And just one month removed from the dramatic overtime thriller, David Crockett and Tennessee High get to do it all over again.
The undefeated Pioneers (11-0) will play host to the Vikings (8-3) in the second round of the TSSAA Class 5A playoffs Friday night. Kickoff is set for 7 o’clock.
After winning its first seven games without a close call, the Pioneers have been walking a tightrope. After the Tennessee High scare, they survived a last-play touchdown attempt by Daniel Boone for a 34-27 win. And in last week’s first-round game, Crockett trailed 17-14 in overtime before Cade Larkins found Micah Robinson from 12 yards out for the walk-off score.
REVISITING THE SCENE
In the win over the Vikings, Crockett led 21-14 and had control of the ball midway through the fourth quarter. However, the Pioneers fumbled at their own 27, and Tennessee High tied the game with 3:21 left.
In overtime, the Vikings attempted and missed a 23-yard field goal as head coach Mike Mays was trying to call timeout. Crockett took advantage, getting a 27-yard field goal from A.J. Boyd for the walk-off win.
Mays said Thursday he is impressed with the Pioneers.
“They have outstanding athletes and the best quarterback I’ve seen around here since I’ve been coaching,” said Mays. “They are well coached with a great scheme on offense and defense. They play with a lot of heart and are a very confident team. They are 11-0 for a reason. They are just flat-out good.”
Mays said he doesn’t think the overtime loss gives his team any kind of psychological edge.
“They made more plays than us on both sides of the ball,” he said. “We have to play our best game of the year.”
CROCKETT STAT STANDOUTS
Larkins, a junior quarterback, is putting together a season to remember. He has passed for 3,433 yards, the 10th best single-season total in Tennessee history.
Larkins is also climbing the ladder for single-season touchdown passes with 38. But he has company as Anderson County’s Stanton Martin has already claimed a top-10 spot with 42 on the year.
The Pioneers boast a pair of 1,000-yard receivers in Micah Robinson (1,120 with 14 scores) and Donta Hackler (1,076 with 14 touchdowns).
Also, running back Ronquille Joyner has 824 yards rushing and seven touchdowns.
TENNESSEE HIGH LEADERS
The offense revolves around quarterback Cole McBrayer. He has totaled over 1,800 yards of offense, including 1,229 through the air. McBrayer has accounted for 27 total touchdowns.
Ryan Gibson has rushed for 659 yards and seven scores on the season.
“We have to hold on to the football and keep their offense on the sideline,” said Mays. “And when we are on defense, we gotta get stops.”