HUNTSVILLE — “Very, very efficient.”
That’s how Scott High Coach Keith Shannon described CAK’s offensive execution in the first half of Friday’s homecoming game at Highlander Field, as the Warriors exploded to a 27-0 first quarter lead before coasting to a 41-21 win.
“Our kids fought and played and did exactly what we asked them to do,” Shannon said. “(But) they’ve got some great quarterbacks and some great receivers.”
Cole Smith was outstanding at quarterback for CAK. He completed 27 of 38 passes for 275 yards and three touchdowns before exiting early once his team had built a 41-0 lead in the third quarter.
The Warriors rushed for just 100 yards and lost three fumbles, but the passing game was more than enough to lift them to their first District 4-AA win of the season.
Scott, meanwhile, was able to bounce back in the second half, scoring three unanswered touchdowns. The Highlanders were limited to fewer than 100 yards in the first half, but had their chances against a stout CAK defense.
“Honestly, we missed a couple of big homerun plays that could have changed the complexion of the first half,” Shannon said.
CAK’s offensive onslaught included four first quarter touchdowns and scores on all five of the Warriors’ first half possessions.
The Warriors had the Highlanders on the ropes by the latter stages of the first quarter, then delivered what would prove to be an effective knockout punch with two touchdowns less than a minute apart.
The first came on a Smith touchdown pass to Baylor Caughorn with a minute remaining in the opening period, giving the Warriors a 21-0 lead. After a fumble three plays later, CAK needed just two plays to find the end zone again, with Smith completing a touchdown pass to Michael Thompson.
The pace slowed considerably in the second quarter, but CAK tacked on another touchdown on a Thompson run to build a 34-0 halftime lead.
The Warriors capped their scoring on their first possession of the third quarter, with Alex Dalton scoring.
Then Scott began to bounce back.
First came a 25-yard touchdown run by quarterback Kaleb Byrge, who finished with 66 rushing yards to lead the Highlanders.
Then, after a three-and-out by CAK, Hayden Byrge scored on a six-yard run to make it 41-14.
Cole Hammock recovered a fumble on CAK’s ensuing possession, setting up a touchdown run by Jon Hamblin for a third consecutive score.
The Highlanders would have two more shots, after fumble recoveries by Josh Butts and Tyler Francis. But the CAK defense held each time.
“Our kids handled the emotions of the day,” Shannon said. “There were instances that we’ll have to address but I feel like we’ve got a mature group. I felt like our leadership held strong. Our kids kept fighting, they kept battling, and I was proud of them for that.”