BY BRIAN HAMILTON
MARYVILLE – Heritage attempted to throw the ball more than usual against Knox Central on Friday night. The strategy did not help, however, as the Mountaineers were shut out 51-0.
“We thought we could throw the ball, especially on first down, because of the way they played their coverages and left some guys open,” Heritage head coach Tim Hammontree said after the game.
Heritage quarterback Wesley Deck threw for 103 yards and an interception on 16-of-25 passing.
In previous weeks, Hammontree used a power-spread attack with running backs Cayleb O’Connor and Daniel Foxx.
Knox Central’s Frank Johnson ran for a 49-yard touchdown to put the Bobcats in front 7-0 with 10:08 left in the first quarter.
Ian Miller later recovered a botched snap on a Heritage punt in the end zone, giving Knox Central a 14-0 lead with 6:39 left in the second quarter. Shannon Mills also ran for a 10-yard touchdown in the second.
The Bobcats would take a 24-0 lead into the half, as Kole Hughes drilled a 35-yard field goal with 42 seconds left.
Mills would add another touchdown in the third quarter on a 1-yard plunge, increasing the Knox Central lead to 31-0. A 21-yard touchdown pass from Ryan Bolton to Nathan Hurley would give the Bobcats a 38-0 lead after three.
Johnson ran for his second touchdown of the night with 7:30 left, while Mills would add his third touchdown on a 2-yard run. The Mountaineers were never able to get on the board, falling 51-0.
Knox Central ran for over 200 yards on the ground and scored five rushing touchdowns.
“Their offensive line took control of us about eight minutes into the game,” Hammontree said of the Bobcats’ rushing attack.
The Mountaineers (0-5) will travel to Seymour (4-1) on Friday to face a red hot Eagles team, while Knox Central (2-2) will host Class 6A Hardin Valley (0-4).