By Rickey Clardy
UNIONVILLE — Going into Friday night’s Battle of Bedford game between the Cascade Champions and Community Vikings, the game plan for Coach Jake Tyre and the Champs was to establish the running game.
After almost exclusively running on the ground from scrimmage, the strategy paid off as Sawyer Lovvorn rushed for six touchdowns, all in the first half, as Cascade ended with nine rushing scores and scored 32 points in a span of just under six minutes late in the second quarter to pull away en route to a 68-0 victory over the Vikings.
“We had a good game tonight running the ball,” Tyre said. “It’s something we worked on the entire week.”
“Sawyer Lovvorn had a big game last week and had close to 200 yards last week and close to 300 this week,” Tyre added.
The Champions took the opening kickoff and wasted little time lighting up the scoreboard.
Starting at the Viking 46 after an unsuccessful Community onside kick attempt, it took four plays before Lovvorn ran 33 yards for the first Cascade touchdown. The extra point by Gabe Perez was good as the Champions took a 7-0 lead with 10
:36 left in the opening quarter.
The Vikings made some noise on their first possession as a pass interference penalty on a throw from Nyles Barnet to Issac Jacobs gave Community a first down at its own 41.
But four Viking penalties thwarted the drive as an 11-yard pass from Barnet to Maki Fleming was not enough as Community punted to the Champs.
“We were trying to compensate for Cascade’s band with the snap count and we had a new center out there,” Coach Chris Grooms of the Vikings said.
“We were playing music trying to simulate it, but it’s not the same when it’s going the whole time.”
“We had a couple of miscues trying to snap it,” Grooms added.
The Viking defense made an early statement as the Champs could not gain a first down on their next possession.
A fourth down conversion attempt was unsuccessful, giving Community the ball at its own 38.
With some momentum on its side, Community could not gain a first down as an interception by Hayden Dowell of the Champs gave Cascade the ball.
It took three plays before Lovvorn scored again, this time from 16 yards out.
The extra point was botched, but the Champs turned a lemon into lemonade as quarterback Damien Byford found Lovvorn in the end zone for the 2-point conversion as Cascade ended the first quarter with a 15-0 advantage.
After an interception by Percy Wilson of the Vikings stopped a Champion drive early in the second quarter, it was all Cascade the rest of the quarter as the Champs went on a scoring frenzy and put the game out of reach.
Lovvorn found the end zone from two yards out with 7:48 left as the Champs added to their lead.
A run for two by Saebyn Burris put Cascade up 23-0.
Not to be outdone, the Champion defense came up big 15 seconds later as a tackle in the end zone was good for a safety and gave the Champions a 25-0 lead.
With good field position, a pass completion of 13 yards from Byford to Burris set the stage for a 38-yard run by Lovvorn as the Champs went up 32-0 with 7:15 remaining.
While the Champion defense stopped the Vikings on two 3-and-outs, Lovvorn added two more touchdowns with runs of 39 and 35 yards with Burris adding a 2-point conversion and Perez nailing an extra point as the Champs took a 47-0 lead to the intermission.
“The first quarter was penalties and didn’t have a good flow to it, but once we got going, it kept going,” Tyre said.
“Coach Bowling put us in a new defense and it was working, but we don’t have enough people over there and because it was a new defense, we missed a few stunts,” Grooms said.
The reserves were effective for the Champs in the second half as Cascade added to its lead.
With the Champion defense keeping the Viking offense at bay, Brady Lewis ran for two touchdowns on rushes of 28 and nine yards as the Champs took a 61-0 lead to the final quarter.
Max Smith closed out the scoring for the Champs with a 10-yard touchdown run late in the quarter.
The Vikings made a last-ditch effort to find pay dirt as a 32-yard pass from Barnet to Aaron Graff moved Community to the Cascade 22, but time expired as the Champs took the intra-county win.
\The Champion running game played havoc with the Viking defense the entire game.
“We would definitely lose on a weight factor, but we preached to them the entire week as long as you stay low and use your technique, you can bring them down,” Grooms said.
“All the way around it was a good ballgame,” Tyre said. “The defense played well and had a good game plan and special teams did really well.”
“Community’s doing a good job over here. These young guys just need some reps and they’re going to be something to handle in a few years,” Tyre added.
Cascade hosts Watertown while Community travels to Cannon County as both teams continue their non-region play next Friday.
Game time for both contests is 7 p.m.
Cascade 15 32 14 7 — 68
Community 0 0 0 0 — 0
Cas — Sawyer Lovvorn 33 run, (Gabe Perez kick) 10:36.
Cas — Lovvorn 16 run, (Lovvorn pass from Damien Byford) 0:49.
Cas — Lovvorn 2 run, (Saebyn Burris run) 7:48.
Cas — Safety tackle in end zone 7:33.
Cas — Lovvorn 38 run, (Perez kick) 7:15.
Cas — Lovvorn 39 run, (Perez kick) 5:22.
Cas — Lovvorn 35 run, (Burris run) 2:04.
Cas — Brady Lewis 28 run, (Perez kick) 6:35.
Cas — Lewis 9 run, (Perez kick) 1:50.
Cas — Max Smith 10 run, (Perez kick) 2:40.