Five different Pioneers scored touchdowns in the first half and Cade Larkins continued his assault on the state passing record as Crockett rolled to a 35-0 homecoming victory over Cocke County in a Region 1-5A football game at Pioneer Field.
“It’s a blessing to have that many options that we can go to,” Crockett coach Hayden Chandley said. “I’m proud of our effort. We came out and executed from the jump and that was our theme throughout the week, to get off to a good start.”
Crockett improved to 4-0 overall, 2-0 in the region. The Pioneers have won all 14 of their regular-season games in Chandley’s two seasons in Jonesborough. Cocke County fell to 1-4, 0-1.
“We couldn’t be sitting any better,” Chandley said.
DEFENSE DOESN’T REST
Crockett’s defense held Cocke County to 76 yards in total offense.
“I’m so proud of our defense tonight,” Chandley said. “The best game that we’ve played so far. There were a lot of questions about our defense going into tonight and I think we answered a lot of those.”
BY THE NUMBERS
Larkins completed 17 of 31 passes for 276 yards and three touchdowns, but he did almost all of his damage in the first half. With a continual clock in the second half, Crockett had only two possessions after halftime and Larkins had just one completion on those possessions.
Larkins was under pressure from Western Michigan commit Stiles Moore much of the night.
Prince Kollie had seven receptions for 129 yards and a touchdown, while Donta Hackler added five catches for 100 yards and a score.
Larkins has 9,339 career passing yards.
SHARING THE BALL
The Pioneers led 35-0 at halftime and they had plenty of stars.
Hackler began it all, taking a screen pass from Larkins on third down, avoiding would-be tacklers up the left sideline and taking it 62 yards for a touchdown.
Ronquille Joyner then added a 7-yard touchdown run before Larkins struck again with a 19-yard touchdown pass to Mason Britton.
Brenden Reid stripped Cocke County running back Roman Stewart and surprised everybody in the stadium by breaking out of the pack with the ball. Forty-two yards later he had a touchdown and the Pioneers had a 28-0 lead.
Kollie caught Larkins’ third touchdown pass, a 12-yarder.
“I love having athletes out here,” Larkins said. “They’re all great playmakers and I’m glad to have them.”
At halftime, Larkins was 16 of 26 for 265 yards and three touchdowns.
Four Cocke County turnovers gave the Pioneers plenty of scoring chances. John Rucker had an acrobatic interception, hauling in the ball on his way to the ground after the Cocke County receiver bobbled it.
Three of the turnovers led to touchdowns.
“Our defense did a great job,” Larkins said. “The defense was doing a great job getting us the ball back in good field position and we had guys making plays.”
Crockett plays at Sullivan Central next week. Cocke County has the week off before playing host to Cherokee the following week.