Claiborne High School’s Bulldogs were coming off a big win at Union County and were looking to keep the good play up against Chuckey-Doak’s Black Knights Sept. 2. The Bulldogs battled admirably but fell in the end by five points. Cooler weather greeted the fans and players as the two teams ran out on the field to do battle.
The Bulldogs won the toss but elected to defer to the second half. It wasn’t long after the kickoff that the Knights were in Bulldogs’ territory. Isaac Fugate made a big play on this Knights drive when he stuffed a run in the backfield forcing a second and 15. Lukas Neely and Isaiah Cloud forced a punt by their defensive efforts.
The Bulldogs started their drive on their own 13-yard line. Ty Stone helped keep the drive alive when he ran for a first down. Cloud began his night of tough running with a five yard gain. Jacob Butler ripped off a TD run of 50 yards for the Bulldogs’ first score. The point after was no good and with 4:32 in the first the Bulldogs led 6-0.
The Knights’ offense then came alive and were gaining on the ground and in the air but Bryce Laws slammed the Knights ball carrier to stop the drive but unfortunately a penalty erased his effort giving the Knights a first and 10. Hunter Rosenbalm and Laws got aggressive on defense but the Knights kept driving as the first quarter came to a close.
Just as the second quarter began, Cloud separated the ball from the offensive player and Austin Nantz scooped it up with TD thoughts in his mind but he was tackled after about a five yard return. After a penalty against the Bulldogs they dropped the pigskin on the ground and the Knights found it for the turnover.
The Bulldogs defense got the ball back to their offense by stopping the Knights on a fourth down try but a Bulldogs fumble was deemed to have been recovered by the Knights even though a Bulldog had came out of the pile with possession.
The Black Knights got their first TD at the 5:09 mark in the second. The P.A.T. was good and the Knights took a 7-6 lead. Rosenbalm then made a great return that was erased due to another penalty. Ty Stone went for a TD run of around 70 yards and gave the Bulldogs the lead back. They tried a two point conversion but it failed. The score was now 12-7.
Taylor Ward scored for Chuckey-Doak at the 1:50 mark giving the lead back to the Knights. The P.A.T. was no good and the Knights led 13-12. The half ended with a field goal attempt and make to push the Knights’ advantage to 16-12.
The Claiborne Bulldogs marching band then entertained the crowd at the half just after Rusty Wallace Toyota of Morristown was presented a football for their generous donation towards the purchase of a new scoreboard.
The second half was just as good as the two teams played as equals and continued swapping the lead. The yellow flags began to fall like rain during the second half as play began to get a bit testy. Claiborne gambled on fourth down and it paid off with another run by Butler. Stone and Laws tried to keep the drive alive on the ground but it took an air attack from Stone to Rosenbalm that kept the drive alive. After two runs by Cloud, the Bulldogs had retaken the lead at 4:39, 18-16. They went for two again and it was no good.
The Knights were helped by Bulldogs penalties on their next drive and the game was thrown into the fourth quarter.
Chuckey-Doak scored just seconds into the fourth with a QB run up the middle. The two point conversion was good and the Knights led 24-18.
Butler then returned the kickoff to midfield. Cloud rolled off to a 40 yard TD run that tied the game at 24. The P.A.T. failed and the score remained tied. The Knights quickly matched the score with one of their own and took the lead 31-24 after a successful point after.
Evan Poore came in as QB for a slightly hurt Stone and was faced with a fourth down and long play and the Knights simply met him behind the line for a turnover on downs. At 2:59 the visitors scored again but the kick was no good.
Behind 37-24, Claiborne had to hurry up and get a score for a win to even be possible and did just that behind Matt Cupp’s TD at 1:57 and the conversion was run in by Cloud. The score now was 37-32. The Bulldogs defense had to hold and get the ball back to Coach Medlin’s offense. That’s all that the Bulldogs could find the end zone the game ended, 37-32 but the fans on both sides were treated to one great game.
Next up for the Bulldogs is a home contest against Cumberland Gap who also will come into this game with a 1-1 record.
Reach Allen Earl at 423-254-5588 or on Twitter @pitchadude.