KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Sixteen teams from East Tennessee participated in Friday’s KOC Kickoff Classic Jamboree at Neyland Stadium. Eight, one-quarter games were played.
The King’s Academy won the first game 7-0 over Austin East on an Elijah Williams Smith touchdown run.
South-Doyle held off Halls 7-6. Nick Martin found Cameron Monday on a touchdown toss to give the Cherokees a 7-0 lead. Halls scored on the last play of the game but didn’t convert the two-point conversion.
Powell and Bearden played to a 7-7 draw through one quarter. Bearden junior Preston LaBanca picked off a Jordyn Potts pass on the first play of the game. Two plays later John Harrison connected with Tim Spikes for a touchdown to give Bearden a 7-0 lead. Powell answered on a Jarvis Stockton touchdown run to tie the game at 7.
“It’s awesome. The fact that so many kids missed this opportunity last year, you learn to appreciate things sometimes when you don’t have them, when they’re not right there,” Powell coach Matt Lowe said of the event that marks the start of the high school football season.
“To be able to come out here tonight for all these individuals, to have this moment inside of this historic stadium, to be able to come out here and compete with their team, it’s an unbelievable opportunity for all of us.”
“It’s so much fun,” Bearden quarterback John Harrison said. “I mean as a kid you look at the Tennessee players out there, you wish so much to be one of them. So it’s a great feeling being out here.”
Powell five-star defensive lineman Walter Nolen showed why he’s the No. 2-ranked recruit in the country with a dominant performance for the Panthers. Nolen says Tennessee is still in the mix.
“At this point Tennessee is in my top three. We’re going to see where it goes from this season,” Nolen said. “Tennessee, Florida and Texas A&M are my current top three.”
In the other games on the night, Central blanked Farragut 13-0, Fulton shut out Campbell County 13-0, Carter outlasted Hardin Valley 14-7, Webb topped Karns 7-6, and West and Gibbs played to a 0-0 tie.