ALAMO — The Haywood County Tomcats and the Crockett County Cavaliers met in Alamo on Friday night for a big Region 7-3A match-up in a game that came down to one final possession in the last minutes of the game.
With Haywood County leading by the score of 19-7, Crockett County quarterback Jeremiah Nance ran the ball around the edge for a 9-yard touchdown run to cut the lead to 19-14.
Crockett County chose to kick an onside kick on the following kick-off and recovered the ball at the Tomcat 46-yard line.
After a facemask penalty and a converted first-down run by the Cavliers, the Haywood defense came up with four big stops to cause the Cavaliers to turn the ball over on downs at the Haywood 27-yard line.
“I can’t say enough about my defense tonight,” Haywood head coach Steve Hookfin said. “We came into this game tonight knowing that Crockett County was extremely well coached and had some very good players. Our defense did an outstanding job of keeping us in this game and giving us a chance to win.”
“I’m very proud of the way they played tonight.”
The special teams unit also gave its head coach something to be proud of as Kris Johnson scored the first touchdown of the game for the Tomcats on a 50-yard punt return in the first quarter to put Haywood up 7-0.
The Tomcat offense did all of its damage in the first half as well as Xavier Walker scored on touchdown runs of 12- and 4- yards in the second quarter.
“Our offense is coming along for us,” Hookfin said. “With this being my first year here, I expected it to take a little bit for these guys to get used to my system. All I’m looking for is a consistent effort. Overall tonight, I was pleased with the players’ effort and commitment on the offensive side.”
The Cavaliers also got one of their two touchdowns of the game in the second quarter following a 20-yard fake punt run by Nance. Jordan Branch followed that up with a 27-yard run and finished it off with a 9-yard touchdown run to make the score 19-7 at the half.
“This was a very good win for us tonight. Crockett County is big, strong, and fast. They play a very physical game and this was a nice win for the team.”
The Tomcats turn their focus now towards another Region 7-3A game as they host Hardin County.
“Hardin County is probably the best team in the district, and possibly the state,” Hookfin said. “They’re a very good team that we are going to have to really prepare for next week.
“We are going to enjoy this win against Crockett County for tonight and then really turn our focus towards Hardin County next week.”
Crockett County will travel to North Side next week.