There were three games this week that stuck out to me. West at Bearden, Anderson County at Hardin Valley, and 0-8 Campbell County at 0-8 Halls. After careful consideration, I chose the battle of the beatens. I felt this would be Campbell County's last shot at a victory this season with Oak Ridge on the horizon in the season finale, and believed they would capitalize and snatch the win.
I grabbed my undefeated press pass and headed to Halls. When I got there, I made my way to the pass gate and I kid you not, the guy working the gate asked me if I was a scout just because I had on an Auburn shirt. A scout. . . at a game featuring two teams that hadn't won a game yet this year. . . really? I made it through with zero opposition and went up to the press box to check in on the Cougar broadcasting network. Halls had brought in some Ruby Tuesdays to feed the people working in the booth. I took advantage of this, claimed a seat on press row, and made me a plate. Trust me, if you just act and believe you belong somewhere, 95% of the time no one will ask any questions and you can get away with just about anything. After feasting like a king I returned to the peasants in the bleachers and immediately noticed the short goalposts much like the ones at Farragut.
Campbell County kicked off to start the game, and elected to go with the onside. I didn't really understand this decision but I guess thats why I am not a coach. Halls used a 24 yard pass from Josh Coffman to Donovan Henley to set up a three yard touchdown run from Logan Stansberry to put the Red Devils up 7-0. Halls pulled the onside kick trick too and had just as much luck with it. Campbell County went three and out with their initial drive however and the punt on forth down wasn't any better, covering only eight yards. Unbelievably, with some great defense and costly penalties, that eight yard punt was actually able to flip the field. The two teams exchanged the ball a few times before Campbell County was able to begin to put a drive together that looked like it might result in points, but a fumble quickly ended that. Halls fumbled inside its own 20 however and the Cougars capitalized with a 10 yard run from Wesley Cook to tie the game at seven. Halls went three and out and the Cougars took the ball down the field and scored again with a QB draw from Tuffy Shoupe to put Campbell County ahead 14-7 going into halftime.
At halftime my friend AE pointed out that the Halls coach was wearing shorts. It is one thing to wear shorts in September, like the Campbell County staff did at Anderson County, but to wear shorts in late October, when the temperature is below 40 degrees, well thats another thing all together. At some point you just look like the guy that hangs around the high school fields wishing you were a teenager again because you know you would have taken your team to state if you had just been given the opportunity.
I guess it could have been worse.
Halls began a drive inside their own one yard line after a surprisingly good punt from Campbell County in the third quarter. The only problem was that on 2nd down, they fumbled giving the Cougars the ball only inches from the goal line. Shoupe scored again on a QB sneak and Campbell County gained a 21-7 advantage. Halls climbed back into the game late in the third quarter after a lengthy drive that was capped by a touchdown run from Josh Coffman. Campbell County blocked the extra point however so Halls was only able to pull to 21-13. During the 4th quarter, neither team could make anything happen. The Campbell County defense ended all chances of a comeback with a big forth down stop around midfield, and the Cougar offense was able to ice the game with a couple of first downs.
The Cougars picked up their first win of the season to put them at 1-8 on the year and the Red Devils fell to 0-9. After the game the Campbell County locker room was full of kids that were elated to finally see the fruits of their labors. You could tell these kids had really banded together and fought through adversity. Even though the losses had piled up, and with only two games left on the schedule they had the opportunity to fold and just go through the motions, they didn't and were rewarded for that tonight with the school's first victory of the season and first win ever over Halls.
These kids deserved this one.