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Pioneers handle Cougars, move to 5-0

Johnny Wilson, Sports Correspondent • Sep 28, 2019 at 12:25 AM

BLOUNTVILLE — Cade Larkins brought his historic passing game to Sullivan Central on Friday night and unbeaten David Crockett had little trouble imposing its will on the Cougars, claiming a 49-7 nonconference football win.

The Pioneers (5-0) led 28-0 after one quarter and 42-0 at halftime.

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Larkins, a 6-foot-3, 205-pound gunslinger who ranks among the top 10 all-time TSSAA quarterbacks in both yards and touchdown passes, was crisp and on his game, throwing for five scores, all in the first half. The senior completed 18 of 28 passes for 245 yards and one interception before calling it a day at intermission.

Larkins and his many athletic weapons — 6-3, 210-pound junior Prince Kollie and 6-3, 205-pound senior Donta Hackler in particular — were way too much for the Cougars (1-4). Kollie caught nine passes for 143 yards and two scores, and Hackler snared four balls for a pair of TDs as well.

“We feel extremely blessed to have the cats we’ve got at receiver and one who’s pretty good at throwing it to them,” said Crockett coach Hayden Chandley. “With 21 (Kollie) and 3 (Hackler) out there we’ve always got a shot.”

Complementing the pair perfectly is sure-handed Mason Britton, a 6-4 slot man who had five receptions for 70 yards and a 9-yard touchdown.

JUMP RIGHT ON ’EM

Crockett wasted no time in seizing control of this one. Larkins threw for a 13-yard TD to Kollie on the Pioneers’ sixth play from scrimmage.

Crockett then recovered an unintentional onside kick and scored quickly again, this time on a 17-yard Larkins strike to Hackler.

Moments later, running back Ronquille Joyner broke free for a 45-yard TD run, cutting back against the grain and turning on his considerable jets.

Kollie and Hackler were at it again later in the half, both snaring short TD passes to make it a 35-0 game. Britton’s score made it 42-0 at halftime.

“Cade is down 10 pounds or so,” Chandley said. “He lost some baby fat but has gotten stronger in the weight room. He got some feedback from college coaches that he needed to move around better, so he’s really worked at that.

“Also, credit needs to go to our offensive line, which did a great job. Guys like Tony Davis, Blaine Greer and Caleb Hackler ... those guys in there all did a good job making adjustments in the first half.”

SECOND-HALF SCORES

Central got on the scoreboard on the final play of the third quarter on a 6-yard pass from Will Nottingham to Connor Wilson.

Crockett tacked on a fourth-quarter touchdown when backup QB Hayden Wesley hit Clay Taylor with a 5-yard pass on fourth down.

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