Red Bank Whips Loudon To Win Region 3-AAA Title

Lions Take Charge With Five TDs In Second Quarter En Route To 49-24 Win

Saturday, October 28, 2017 - by John Hunt

Loudon and Red Bank entered Friday’s final regular season football game with identical 7-2 records overall and both were 4-0 in Region 3-3A play.  The region title was awaiting the winner.

That was about as close as it got as the never-say-die Lions spotted the Redskins an early 3-0 lead before putting the game away with five straight touchdowns.

Loudon scored three late touchdowns in the fourth quarter to make it a little more respectable, but it was Red Bank who was doing all the celebrating on the south end of Tom Weathers Field following a 49-24 victory.

Red Bank coach Chad Grabowski probably had a pretty good idea that his Lions would be successful running the ball against a young Redskin squad after Loudon gave up more than 500 yards on the ground last week in a 53-38 loss to Marion County that snapped a seven-game winning streak.

He was exactly right as leading rusher Zay Brown led the way with 208 yards on 28 carries, including 101 in the first half and another 107 in the final 24 minutes.  He also had touchdowns on runs covering 7 and 1 yard.

Calvin Jackson had an outstanding game as well as he scored touchdowns on runs of 1 and 2 yards and added another TD on a 41-yard pass from sophomore Madox Wilkey.

“The score isn’t any indication of what the game was like, but I feel really good about the way we played tonight,” said Grabowski after his team earned a home game for the first round of the playoffs next Friday.

“Everybody thought I was crazy three years ago when I was scheduling teams like Baylor, McCallie and Alcoa, but we’re trying to build a culture here and right now, we have the athletes to do it.  Our defense did a little bending at the start, but they were pretty stout the rest of the way.  Those last three touchdowns came against second and third-team players,” he added.

Loudon coach Jeff Harig, who is in his first year after a previous 14-year run with the Redskins, knows that his team is young and rebuilding, but they simply didn’t have the big guns on offense to keep pace with the high-powered Lions.

“We’re rebuilding, but our goal this fall is to play our best every Friday night.  Even our best isn’t good enough to compete with Red Bank as they have a great team and they played a near-flawless game.  We didn’t.

“We didn’t get our best effort tonight, but there are still a lot of positives to what we’ve done this season.  I just hope we’ll be back here to play them again in three weeks,” he concluded on an optimistic note.

The Red Bank defense was put to the test early, but they came through like champions.

Loudon took the opening kickoff and moved from its own 48 down to the Red Bank 1, but a bad snap on fourth down gave the ball to Red Bank at the 5.

The Lions were unable to get a first down, so the Redskins were back in business following a short Red Bank punt and a 15-yard penalty with first down at the Red Bank 15.  Loudon got down to the 5, but had to settle for a 22-yard field by Mark Ridenour with 2:41 left in the opening stanza.

That was Loudon’s only lead of the game.

Red Bank then responded with touchdowns on its next four possessions.

Jackson concluded a 10-play, 80-yard drive with a TD on a keeper from the one with 11:11 left in the second quarter and the difference was 7-3 after Braulio Velazquez booted the first of seven extra points. 

David Cosby extended the lead with a 13-yard pass from sophomore quarterback Madox Wilkey with 6:27 showing before the break.

A fumble on Red Bank’s kickoff was recovered by Daveon Autry at the Loudon 35 and Jackson had his second TD of the game on a keeper from the 2 just 90 seconds later as the Lion lead was 21-3.

Cosby added his second TD on a 24-yard pass from Wilkey with 61 seconds left before the break and it looked for sure like Red Bank would roll to its second-straight Region title.

Brown added his second TD on a run from the 7 to start the second half before Jackson scored his third TD on a 41-yard pass from Wilkey with 4:14 left in the third to put the mercy rule into effect.

The running clock didn’t last long as Loudon came back to score its first TD on a keeper by quarterback Drew Jackson from the 3 with 9:32 to play. 

Cameron Baker added another TD on a 19-yard run before Brown added another score for the Lions from the 1.  McKenzie Lunsford then scored on a 13-yard run for the Redskins to conclude the scoring.

Red Bank finished with 443 total yards, including 237 on the ground and 206 through the air.

Brown had 208 on 28 carries while Jackson added 36 yard on seven attempts.

Quarterback Wilkey, who is a talented and confident 15-year-old sophomore, had a great night throwing the football as he completed all 10 of his passes in the first half for 122 yards before finishing the evening by completing 13 of 16 passes for the 206 and three TDs.

“I have to give a lot of credit to the offensive line as they did a great job protecting me and also opening huge holes for our running backs, but we felt confident coming in as we had better athletes,” Wilkey said while praising the effort of big guys up front like Murphy Emery, Ashton Alderson, Ryan Pate, Jeremiah Welch and Cole Stevens.

While Brown was the leading rusher for Red Bank, Jackson led the Lion receivers with eight catches for 91 yards.  Cosby finished with three grabs for 46 yards and two TDs while Brown also had two catches for 44 yards.

Jackson was the leading rusher for Loudon as he finished with 101 yards on 22 carries.  Skyan Lyle followed with 44 yards on nine trips while Baker had 40 yards rushing on four carries and two receptions for 22 yards.

Red Bank also finished the evening with a 23-15 advantage in first downs.

LOUDON  3  0  0  21  --  24

RED BANK  0  28  14  7  --  49

L – Mark Ridenour 22 field goal, 2:41 left in first;

RB – Calvin Jackson 1 run (Braulio Velazquez kick), 11:11 left in second;

RB – David Cosby 13 pass from Madox Wilkey (Velazquez kick), 6:27 left in second;

RB – Jackson 2 run (Velazquez kick), 4:57 left in second;

RB – Cosby 24 pass from Wilkey (Velazquez kick), 1:01 left in second;

RB -- Zay Brown 7 run (Velazquez kick) 7:40 left in third;

RB – Jackson 41 pass from Wilkey (Velazquez kick), 4:14 left in third;

L – Drew Jackson 3 run (Ridenour kick), 9:32 left in fourth;

L – Cameron Baker 19 run (Ridenour kick), 7:33 left in fourth;

RB – Brown 1 run (Velazquez kick), 4:16 left in fourth;

L – McKenzie Lunsford 13 run (Ridenour kick), 1:52 left in fourth.

(email John Hunt at nomarathonmoose@gmail.com)



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