The Tennesee Chirstian Ppreparatory School Hawks junior varsity football team traveled up the mountain Monday night to face the Tellico Plains Bears. After a brief rain delay, the Hawks could not get the momentum they had in game one and were shut out by a score of 28-0.
The TCPS defense finally settled down in the second half and only allowed one score after a turnover gave the Bears the ball deep in Hawks’ territory.
Defensive leaders for the Hawks were Eric Hall and Cody Collins, who each recorded eight tackles on the night. The Hawks defensive highlight of the game went to Caleb Douglas, who forced a fumble after a huge hit on a Tellico runner. Andy Chase scooped up the ball and returned it to the Tellico 5-yard line. However, the effort was nullified and brought back after a block in the back foul.
“The Hawks’ offense just could not get going tonight. Our closest opportunity came after the fumble recovery, but time ran out on the clock,” said head coach Toby McKenzie.
Offensive leaders for TCPS were Eric Hall, who rushed for 75 yards on nine carries, and Andy Chase, who had 42 yards on six carries.
After the game, Coach McKenzie had encouraging words for the team, “I am proud of how they played in the second half. They showed a lot of heart to keep playing at a high level even though we were down. We coaches are taking the blame for this one because we didn’t have you mentally prepared, and that’s on us,” he said.
Following a post-game prayer, the Hawks held their heads high as they walked off the field. Coach McKenzie added, “We are going to go back and fix our problems on offense and work on tackling. These boys played with a lot of heart and character, but we made too many mental mistakes and that is on me. We are trying to build this program the right way and I think we are doing that. We all believe in each other and I am really excited about the foundation these boys are laying for the future. This program will be something great to watch and support as we continue to build it up.”
The Hawks will host McMinn County’s JV Monday at 6 p.m. at Charleston Field. The Hawks encourage football fans to come support this emerging program in Bradley County.