13 tackles from his linebacker spot. Both he and his head coach talked about the adjustments the defense made in the second half.
“Coach (Chuck) Sutton made some great adjustments at halftime and had our guys dialed in on their assignments,” Bosken said. “Besides Chevy, Shawn Parker and Ryan Phillips, both Toby Rupert and Jake Wells stepped up on the edge. Then, Heath Ricker, our punter was one of our MVPs for the day. He changed field position as best as any punter I’ve seen in a long time.”
Coe led Chuckey-Doak’s offense with 105 rushing yards on 24 carries. Sandstrom added seven rushes for 62 yards as the Knights outgained the Pioneers by 100 yards on the ground.
However, the passing numbers offset that advantage with Crockett holding a 314-287 edge in total offense.
David Crockett will get back to Big Seven Conference play at Sullivan Central next Friday night. The Black Knights will host Cumberland Gap in a Blue Ridge Conference game.