By David Hunter
Entering into the final month of the 2016 season starting this week, the Cannon County football team will face two teams, who could compete for the state title this season, a well-deserved fall break, and senior night against their hated rival. The journey started on Oct. 7 with another blowout loss, this time 35-0 at Middle Tennessee Christian School.
The Lions made their shortest road trip of the season, a 30-minute drive to Murfreesboro to face a Cougar team, who was 6-1. By the way, their only loss came last week, so it was a matter of pride between the two schools.
CCHS wanted to break a three-game losing streak, while MTCS wanted to bounce back from their only defeat of the season as it fights for the best seeding possible for the upcoming state playoffs. Also, these teams had faced each other every year since 2012, and the Lions were 0-4 against the Cougars during the same time period. By the end of the short night, both losing streaks continued for the Lions.
MTCS jumped on the board first with an 11-yard touchdown pass halfway through the opening quarter to jump ahead 7-0. Then, both teams traded back-to-back turnovers as senior quarterback Josh Walkup threw a pick which was returned to the CCHS 14. However, two plays later, senior defensive tackle Maika Fonoti recovered a Cougar fumble at the MTCS 10, but the Lion offense could not convert it into points.
It would be the closest the Lions would get to scoring during the loss, while the Cougars added another touchdown pass before the end of the first quarter to make the score 14-0 after one.
MTCS added two more touchdowns in the following quarter, including a 30-yard run, and a 35-yard pick six as the Walkup twins, Josh and Jake tried to connect with each other, but the Cougar defender read the play perfectly to put them ahead 28-0 at the break.
On the very first offensive play of the second half, Josh Walkup threw another pick six, this time from 30 yards out with 11:46 left in the third quarter to make the score 35-0 in favor of the Cougars as the mercy rule went into effect. It was the final score of the game.
With the loss, the Lions drop to 2-6 on the season, while the Cougars improved to 7-1. On Oct. 14, the travel gets tougher as CCHS heads to Sequatchie County to face the undefeated Indians at 7 p.m. in their final road game of the season.
The month continues with fall break during the week of Oct. 17-21, and then CCHS celebrates Senior Night on Oct. 28 at Fred Schwartz Field against hated rival DeKalb County.