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Kingston downs Tigers for county title, 21-6

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By Goose Lindsay, Sports Editor

The Kingston Yellow Jackets wrapped up the 2010 Roane County Championship Friday night with a 21-6 victory over Rockwood at Dr. Nat Sugarman Memorial Field.

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The victory, however, was anything but easy as the Jackets led just 7-6 after Rockwood scored to begin the second half. But it was at that point that the Jackets scored on two straight possessions to take control of the game.

“I thought our kids played hard tonight against a good football team,” Kingston head coach Vic King said following the game. “Rockwood came out ready to play tonight like we knew they would. Coach (John) Webb does a great job with them. To me, our physicality took over a bit in the second half and we were able to grind it a bit. We didn’t throw as much in the second half because our defense was playing well and we didn’t want to chance making a mistake.”

For Tiger head coach John Webb, he was disappointed in the loss, but he felt his team responded well following last week’s loss at Greenback.

“We always hate to lose, but I’m proud of the way these kids responded after last week’s loss,” Webb said. “I thought we played extremely hard tonight.”

The first half of Friday’s game was almost like a game of keep-away as Kingston’s offense ran 35 plays compared to 15 for Rockwood. Twenty-four of Kingston’s snaps came in Rockwood territory, but the Jackets were only able to take a 7-0 lead at halftime.

“We felt like we let them off the hook in the first half,” King said. “It seemed like we’d be going pretty good and then we’d shoot ourselves in the foot by jumping offside or something.”

Kingston drove inside Rockwood’s 25 yard line to start the game before a holding penalty and sack helped kill the drive.

Kingston, however, got the ball back quickly as Rockwood fumbled the ball away on their first play from scrimmage and that gave the Jackets excellent field position at the Tiger 30.

The Jackets would score nine plays later as QB Darren Mossing scampered into the end zone from five yards out on fourth-and-goal. 

Andy Spellman added the PAT to give the Jackets a 7-0 lead with 4:07 left in the first half.

Rockwood seemed ready to answer as QB Lucas Jolley connected with TE Josh Boles for a 20-yard gain on the Tigers ensuing possession, but the drive ended two plays after reaching Jacket territory as Jacked DB Preston King picked off a pass at the 30 yard line.

The rest of the half was a defensive battle for the most part.

Rockwood failed to pick up any first downs in their final three possessions of the half.

The Jackets did put together one solid drive midway through the second quarter as they drove from their own 43 to Rockwood’s 16, but a fumble in the backfield helped kill the drive.

Rockwood came out with fire in their eyes to start the second half as the Tigers marched 69 yards in only five plays with Jolley finding Brendan Kirkland deep down field for a 53-yard touchdown to make the score 7-6 with 9:26 left in the third quarter.

Rockwood’s PAT was no good.

“It was a whole new ball game at that point,” Webb said. “I thought we made some good adjustments at halftime.”

Whatever momentum Rockwood had after the score went away on Kingston’s next drive as the Jackets marched 73 yards in 10 plays with Demarcus Foster scoring on a three-yard run. Spellman’s PAT gave the Jackets a 14-6 lead with 5:04 left in the third quarter.

Aaron Fielden set up the score with a 25-yard run.

“It’s always big when you can answer a big play with a score of your own,” King said.

Kingston took complete control of the game on their next possession. After forcing a Tiger punt, the Jackets drove 66 yards in eight plays with FB Coty Groves scoring on a two-yard run to make the score 21-6 with 11:18 left to play. 

Groves also set up the score with a 37-yard reception from Mossing.

Kingston’s defense took over from there. Rockwood did drive inside Kingston’s 30 midway through the final period, but back-to-back sacks from Fielden and Darian Sams helped end any hopes of a Tiger comeback.

Kingston ended the evening with 309 yards of total offense.

The Jackets ran the ball 46 times for 173 yards. Groves (14-68-1 TD) and Foster (14-52-1 TD) were the leading rushers for the Jackets.

Mossing added 136 yards through the air as he completed 10 of 17 passes. Fielden (5-52) was Mossing’s favorite target.

Rockwood amassed 162 yards of offense with 53 yards coming on the ground while Jolley completed 6 of 13 passes for 109 yards.

With the victory, Kingston improves to 3-0 on the season. Up next for the Jackets is a three-week road trip that starts Friday night at Stone Memorial.

“Anytime you’re undefeated it feels good whether it’s 1-0 or 3-0,” King said. “We’re off to a good start, but now we got three in a row on the road and it starts with a good Stone Memorial team.”

Rockwood drops to 1-2 with the loss and host Tellico Plains Friday night in a key District 3-A contest.

“Our boys will come ready to play Friday night,” Webb said. “We’re close to being a good football team and I wouldn’t be saying that if I didn’t believe it.”

Rockwood Statistics

Rushing- Deardorff 7-17, Smith 6-16, Campbell 5-27, Jolley 4-(-11). Headrick 1-4.

Passing- Jolley 6-13 for 109 yards with 1 TD and 1 INT.

Receiving- Smith 2-23, Boles 1-20, Kirkland 2-56 with 1 TD, Deardorff 1-7.

Kingston Statistics

Rushing- Fielden 9-35, Mossing 5-20 with 1 TD, Foster 14-52 with 1 TD, Groves 14-68 with 1 TD, Akers 1-12, Team 3-(-14).

Passing- Mossing 10-17 for 136 yards.

 Receiving- Fielden 5-52, Groves 2-56, Szozda 3-28.