BRISTOL — This Battle at Bristol was all Tennessee.
Tennessee High cruised to a 31-7 victory over Daniel Boone on Friday night at the Stone Castle as senior quarterback Peyton Henley finished 12-of-17 passing for 226 yards and three touchdowns.
In addition, wide receiver Adam Mitchell hauled in seven catches for 148 yards.
Most of their numbers came in the first half when the Vikings stormed out to a 24-0 lead. Henley admitted any time he took off scrambling, his eyes turned downfield towards Mitchell.
“When I roll out of the pocket, I’m definitely looking for him,” Henley said. “I have the most confidence in the world, he’s either going to come down with the ball or it’s going to be an incomplete pass.”
The Vikings improved to 2-2 in the Big Seven Conference and 4-4 overall. The Trailblazers fell to 2-2 and 3-5. It was the fourth straight loss for Boone in a brutal stretch which has included losses against powerhouses Sullivan South, Dobyns-Bennett and Greeneville.
“It’s probably the toughest schedule of anyone around here, but I’m not going to make excuses,” Daniel Boone head coach Jeremy Jenkins said. “We knew that going into the season. We moved the ball decent at times. We just could not get off the field on third down. That was the story of the game.”
Tennessee High opened the game with an 11-play, 77-yard scoring drive capped off by Andrew Mills’ 35-yard field goal.
Henley and Mitchell worked their magic on the next drive. Henley eluded a Boone defender to escape a sack on third-and-20 and then flung the ball to the left corner of the end zone where Mitchell outjumped another Boone defender for a 38-yard touchdown.
Henley found Mitchell again on the next possession on a 51-yard touchdown play. Jamil Diggs added a four-yard scoring run late in the second quarter to give the Vikings a 24-0 halftime lead.
Near the end of a mainly uneventful third quarter, Henley hit his third touchdown pass of the night. Kauhil King took a well set-up screen pass and raced 28 yards down the left sideline, carrying a Boone defender into the end zone. An extra-point by Adonis Wheeler made it a 31-0 Tennessee High lead.
The Trailblazers finally had something to cheer about in the fourth quarter.
Quarterback Gabe Sanders rolled out to the right and hit Ryan Keever on a 36-yard touchdown pass. Taylor Robinson knocked through an extra-point as the ‘Blazers trailed 31-7.
Moments later, Caleb Ratliff recovered a fumble and returned it to the Viking-38. However, the ‘Blazers not able to convert as the Tennessee High defense limited them to 48 rushing yards on 21 carries.
All total, the Vikings outgained Daniel Boone 425-171 in total offense.
“It’s always great to beat Boone because we have a long history with those guys,” Tennessee High coach Mike Mays said. “We had a good week of practice and the kids were focused like it was our first playoff game because we’re fighting for our (playoff) lives. Our schedule has prepared for these tough games and I’m glad we finished it out. It was the most complete game we’ve had this year.”
Most of Boone’s offense came from Sanders, who completed 17 of 33 passes for 133 yards. Keever was the most productive receiver with four catches for 66 yards.
“We know we have something in him,” Jenkins said about Keever. “He’s a sophomore and we try to do as much as we can to get him the football. We need to get it to him more and Josh Bacon as well because they’re a couple of our (game)breakers. We just have to do a better job as a whole group because to get in (the playoffs), we have to win out.”
Daniel Boone will be at conference-leading Science Hill next Friday night. The Vikings will head to Jonesborough to take on David Crockett in a game with certain playoff implications.