BY BRIAN HAMILTON
NEWPORT – Seymour responded to its first loss of the season with a dominant 49-7 win over Cocke County on Friday night. The Eagles rolled up 459 yards of total offense, while holding the Fighting Cocks to just 154 total yards.
“Offensively, we played really well,” Seymour head coach Scott Branton said. “We got out of our own way. The kids came out and executed really well early on. We kept our foot on the gas and finished.”
Brendon Harris got the Eagles on the board first with a 6-yard touchdown run to make the score 7-0 with 8:45 left in the first. On the next Seymour drive, quarterback Eli Funck hit Ryan Lodari for a 65-yard touchdown, increasing the Eagles’ lead to 14-0.
Funck threw his second touchdown of the night with less than 30 seconds left in the first quarter, finding Lodari for a 34-yard score. Seymour led 21-0 at the end of the first quarter.
Seymour went ahead 28-0 on a 15-yard touchdown pass to Lodari, the tandem’s third connection of the game. The Eagles would go ahead 35-0 on a 27-yard run with 2:19 left in the first half.
Harris would score his third touchdown with a 7-yard score with just over a minute left in the half, giving the Eagles a 42-0 halftime lead.
Cocke County would finally get on the board with 6:04 left in the third quarter when Roman Stewart went into the end zone for a 1-yard touchdown, cutting the Seymour lead to 42-7.
The Eagles would tack on one more score in the fourth quarter on a 2-yard touchdown run by Sergio Sanchez, giving Seymour a 49-7 win.
Eli Funck led the Eagles with 189 yards and three touchdowns on 7-of-8 passing, while Cocke County’s Baylor Baxter went 8-of-23 for 65 yards. Baxter ran for 83 yards on 15 carries.
Brendon Harris led all rushers with 114 yards and three touchdowns on 11 carries, while Kai Thompson ran for 67 yards on six carries and Sergio Sanchez went for 43 yards and a score on 10 rushes.
Seymour’s Ryan Lodari finished with 114 yards receiving on three catches, with all three going for touchdowns, while Brooks Crowder had two catches for 57 yards. Kendrick White led the Fighting Cocks with 31 yards on two receptions.
Seymour (3-1) will host Sullivan East (1-3) on Friday night, as the Eagles will try to avoid an 0-2 start in Region 1. Cocke County (1-3) will attempt to improve to 2-0 in Class 5A Region 2, as the Fighting Cocks travel to Knoxville Halls (2-2).