By TONY STINNETT, Courier Sports Editor
It was only fitting that the first points of Cannon County Jr Lions' win against Carroll-Oakland of Lebanon in the Grid Iron Bowl came off of a defensive score.
Fitting, because Cannon County's defense was downright dominant in a 34-0 triumph in the bowl game.
"I knew before the game started how the boys were going to perform," Jr Lions Head Coach Jason Elrod said. "They started fast and they finished fast. I have coached a lot of these boys since they were 5- and 6-years-old. I hope they can deliver a punch at the next level. They are a great group of boys to help build a program."
Charlie Parrish started the scoring for Cannon County when he grabbed an interception and returned it for a touchdown. Gabe Elrod pounced in for the 2-point conversion to give the Lions all the points they would need and a 8-0 lead.
Gage Jones added a touchdown on offense and Elrod once again converted the 2-point conversion as the Lions grabbed what seemed to be an insurmountable 16-0 lead given the manner in which the defense was playing.
Cannon County carried a 22-0 lead into the half after Parrish scored his second touchdown of the game, this one coming off an well-run option play that caught the opposing defense on its heels.
Jacob Raines added a third-quarter touchdown as the Lions pushed the lead to 28-0 and Jones added a fourth-quarter touchdown to cap the scoring.
The defense was lights out.
Cort Litchford and Jones played well at the corners. Parrish, Elrod, Reece Smith, and Ty St. John held the middle. Brady Cunningham, Blake Farless, Alex Clark, Bryson Bell, Jacob Raines and Remington James won in the trenches as they enabled the Lions to move the ball with ease, while limiting Carroll-Oakland's offense from ever getting on stride during the postseason event.