By Rickey Clardy
PULASKI — The Community Vikings ran into a juggernaut Friday night as the Giles County Bobcats used their explosiveness on offense and a steady effort on defense to defeat the Vikings 69-14 in a Region 4-3A football contest.
“They have a great team and a well-coached staff,” Coach Chris Grooms of the Vikings said. “They have players that play hard and they’ve been winning for a long time.”
“We were undersized,” Grooms added. “They’re a team that always plays Alcoa and the winner goes to the state.”
The Bobcats, who reached the semifinals of the TSSAA 3A football playoffs the last two seasons, found pay dirt just over a minute into the game as Johnny Jackson ran for 13 yards and the score.
Chase Cardin connected on the extra point to give Giles County a 7-0 lead.
With Cardin’s kickoffs consistently going into the end zone, the Vikings started their drives at their own 20-yard line the entire game.
Coupled with a Com
munity fumble on the next possession, the Bobcats quickly scored again as Jackson scored on a 12-yard run to put Giles County up 15-0.
The Vikings made some noise on their next possession as Nyles Barnet connected with Issac Jacobs on a 21-yard pass to move Community to its own 34, but an unsuccessful fourth down conversion attempt gave the ball back to the Bobcats.
A pass from Jackson to Kamauri Turner for a touchdown and two other scores with the help of a Viking turnover gave the Bobcats a 35-0 lead heading to the second quarter.
The Vikings threatened in the quarter and reached Giles County territory thanks to a Bobcat pass interference penalty and a 34-yard run on a double reverse by Maki Fleming.
Community drove to the Bobcat 23, but was not able to keep the drive going as a fourth down conversion attempt failed.
Three more Bobcat scores in the quarter, including a touchdown as time expired, gave Giles County a 55-0 lead at the intermission.
Another Viking fumble led to a Bobcat touchdown in the third quarter as Giles County increased its lead to 62-0 with one quarter to play.
The Bobcats connected on their final touchdown with 8:21 to play before the Vikings found success on their final two drives of the game.
After a 16-yard pass completion from quarterback Drake Brown to Jacobs that moved the ball to the Community 37, Brown connected on a 63-yard pass to Aaron Graff for the touchdown to put the Vikings on the board.
Brown’s run for two cut the Bobcat lead to 69-8.
An onside kick recovery by Fleming on the ensuing possession gave the Vikings the ball in Bobcat territory.
After a successful pass from Brown to Braxtin Landers on fourth down, the Vikings ended the scoring in the game as Brown connected with Jacobs on a 26-yard pass play.
“We swapped it up in the fourth quarter and I told Drake the fourth quarter was his,” Grooms said. “I told him to relax, I made it simple, and he just let it fly.”
Community hosts Red Boiling Springs as the Vikings go out of the region next Friday night. Game time is 7 p.m.
“It will be the first time we’ve played Red Boiling Springs on my watch,” Grooms said.
Community 0 0 0 14 — 14
Giles Co. 35 20 7 7 — 69
GC — Johnny Jackson 13 run, (Chase Cardin kick) 10:48.
GC — Jackson 12 run, (Jackson run) 9:36.
GC — Kamauri Turner 30 pass from Jackson, (run failed) 4:37.
GC — Zori Randolph 3 run, (Cardin kick) 3:20.
GC — Randolph 24 run, (Cardin kick) 0:45.
GC — Z. Randolph 70 run, (Turner 18-yard run (kick good) 3:40.
GC — Dylan Williams 27 pass from Xavier Randolph, (kick failed) 2:08.
GC — Turner 38 pass from X. Randolph, (kick good) 0:00.
GC — W.T. Edde 9 run (kick good) 2:33.
GC — Collier Smith 7 run, (kick good) 8:21.
C — Aaron Graff 63 pass from Drake Brown, (Brown run) 4:21.
C — Issac Jacobs 26 pass from Brown, (run failed) 0:37.