The Pioneers, also ranked No. 4 in the state poll, improved to 6-0 overall and 3-0 in the conference. Cherokee slipped to 6-2 overall and 3-1 in the league. The other undefeated team in Region 1-5A play is Tennessee High, which has a 4-0 mark after a 50-14 win over Cocke County.
“I thought we came out and really played well from the beginning,” David Crockett head coach Hayden Chandley said. “We executed well from the jump, the defense came out and forced three and outs and two turnovers in the second half. We were able to get our offense the ball and we set a tone early as we finished pretty strong there.”
Senior quarterback Cade Larkins did his part for the Pioneers. He went 19 of 29 for 287 yards and five touchdowns. He threw three touchdowns to Donta Hackler that went for 8, 14 and 29 yards. Hackler finished with seven catches for 137 yards.
Ronquille Joyner started the attack for the Pioneers on the ground. He had six carries on the first drive in every one of the plays for 73 yards. The sixth carry was a 2-yard touchdown scamper. He finished with 11 carries for 142 yards and the Pioneers totaled 210 yards on the ground.
Mason Britton caught two touchdown passes, covering 22 and 7 yards, while Hayden Wesley punched the final Pioneer touchdown in from four yards out. Brenden Reid accounted for a 4-yard touchdown run in the third quarter.
Next for the Pioneers is a home contest with Tennessee High.
“It might be cliche, but it is the biggest game of the year because it is the next game, but we know they (Tennessee High) are 4-0 in conference after tonight and we are 3-0 — so first place is on the line,” Chandley said about next week’s contest.
A season ago the Pioneers won 24-21 in Bristol.
The Chiefs were without quarterback Collin Trent, who suffered an injury. Trent had produced 952 passing yards and 459 rushing so far in 2019.
In his place was freshman Will Price. Price closed the first half with an 8-yard touchdown pass to Brayden Collins on the final play before the break.
Price tossed another touchdown, this time from 29 yards out, to Micah Jones. The game’s final score was a 67-yard gallop by Trent Price in the final minute. Price finished with 127 rushing yards on 14 carries.
Cherokee has an off week before a trip to Tennessee High on Oct. 25 to help further clear the playoff picture.