The Tennessee Christian School Hawks junior varsity football team won their season opener against the Sale Creek Panthers at Charleston Field Monday night. When the game was over, the Hawks walked off the field with the victory by a score of 31-14.
The Hawks’ offense was led by quarterback Luke Benton, who completed 5-of-6 passes for 75 yards while also rushing for 50 yards and three touchdowns. Andy Chase compiled nearly 120 all-purpose yards with one rushing touchdown. Hall also rushed for 65 yards and a touchdown.
The defense played strongly, giving up only 14 points to the Panthers’ spread offense. Interceptions were on the menu as the Hawks picked off five passes. Hall and Benton each had two with Devin Stricker grabbing one in the fourth quarter. The leading tacklers for the team were Chase, Hall, and Caleb Thomas.
Coach Toby McKenzie praised the team’s effort after the game, saying, “I was a little nervous about how the guys would react to going up against another team for the first time, but they showed they were ready to play. I guess they were tired of hitting each other and ready to hit somebody else.”
On the defensive side McKenzie said, “They played lights out. Coach Norwood did a great job getting them ready and made some great adjustments when he needed to.”
When asked what issues he thought needed improvement, “Too many turnovers. We got lucky tonight that those mistakes didn’t lead to any points, but we can’t do that again. But, I am so proud of our kids and coaches. I think that this is the start of something really special here.”
The Hawks will travel to Tellico Plains Monday to take on the Bears JV. Kickoff is set for 6 p.m.