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Furious finish results in Black Knights edging Blue Devils

Gene Renfro • Oct 4, 2019 at 11:32 PM

AFTON—A frantic final six minutes gave Chuckey-Doak a come-from behind 38-34 Region 1-3A win over Unicoi County in a key contest Friday.

The Black Knights trailed 34-26 after Kody Lewis raced 50 yards for his third touchdown of the season. A touchdown reception by Chris Bradley, who caught Matthew Pallazzo’s 23-yard pass, started the comeback as Chuckey-Doak trailed 34-32.

Unicoi County received the ball with just over four minutes left and drove down inside the Black Knights’ 40, where the ball was turned over on downs with 1:25 left.

The Blue Devils’ fourth-and-short play was stopped short. That is when Pallazzo and the Chuckey-Doak offense marched to glory. Eventually, Pallazzo rolled out on a pass that hit Matt Buch’s hands at the 3-yard line . Buch tipped it to an open Hayden Rush in the end zone for the go-ahead touchdown with 17 seconds left.

The two-point run failed as the Black Knights led 38-34. Unicoi County had two plays after the kickoff, but could not get past midfield.

“Just disappointing,” Unicoi County head coach Drew Rice said. “I thought our kids played their tails off tonight. They left everything out there and at the end of the day. Chuckey-Doak put a couple of plays together and a drive there at the end. We had to make plays there and didn’t tonight.”

With the result, Chuckey-Doak (4-3 overall) remains undefeated in league play at 3-0 with Claiborne and West Greene left on the conference slate.

The Blue Devils slipped into a three-way tie at 2-1 in the region with Johnson County and West Greene, two teams remaining on the Blue Devils’ schedule. After an open date next week, the Blue Devils welcome West Greene to Gentry Stadium.

Lewis accounted for a trio of touchdowns in his 144-yard effort on 22 carries. He had a 15-yard scoring run in the first quarter to give Unicoi County a 7-6 lead. His other came with 10:34 to go from four yards away. After a Miguel Vasquez kick, the Blue Devils led 28-18.

Brock Thompson threw a pair of touchdown passes for the Blue Devils — one to L.J. Mitchell as the first half ended and a tip-toe catch by Peyton Whitson that covered 16 yards in the third quarter.

On the other side, Pallazzo threw the ball all around the field. The junior signal caller went 24-for-33 for 405 yards and four touchdowns. Three of the touchdowns were in the final 6:31 as Evan Murvin hauled in a 29-yard scoring reception.

Pallazzo’s favorite target was Rush, who caught 13 passes for 241 yards. Rush had a 52-yard scoring connection late in the second quarter to make the score 18-7.

Murvin scored the game’s first touchdown on a 2-yard run and Chris Cutshaw added a 2-yard scoring run of his own in the second quarter.

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