Hawk Love (#4) picks up a first down. (JOEL FRANKLN photos)
WARTRACE - Cannon County's most recent loss was a complete team effort.
The offense failed to score and managed less than 200 yards total offense. The defense gave up 35 first-half points before settling in and playing much better in the second half. The special teams surrendered a 85-yard kickoff return.
Add it all together and the end result was a 41-0 loss at Cacade to keep the Lions (0-6) winless. Cascade improved to 4-2.
"At this point we are focusing on winning the next play, then a series, and then a quarter and all of the rest of the things will come," Cannon County Head Coach Joel Schrenk said. "We just have to keep building with these young kids and it will be better."
In addition the on-field setback, Cannon County also suffered injuries during the game. Junior standout Justin Tobin was injured taken to the Shelbyville emergency room as a precautionary measure. His outlook is encouraging.
Seniors Justin Weaver and Sean Owen also were injured during the game. Their injuries, suffered in the second half, were not as serious and their status for Friday's Homecoming game against Livingston Academy will be evaluated during the week.
"Doctors felt good about Justin," Schrenk said. "He was bruised up. It was a clean shot on the sideline and just hard-nosed football. (Tobin) is a big part of what we do and we are prayerful he is OK."
Tobin's absence clearly hampered the Lions' offense, which was shutout for the second time this season. Tobin hauled in a 47-yard catch that put Cannon County inside the Champions' 5 before his injury.
Junior Cody Petro was one of the few offensive bright spots for the Lions. Petro had six receptions for 66 yards. Sophomore quarterback Ryan Jordan completed 11 of his 22 passes for 130 yards. He also threw an interception. Jordan was under duress most of the game as the offensive line provided little time for the signal-caller to operate.
"Ryan was a little impatient," Schrenk said. "We didn't protect well. (Jordan) was operating outside of the pocket a lot because we didn't protect, but he was antsy. We have to remember that he is young, too. He has done a great job this season and he will continue to do a great job, but tonight he was a little quick."
Cannon County managed just 37 yards on the ground, led by Hawk Love's 29 yards on 12 carries. Jordan was next with eight yards on six carries. He was sacked six times and hurried on numerous plays.
Cannon County fell behind 14-0 in the first quarter but had a great chance to get back into the game in the waning minutes of the opening stanza. Jordan found three different receivers as he marched the Lions from their 34 to Cascade's 2. The big play was a 47-yard strike to Tobin to move the ball to the 5. Jordan followed with a 3-yard pass to Weaver, but the Champions' dominated the line of scrimmage on the next play and met Love in his tracks, forcing a fumble at the 2.
Six plays later the Champions scored again to stretch the lead to 21-0.
Cannon County came right back and moved into Cascade territory before Jordan misfired as he was hit, resulting in an interception.
On the other side of the ball, Cannon County gave up too many big plays and was guilty of missed tackles throughout the game.
"We have to be more physical on defense and we have to tackle when we get there," Schrenk said. "We are missing too many tackles."
Cannon County will look to get into the win column when it plays host to Livingston Academy on Homecoming Friday.