BELL BUCKLE — Led by senior running back Connor Huie, the Cascade Champions notched their first win of the season in their home-opener as they defeated the Cannon County Lions 20-14 in a …
BELL BUCKLE — Led by senior running back Connor Huie, the Cascade Champions notched their first win of the season in their home-opener as they defeated the Cannon County Lions 20-14 in a wire-to-wire contest.
“Both teams fought hard tonight,” Champions head coach Jake Tyre said.
“We just reached down and played some bully ball at the end. Connor Huie had a great last drive where we took a lot of time off the clock to seal it.”
The Champions (1-1) started out strong in the first quarter by stopping the Lions’ (0-2) offense, and marching down the field for the first touchdown of the game.
Huie found the end zone for his first score of the night on a seven-yard scamper with a minute and 20 seconds remaining in the quarter, but a missed extra point left Cascade with a 6-0 lead.
Huie carried the ball 27 times for 200 yards and three touchdowns to lead all players in those respective categories.
“He’s (Huie) the one that makes us go,” Tyre said. “When he’s on, we’re on. If he’s off, then we’re off. He’s the alpha and the leader that helps us get things done.”
The Champions’ lead didn’t hold for long as the Lions put together a strong drive that led to a 22-yard rushing touchdown from junior running back Ryan Perkins with just under five minutes remaining in the first half.
A successful extra point gave the Lions a one-point lead.
Cannon County found themselves threatening to score again with under a minute remaining in the half, but a timely interception in the end zone by senior Chance Brown saved the Champions from heading into the locker room with a greater deficit.
Cascade received the ball to start the second half, and they stuck with their plan of handing it off to their workhorse.
With six and a half minutes left in the third quarter, Huie crossed the plane from two yards out for his second score of the game, and a successful two-point conversion put the Champions up 14-7.
But Perkins and the Lions responded quickly with another rushing touchdown of their own to tie the game at 14-14 with three minutes remaining in the quarter.
Much like Huie, Perkins carried his team by rushing for 193 yards and two touchdowns on 22 rushes.
On the ensuing Cascade drive, Huie stepped in at quarterback after cramps sidelined both the Champions’ starter and backup, and the senior led a 10-minute drive that resulted in his third touchdown of the game to give his team a 20-14 lead in the final five minutes.
The ball exchanged hands two more times before the Cascade defense forced a turnover on downs, and handed the ball back to their offense to run the final two minutes off the clock to secure the win.
Tyre was proud of his team for flipping the script in the second half and earning the victory.
“We hurt ourselves in the first half by turning the ball over and not turning in good drives,” Tyre said. “They came out in the second half and executed, and that feels good. When you lose, it feels like you’ll never win again. When you win, it feels like you’ll never lose again, so it’s been a good week.”
Offensively, the Champions totaled 310 rushing yards with a total of 352 yards on the night.
On the defensive side, Cascade allowed 240 total yards with junior Hayden Dowell leading his team with 13 tackles.
The Champions will be at home again on Thursday against Mt. Pleasant at 7 p.m.
Cascade 6 0 8 6 — 20
Cannon 0 7 7 0 — 14
C — Connor Huie 7 run, (failed extra point), 1:20.
CC — Ryan Perkins 22 run, (Jack Byford kick), 4:56.
C— Huie 2 run, (2 pt. good), 6:30.
CC — Perkins 11 run, (Byford kick), 2:59.
C — Huie 1 run, (2 pt. failed), 5:43.
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