BLOUNTVILLE — Ryan Burger accounted for four touchdowns the second Friday night in a row and Dalton Brown celebrated his birthday with 161 rushing yards to lead David Crockett to a 35-8 victory over Sullivan Central at Bernie Webb Field.
Burger ended 18 of 25 passing for 260 yards and three touchdowns, and rushed for another touchdown in the Pioneers’ victory.
“It was just amazing. I give all the credit to my OL and guys like Eric (Day) and Luke Hopson,” the sophomore quarterback said. “They went out there and did their jobs. The defense came up with some big stops. The coaches did their job watching film, knew what they were doing and we came out here and executed.”
Brown, a senior running back, added a big effort on the ground with 161 rushing yards on 25 carries. Overall, the Pioneers piled up 432 yards of total offense and 21 first downs with a play selection of 39 rushing plays and 24 passing plays.
“I love when we have a balanced offense,” Brown said. “I like seeing Ryan go deep. It opens things up for you as a running back. Our offensive line, guys like Tomas Ojeda, Brandon Rains, Coy Vaughn and Justin Morrow, they work hard every day. You see them getting better and starting to click.”
With the victory, Crockett improved to 4-3 overall and 1-2 in the Big Seven Conference. Central fell to 1-2 in league play and 3-3 overall.
“The kids have bought into it and everything is starting to come together,” Crockett head coach Jeremy Bosken said. “When I worked in South Carolina last year, one of the hardest things to defend is a balanced offense. We try to take advantage of spreading the ball around. It’s not we’re saying we need this many runs and this many passes. It’s more about what the defense gives us.
“If there is a better sophomore quarterback better than him (Burger) in this area, I would be highly, highly surprised. He comes in and puts in film study from Sunday through Thursday which is second to none. His football maturity and his leadership maturity is beyond his years.”
Burger connected with receiver Luke Hopson four times on a 12-play, 69-yard opening drive. He capped it off with a one-yard quarterback sneak straight over center.
Burger connected with Hopson again on the Pioneers’ next possession on a 23-yard touchdown pass. A two-point conversion pass from TJ Martin to DJ Britton gave the Pioneers a 14-0 lead.
They were just getting warmed up.
Day caught a 14-yard touchdown pass from Burger on Crockett’s next possession. Tanner Honeycutt then returned an interception 30 yards for a touchdown as the Pioneers romped to a 28-0 halftime lead.
For the night, Hopson hauled in 10 catches for 122 yards and two touchdowns, and Day finished with eight catches for 138 yards and a touchdown.
“I give a lot of credit to the quarterback and the rest of our receiving staff,” Day said. “We practice really hard, and Dalton opens up the passing lanes with the big runs like he has. Then, our defense came up with some big stops which made the game a lot easier for us.”
Crockett’s last touchdown came in the third quarter as Burger hit Hopson in stride on a 27-yard pass play down the middle of the field.
Trey Pope led Central with 129 passing yards and 70 rushing yards. He led the Cougars down the field on a seven-play drive early in the fourth quarter for their only score. Matt Kinkead busted through from two yards and Pope added a two-point conversion run with 9:34 left on the clock.
Sullivan Central will take on Science Hill in another conference game next Friday, while the Pioneers will host winless Volunteer.