PHOTO BY MARK COOPER Grace Christian Academy junior Riley King leads the Rams onto the field at The King’s Academy Friday night in a matchup of two Division II teams. TKA withstood a late rally by GCA and won 22-20.
By Steve Williams
Nothing has come easy for The King’s Academy football team this season.
After opening with a loss at CAK, the Lions’ Week 2 opponent – Meigs County – was affected by COVID-19 and couldn’t play, giving TKA a 1-0 win.
Howard, the Lions’ Week 3 opponent, also couldn’t play due to COVID-19 reasons, but King’s Academy scheduled a replacement game at Heritage, Ga., and lost 34-14.
Friday night the Lions hosted Grace Christian Academy in Seymour and not only got to play as scheduled, but also notched a win, holding off the Rams, 22-20.
“The kids did a great job using the last few weeks to continue to grow and get better and I think that showed Friday night,” said King’s Academy Coach Jonathan Sellers.
“It was a great game. Our guys played their most complete game so far this season and really showed grit and perseverance late in the game to hold on to the win. Very proud of our guys up front on both sides of the ball. I think they are really beginning to gel as a unit and come together.”
Grace Christian had several turnovers, but continued to battle and made a game of it late, thanks to a blocked punt in the fourth quarter, which the Rams recovered for a touchdown.
The GCA defense held the Lions to a three-and-out on the next series. With around three minutes left in the game, Grace quarterback Jake Boudreaux threw a short pass to Kadell Robinson, who avoided several TKA defenders and scored to pull the Rams within two points.
Grace Christian went for two, but The King’s Academy defense sacked Boudreaux to end the Rams’ comeback hopes.
TKA, now 2-2 overall, will play at Friendship Christian School Friday in Lebanon in a pivotal Division II Class A East Region game.
GCA will have its second open date of the season in Week 5. The 1-2 Rams’ next game will be at home against Notre Dame on Sept. 24.
POWER RATINGS: Murfreesboro Oakland is the state’s top-rated team, according to Sonny Moore’s Computer Power Ratings compiled through Week 3 games. Oakland has a power rating of 158.23. Greeneville is No. 2 with a 155.70 rating.
Others in the Top 10 are McCallie (154.64), Maryville (152.96), Murfreesboro Riverdale (149.95), Alcoa (149.68), MBA (149.40), Summit (149.17), CPA (147.14) and Knoxville Catholic (146.86).
Other local area teams in the Top 50 in the state include No. 13 West (140.14), No. 24 Powell (136.71), No. 33 Bearden (133.83), No. 36 Anderson County (133.08), No. 38 South-Doyle (132.83) and No. 42 Farragut (131.82).
CHASEN’EM DOWN: Defensive end Chase Stokely had a strong performance in CAK’s 40-21 Division II Class AA East Region win at Boyd Buchanan in Week 4.
For starters, Stokely recorded eight tackles, including one TFL and three sacks. Chase also forced one fumble, had two QB hurries, two pass break-ups and one blocked punt. Two of his seven kickoffs also resulted in touchbacks.
EXCITING WIN: Halls blocked a field goal with a minute to go to notch a 34-33 win over visiting Jefferson County in Week 4. The Red Devils jumped out to a 14-0 lead before the Patriots rallied to go ahead 20-14 in the see-saw battle.
This contest was a rematch of a memorable state semifinal meeting from 1986 in which Halls defeated Jefferson County 10-0. The win would springboard Halls to a victory over Germantown in the state finals to claim the school’s first and only state football championship.
In other key Week 4 games, Powell rolled at Science Hill 42-14, while Walker Valley handed Carter its first loss, 42-14.
HOMECOMINGS: Fulton hosted a Rule High Homecoming Friday at the West vs. Fulton game and Carter will be hosting a homecoming for Holston High this Friday (Sept. 17) when the Hornets play Scott, according to Tom Heck, a former Holston Warrior football player.
GAMES CALLED OFF: Two football games involving local teams – Gibbs at Central and Austin-East at Scott High – were called off in Week 4 as Central and Austin-East returned to virtual learning last week following the Labor Day holiday on Sept. 6.
An increase in absences at Central and A-E recently, largely due to COVID-19 cases, resulted in the change to online learning from Tuesday through Friday, and all extracurricular activities and athletics were not permitted during that time. Both schools are expected to return to regular classes today (Sept. 13).
Gibbs and Scott will receive 1-0 Covid wins for playoff seeding purposes and Central and A-E “no contests,” unless the games can be rescheduled later in the season.
PREPS OF THE PAST: Thirty years ago on Sept. 13, 1991 – Rondrow Peebles of West High School displayed his all-round talents in the Rebels’ 39-12 win over Webb School.
Peebles totaled 358 all-purpose yards, including 199 yards in return yardage. Rondrow started with a 95-yard kickoff return for a score. He later returned a fumble 61 yards for another touchdown.
Peebles also scored on a 63-yard run in the game and totaled 123 yards rushing on seven carries plus caught a pass for 36 yards.
That wasn’t all in this outstanding night for Peebles. He also was among the top defensive players for the Rebels with 11 tackles.