Kingsport Times-News: Raiders' stout D, Thacker's four TD passes lead Burton past Lee

Raiders' stout D, Thacker's four TD passes lead Burton past Lee

Kevin Mays • Sep 8, 2018 at 1:35 AM

NORTON — The J.I. Burton defense came to life and Raiders quarterback Houston Thacker had a career night Friday.

The combination added up to a Raiders 38-13 non-district football win over Lee High at Lawson-Fitchko Stadium.


Burton’s defense shut down the Generals’ attack, forcing five turnovers, including four interceptions.

“We really worked on defense all week long. That’s what we’ve been concentrating on,” said Burton coach Jim Adams. “We made a couple of plays on offense and got them jumping around a little bit. And anytime you see kids start jumping, you’re normally going to have a good night.”

Burton came up with one of its big drive killers toward the end of the first half.

Trailing 16-7, Lee moved the ball inside the red zone with just seconds to play in the period. But an interception by Jaymen Buchanan ended the threat.

“We came in at halftime and we just flat-out challenged them to go out there and wrap up, do the things we told them to do. And they just went out and did it for the most part,” Adams said.


The Raiders (1-2) intercepted passes to end the Generals’ first two drives in the second half.

Both times, the Burton offense responded with touchdowns: a 39-yard pass and a 5-yard pass, both from Thacker to Derrick Allen.

Thacker threw two touchdowns in the first half, a 39-yard strike to Najee Steele and a 61-yard sideline pattern to Tyrell Ingram.

The four TD passes set a career mark for Thacker.

“We had a good week in practice and our coaches worked hard and had us believing we could win,” said Thacker. “It was a slow first half, but we executed the whole game and our defense stood up. I know we scored on offense but I want to give all the praise to our defense. Our defense is really young and they grew up tonight.”

Allen caught two touchdown passes from Thacker, but it was the defensive play that stood out for the senior. Allen had one of the four Burton interceptions.

“I don’t know what happened. We’ve been struggling a little bit. But tonight we just came together. We worked hard all week, doing what coach said, doing what we had to do. We came out tonight and just played,” Allen said.


“The bottom line is they just kicked our butts tonight,” said Lee coach Jeremy Pendergraft. “Just give coach Adams and Burton all the credit in the world. They executed and we didn’t.”


Burton has an open date next week to celebrate the win a little longer, and Lee (1-2) is at home against Eastside.

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