Smoky Bears Pound Out Win

If Friday's tune-up against the visiting Campbell County Cougars is an indication, the Sevier County Smoky Bears (6-1 overall, 3-0 Region 1-5A) still have quite a bit of work to do before next Friday's visit to undefeated and top-ranked Kingsport Dobyns-Bennett.

Sevier County got two touchdowns from two different running backs to jump out to a 28-0 lead in a homecoming win over the undermanned Cougars.

Bruising Smoky Bears' halfback Tyler Thomas scored a two-yard touchdown to cap a short drive late in the first quarter and Shawn Hodge slashed in from two-yards out halfway through the second to give Sevier County an underwhelming 14-0 halftime advantage.

Sevier County's two first-half scoring drives came after the Smoky Bears' defense had helped provide a short field for the offense to start on. On the final Smoky Bears' offensive series of the second quarter, All-Region quarterback Corey Watson took an awkward blow to the head and was forced to watch backup QB Taylor Helton run the Smoky Bears' offense over the final two quarters.

Despite missing its leader, the Smoky Bears' offense started the third period fast, as Thomas streaked in the end zone from eight-yards out after moving 50 yards on four straight running plays. Later in the third stanza, Hodge picked up his second score of the evening on a 10-yard scamper to cap a seven-play drive with 46 seconds left in the third.

The Campbell County offense, which marched inside the Sevier County 5-yard line late in the second quarter but couldn't cross the goal-line before the first-half clock expired, was primarily one-dimensional through the first two periods. Cougars quarterback Brance Stiner lined his team up in the shotgun formation before nearly every offensive snap for Campbell County, and called his own number with quarterback draws through most of the first half.

Stiner helped his team light the other side of the scoreboard in the fourth quarter through the air with a pair of last-minute strikes to Cory Minton, covering eight and 39-yards, respectively.

Campbell County's first extra-point attempt was blocked by a surge from the Sevier County defensive front, and the second conversion kick was off the mark.

Sevier County kicker Patrick Miller saw his first extra-point kick of the night fall inches short of the cross-bar on the goalpost to leave the Smoky Bears' lead at 6-0.

Following Hodge's touchdown run for the Bears' second score of the night in the second stanza, Hodge took a handoff from Watson and dived through the line on a two-point conversion to make the Sevier Count lead 14-0 at halftime. Miller then nailed his extra-point attempts following the two second half Sevier County touchdowns.

In the end, it was the Smoky Bears' defense again ruling the night at Burchfield Stadium. Campbell County managed just 252 total yards of offense in the game, with a large portion of that number coming late in the contest after the outcome had been decided. The Cougars accumulated 144 rushing yards while piling up 108 yards through the air.

The Sevier County offense, which Smoky Bears' head coach Steve Brewer tagged as disappointing and inconsistent after the game, did make its presence felt on the ground. The stable of Sevier County running backs—which in most cases includes quarterback Watson—rumbled for an impressive 295 rushing yards against he Cougars.

The Smoky Bears' passing game, which accounted for just 53 yards against the Cougars, could be the area of the Sevier County offense that has to come through Friday in Kingsport to keep the fierce Indians' defense honest.

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