Junior Bulldogs draw even with homecoming blowout of Tompkinsville

By THOMAS P. WEAVER
HORIZON Editor

CELINA-After dropping a heartbreaker to Jackson County by a score of 28-24 in their season-opener, the Celina Junior High Football team drew even for 2017 with a blowout of Tompkinsville here at Coach John Teeples Field last Thursday night on Homecoming.

Celina Jr. High Homecoming queens

HOMECOMING ROYALTY-Cherokee Upton (right) was crowned this year’s Junior High Homecoming Queen and Haley Kirk was named Football Queen at the game last Thursday night where Celina blew out Tompkinsville 46-6. (HORIZON photo by Lauren Weaver)

Orchestrated by eighth-grade starting quarterback Keaton Arms, the high-powered Jr. Dawg attack racked up big yardage through the air and on the ground, via the signal-caller’s classmates Carson Sharp (RB), Kolby Boles (RB), and Billy Isabell (FB)—en route to dominating the Jr. Falcons 46-6.
“That’s just game one versus game two difference,” high school head coach Matt Bates—who also leads the junior high squad—said. “The kids are young, they are still learning, and they’ve got a lot better grasp of the offense two weeks later and we rolled!
“I think if we get another chance at Jackson County in the championship, it will be a lot different story.”
Arms found wideout Connor Boles and tight end Joseph Marcom for big gains to set up scores, but all five Celina touchdowns came on the ground behind a good push up front from Wade Coons (RT), Tyler Harris (LG), John Hamilton (LT), Mikey Sparks (RG), and Levi Garrett (C).
Though the Jr. Dawg offense rolled, Hamilton got his team on the board first with a safety to make it 2-0 at the 3:23-mark of the first quarter, to spark the rout.
Boles scored next and added the two-point conversion to make it 10-0 with 2:39 remaining in the opening stanza, before Isabell bookended Tompkinsville’s only touchdown with two in a row to put the game out of reach.
The fullback’s first was a product of a big third-down stop for loss by Coons and came from 11 yards out, after Boles hauled in an Arms’ bomb to put them in scoring position. Arms added the conversion changing the scoreboard to 18-0 with 4:46 remaining in the half.
Isabell then answered the Jr. Falcon lone score, after Arms hit Marcom moving the ball inside the 10-yard-line. The bruiser did the rest on the next play and Boles tacked on the two-pointer, pushing it out to a 26-6 advantage with 1:40 left in the second.
Sharp then put the nail in Tompkinsville’s coffin before the break with a 40-yard jaunt to paydirt, changing the scoreboard to 32-6 with 40.7 ticks left in the half.
The second half was no better for the Jr. Falcons, as Coons, Hamilton, Garrett, Harris, and Marcom kept their opponent bottled up; linebackers Arms and Isabell dominated; and defensive backs Bryce Bailey, Andrew Burks, Sharp, and Boles shut down Tompkinsville’s passing game.
Burks did add an exclamation point from a yard out and Arms ran in the conversion to account for the final score.
The Jr. Dawgs travel to Gordonsville Thursday night for a 6:30 p.m. kickoff, before returning home August 31 to host Red Boiling Springs.
Carson Sharp

TOP PERFORMER-Carson Sharp hauled in this 70-yard TD pass from Keaton Arms against Jackson County and scored two others in the Jr. Dawgs first two games. (HORIZON photo by Lauren Weaver)


Jr. Dawgs………………..24
Jr. Devils…………………28
The Jr. Dawgs battled with a much-faster Jackson County Middle School team here in their season opener on August 10, but came up just short of the victory and lost their first game of the year by a score of 28-24.
They did get on the board first behind a Burks four-yard touchdown run and led 8-0 after Boles converted the two-pointer, but the Jr. Blue Devils quickly scored three in a row to make it 20-8 with under a minute to play in the first half.
With momentum on Jackson County’s side and things looking bleak for Celina, Arms answered the bell with a 70-yard touchdown strike to Sharp—who also had a nice run for the conversion—and the score sat at 20-16 with 17.6 seconds left in the second.
Unfortunately, the Jr. Devils quickly responded and made it three touchdowns in under a minute as time expired. They too converted the two-pointer and led 28-16 at the break.
Sharp went to work on the first Jr. Dawg possession of the second half, picking up two first downs on the ground, before toting across the goal-line from two yards out. Boles ran in the two point conversion and Celina had drawn within one score, 28-24.
After all ensuing Jr. Dawg drives stalled out the rest of the way, time ran out on Celina and they fell by the four-point margin.