Coffee County schools were on fall break this week, but the Red Raiders football team couldn't catch a break of their own Friday night on the road. Taking on Lebanon, the Blue Devils dropped CHS for a 49-7 loss.
"We're disappointed in the outcome of the game obviously, but more disappointed about things that transpired this week," Coach Ryan Sulkowski said.
In the days leading up to Friday's game, some members of the team were suspended for skipping this week's practices. These issues caused distractions impacting the team's preparedness for their trip to Lebanon.
"Some kids thought doing other things were more important," Coach Sulkowski said. "It's not acceptable to miss practice, I don't care if it's fall break or not."
The Blue Devils wasted no time getting out ahead of the Raiders. On the first drive of the game, quarterback Chandler Crite threw a long pass to wide receiver Jeremiah Hastings for 64-yard touchdown.
On their first possession, Coffee County turned the ball over on a fumble to give Lebanon optimal field position on the Raider 21. A long run from running back De'Quante Shannon brought another Lebanon touchdown and Coffee County found themselves in a 14-0 hole four minutes into the game.
The Red Raider offense was unable to put much together in the first two quarters while the Blue Devils' lead ballooned to 35-0 at the half. Coffee County's best plays came on the defensive side, starting with a sack on Crite. This was followed shortly by an interception from defensive back CJ Anthony. Starting near the 25-yard line in Raider territory, Anthony brought the ball all the way back to Lebanon's two-yard line, falling just short of a pick six. The Raiders offense was unable to capitalize and turned the ball over on downs.
"It was definitely a bright spot. I think CJ's one of those guys that goes out every play and he gives everything he's got," Coach Sulkowski said. "He's gonna be a good player for us and he's only a sophomore."
The second half saw the Raiders start to click on both sides of the ball. After giving up five touchdowns in the first two quarters, Coffee County allowed just two after the break.
The offense was also able to capitalize off a fumble recovered on a punt return by defensive back Claudious Williams. On the ensuing drive, running back Andrew Mahaffey stepped in at quarterback to deliver a nine-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Trace Bryant to put the Raiders on the board. There was not enough time for the Raiders to mount a comeback and Coffee County ended the game with the lone touchdown to their credit.
"We're gonna have to get healed up and go into this week learning from our mistakes," Coach Sulkowski said. We've gotta go from there, roll the dice and see what happens."
Coffee County will travel to Murfreesboro Friday, Oct. 12, to take on the Riverdale Warriors.