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Patriots play spoiler on Falcons’ homecoming

JIMMY MOORE, TriCitiesSports.com • Sep 9, 2017 at 1:45 AM

CHURCH HILL — It was homecoming week at Volunteer, but Sullivan East disappointed the Falcons faithful.

The Patriots piled up 48 points over the middle two quarters on their way to a 62-25 victory.

Volunteer hurt its cause by committing five turnovers, but East's offense was the biggest factor. The Patriots rolled up 451 yards of total offense behind sophomore quarterback Dylan White.

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East coach Mike Locke said it seemed like everything went right for his Patriots.

“I’ve been on the other side of a game like this but thought the game tonight turned on special teams,” Locke said. “The mistakes Volunteer made on the kickoff returns gave us life and from there we just kind of capitalized on it. ...

"We were a little suspect on defense ourselves and thought it might get into a shootout, but we were able to separate ourselves. It is amazing how it snowballs on you.”

Corbin Patrick romped 25 yards for the score on East's first possession, but the Falcons answered. Luke Bellamy picked off a Patriots pass at the 1-yard line, and Volunteer went 99 yards on eight plays, capped by Zac Christian's TD run and Matthew Kinkead PAT kick. A key play in the drive came on a 19-yard pass from Eli Dorton to Peyton Baker, who wrestled the ball from a defender.

On the ensuing possession Volunteer’s Avery Venoy blasted an East ball carrier to knock the ball loose, and Clay Snapp pounced on it at the East 47-yard line. Four plays later, Christian scored on a 17-yard run to give the home team its first lead of the season, 13-7.

It didn’t last long, however.

White hooked up with Ethan Whitley on a 56-yard pass to the Falcons' 26. Four plays later, White capped the drive with a 9-yard run and East didn’t trail again.

Volunteer muffed a pair of kickoff returns in the second quarter, and the Patriots went up 28-13 when Kaleb Bare picked up a Falcons fumble at the Volunteer 1 and scored.

Dorton hit Avery Venoy for a 14-yard touchdown, but East scored again for a 34-19 lead at halftime.

Christian ran for 150 yards on 17 carries.

Senior Abby Hensley, the daughter of Tina and Doug Ware and Jamie Hensley, was crowned homecoming queen at halftime.

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