BY BRIAN HAMILTON
KNOXVILLE – Northview Academy was coming off their first on-field win of the season — a 35-0 shutout of Claiborne — but laid an egg on Friday night, allowing Austin-East to pick up their first win in 15 games, on homecoming, with a 42-8 romp over the Cougars.
The Roadrunners got on the board first with a 1-yard touchdown run by Markeyis Billingsley for a 7-0 lead. Austin-East was leading 21-0 when Alex Cruz-Mendoza dodged several Roadrunners and scooted 86 yards for the score. Cruz-Mendoza connected with William Kirby on the two-point conversion attempt, cutting the lead to 21-8.
Austin-East had several drives killed late in the half due to penalties with the teams going to the locker room with the Roadrunners leading 21-8.
With Austin-East still leading 21-8, play was suspended early in the third quarter due to gunshots being fired in the parking lot near the stadium.
Once play resumed, a big play resulted in another Roadrunner touchdown, extending their lead to 28-8.
Northview then put together a solid drive, moving the ball to the Austin-East 3-yard line, but the offense stalled and a fourth down pass from Cruz-Mendoza to Kirby was overthrown, taking the air out of the Cougars’ sails.
Austin-East would tack on two more touchdowns for a 42-8 win. The Roadrunners’ win was its first since a 48-21 win over Kingston in the second round of the 2019 playoffs. The Cougars defeated Austin-East by a score of 28-7 in 2020.
Northview Academy (2-3, 0-2 Class 3A Region 2) will host Class 2A Oneida (4-1) on Friday night, as the Cougars look to get back in the win column. Austin-East (1-3, 1-1 Regio 2) will host Brainerd (1-4) on Friday night in a non-region contest.