The Pioneers staked their claim to the Region 1-5A lead with a 56-48 win over Cherokee on Friday night. The game broke the Big Red Valley record for points scored — 104 — surpassing the 100-point mark set against Cocke County last year.
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“Many of the area sportswriters were predicting a high-scoring game. It’s not what coaches want to hear, but that's what happened,” Cherokee coach Cody Baugh said. “Both teams made a lot of big plays and were extremely hard to stop. It was a hard-fought game that got away.”
Crockett quarterback Cade Larkins accounted for six touchdowns, four passing and two rushing, and finished with 373 yards on 25-of-45 passing.
The Pioneers (5-2, 3-0) held a 21-point lead in the third quarter, but Cherokee didn’t stop coming, and the teams combined for 49 points in the period.
Cherokee’s Connor Smith scorched the Crockett secondary, racing 62 yards to cut the lead to 42-35.
Two plays later, Crockett’s DeVante Boozer was thrown for a loss, fumbling the ball on a jarring hit by Jayden Goins. Cherokee’s Elijah Brice picked it up and took it to the Crockett 7 before quarterback Collin Trent ran the final yards to tie the game at 42.
John Kollie scored his second touchdown of the game — an 8-yard pass from Larkins at the end of the quarter — to put Crockett back out front to stay, 49-42.
Each team added a score in the fourth quarter.
Trent finished 10-of-31 passing for 226 yards. Jake Salyer had a team-high 138 rushing yards, ran for a TD and had a touchdown reception for Cherokee (4-4, 2-2)
Jenah Cooper was crowned homecoming queen at halftime.