Senior quarterback Collin Trent had another big night for the Chiefs (5-0, 2-0), accounting for four touchdowns — one through the air and three on the ground. He finished 8-for-16 with 147 yards passing and 16 rushes for 141 yards.
“He made some throws on the run tonight that some of the best in Northeast Tennessee make,” Volunteer coach Justin Pressley said.
“I think he’s the best quarterback in our conference.”
The night’s unsung hero, though, was Trent Price, who also ran for three TDs and totaled 129 yards on the ground.
“Trent Price had a heck of a game and if I had to give the MVP to somebody, it’d be him,” Trent said of his backfield-mate. “That was his best game all season and I hope he just keeps on continuing.”
Thomas Hughes scored the Chiefs’ other touchdown late in the fourth quarter when the game was already out of hand.
“This winning streak is impressive and it’s something that our school, team and community takes pride in,” Cherokee coach Cody Baugh said. “This is either the second or third team in Cherokee history to start 5-0. We’ve got more to do, though.
“Collin does a great job leading our football team and he’s really setting up other guys to be successful.”
Cherokee’s defense shut down the Falcons in the biggest situations. The Chiefs stopped Volunteer twice on fourth down, forced a pair of punts and recovered one of the three Falcons fumbles.
The only Volunteer touchdown came midway through the second quarter when Garrison Barrett scored on the quarterback sneak from the 1, a short drive set up by Peyton Derrick’s 73-yard kickoff return.
“We made a lot mistakes on both sides of the football,” Pressley said. “It was a really humiliating performance from us from both a coaching and a playing standpoint.
“That team is not 43 points better than us. We had too many penalties and we were our own enemy. We had four offsides penalties and gave them free first downs.
“It looked like a poorly coached team, but that’s on me and my staff,” Pressley added. “We’re going to get that fixed in the off week.”
The Chiefs step outside the region next week for a big game against Elizabethton.
Baugh knows that any time you get to play at Citizens Bank Stadium against a Shawn Witten-coached team, you’ll get some of the best Northeast Tennessee has to offer.
“Our guys have to be focused and we have to continue to play lights out on defense to have a chance to win,” Baugh said.