COOKEVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) – The Greenback Cherokees fell to Lake County 38-23 on Friday in the Class 1A state championship game at Tennessee Tech’s Tucker Stadium.
Lake County (15-0) scored 16 unanswered points in the fourth quarter to pull away from Cherokees, who played for a state title for the fourth time in the last five years. Greenback (12-3) is now 1-3 in the span, with the only win coming in 2017.
It’s Lake County’s first state championship since 1985.
With the game tied at 8-8 at halftime, Lake County scored first in the third quarter before Greenback answered with some razzle dazzle. Holden Willis, who was named the Class 1A Mr. Football winner on Monday, capped off a screen pass by throwing a touchdown to Wyatt Rutgerson to once again tie the game. Willis entered the state title game with the TSSAA record for receiving touchdowns in a season.
Willis, who also scored on a rushing touchdown in the first half, dealt with a lower leg injury in the second half.
The Cherokees trailed 30-23 with less than eight minutes left in the game when Braden Carnes’ pass was intercepted by Tanner Snyder and returned for a touchdown. Snyder, who is also Lake County’s quarterback, was named MVP of the game as he accounted for 404 yards on offense and five total touchdowns.