(T-G Photo by Chris Siers) [Order this photo]
The Champs piled up 20 first-quarter points and 21 in the second quarter en route to a 41-7 throttling over the Lions on Friday.
While the Champs had little trouble smothering the Lions in the first half, things slowed down quite a bit for the Champs in the second.
"I thought the kids did good coming out and setting the tone early in the game. We made some plays and they made some mistakes. Our kids were aggressive and we got a few balls we weren't expecting to get. We just lost our edge in the second half," said Cascade coach Kenny Parker.
The quick-striking offense piled up the first 20 points of the game in just 5:24 of total game time into the first quarter, with three touchdowns coming courtesy of sophomore running back Creed Rose.
Rose scored on distances of one, 30, and 12 yards, respectively, to catapult the Champs out in front.
Combine Cascade's buzzsaw run game with a opportunistic special teams play and Cascade had no trouble building an early and insurmountable lead.
The Champs found the end zone six plays into its first drive and was finished off with Rose's first touchdown run of the night.
On the ensuing kickoff, Cannon County fumbled on its own 18 and was recovered by Cascade. The special teams blunder set up another Cascade scoring opportunity, and again Rose delivered.
He caught a few blocks and cashed in on a 30-yard hand off to put Cascade up 14-0, following kicker Trent Sutton's successful PAT.
Tough luck struck the home team again as the Lions fumbled another kickoff, setting up another Cascade scoring drive.
"They just didn't make some plays and our kids hustled down and took advantage of some of their mistakes," Parker said.
And again, Rose delivered for the Champs.
(T-G Photo by Chris Siers)
Cascade was forced to punt from the 45, but again, Cannon County fumbled, this time on its own 12.
Rose finished off the drive on a 12-yard run, giving Cascade the 20-0 lead, barely 5:30 into the game.
Defensively, Cascade forced a punting situation in the beginning of the second quarter and on the very next play, Champion quarterback Chandler Sulcer connected with Jesse Barnes on a 55-yard touchdown reception.
Later in the second, Matthew Combs got a hand on a punt attempt by Cannon County and deflected the ball. Dakota Vaught scooped up the loose ball and raced down to the Cannon County 3-yard line.
"We wanted one guy to pressure the punter tonight. Matthew (Combs) did a good job tonight coming off the edge," Parker said.
Cody Smith finished the short drive with a 3-yard burst into the end zone.
Cascade scored one more time in the second following yet another Cannon County blunder. After another Cascade kickoff, Cannon County didn't jump on the loose ball. Cascade, however, was there to scoop up the kickoff deep in the Lions' own territory.
The Champs capitalized on what little time they had left and put seven more on the board following Sulcer's 1-yard leap into the end zone and Sutton's successful PAT.
Cannon County avoided the shutout, though, in with a third-quarter touchdown from Hawk Love.
Love's 58-yard touchdown run put the Lions on the board after playing two and a half quarters of shutout ball.
(T-G Photo by Chris Siers)
In fact, the Champs managed just four first downs in the entire second half. But even with the stalled offense, Rose and company were still able to pick up short yardage and run the clock.
In all, Rose ran the ball 24 times for 160-yards and three touchdowns. As a team, the Champs had 37 rushes for 155 yards.
While Cascade's forte has become the run game, Parker gives credit to the boys up front for providing the opportunities for Rose and the other backs to break those big runs.
"That's something we work on every day. We take pride in our run game. Those guys up front do a good job. They take a lot of pride in the fact the running back does what he does," Parker said.
Quarterback Chandler Sulcer completed 2-of-3 passes for 63 yards, including the 55-yarder to Barnes.
"We've got to throw the ball better. We're coming off the ball better, but we have to be more consistent in our passing game.
"I think our young guys are rushing it a little bit. We throw the ball well in practice, but it seemed like we were just hurrying things," Parker said.
Another key bright spot for the young Champions is the freshman place kicker. Sutton successfully converted five PAT's against the Lions on Friday night.
"Trent, our freshmen kicker, is doing a good job," Parker said.
The win bumps the Champs' record to 5-1 so far this year, but a tough four-week stretch to finish the season is on the horizon. While the Champs have played six weeks of hard-nosed football, they finally get a week off to work on some key fundamentals and to nurse some bumps and bruises before tackling "We've got four gauntlets left to go. We've got Moore County, Community, Forrest and Eagleville. We've got the meat of our schedule left," Parker said.
Cascade sits idle next week, but makes the trip to Lynchburg in two weeks to face the top ranked 9-A Raiders, who improved to 6-0 on Friday night with a 32-13 win over Warren County.
Cascade 20 21 0 0 -- 41
Cannon Co. 0 0 7 0 -- 7
C -- Creed Rose 1 run (Trent Sutton kick) 9:32.
C -- Rose 30 run (Sutton kick) 8:19.
C -- Rose 12 run (2pt. conv. failed) 6:34.
C -- Jesse Barnes 55 pass from Chandler Sulcer (Sutton kick) 11:35.
C -- Cody Smith 3 run (Sutton kick) 2:42.
C-- Sulcer 1 run (Sutton kick) 0:04.
CC -- Hawk Love 58 run (Jonathan Smith kick) 0:00.