Red Raiders look to keep hot streak going against Cavaliers

Derrick Scott returns a fumble for a touchdown against the Cookeville Cavaliers last year. 

The Red Raiders are on a two game winning streak after taking down the Warren County Pioneers on homecoming night. The Red Raiders next opponent is the Cookeville Cavaliers after having a week off.

The Cavaliers are having a down year this year only winning one game early against Livingston Academy. Last year the Cavaliers narrowly held off a last minute comeback attempt by the Red Raiders, so Coffee is looking to avenge that loss this time around. With two big wins under their belt, the Red Raiders have all the momentum going into this rematch.

The Cavaliers opened up the season against the Upperman Bees and were handedly beaten 28-6. The Cavaliers struggled in the passing game against the Bees. The Cavaliers were only able to muster 114 passing yards and had two interceptions. The running game didn’t fare much better as only 66 yards were able to be mustered on the ground. Evan Whited was a bright spot for the Cavaliers on offense. Whited averaged five yards a carry and had a long run of 16 yards. Though the Bees did score 28 points the Cavalier defense had some good moments. Whited managed to pick off an Upperman pass while fellow senior Cade Apple managed a sack.

The Cavaliers sole win this year came against the Livingston Academy Wildcats. The Cavaliers were dominate in that win scoring 42 points while not allowing a single score from the Wildcats. The Cavalier defense was smothering all night with four Cavaliers getting into the Wildcat back field for a total of five sacks. Abe Goolsby got to the Wildcat quarterback the most earning himself two sacks. The Cavalier secondary also feasted with nine interceptions. Offensively, Cookeville did most of the damage on the ground. The team had 143 yards of rushing and scored three rushing touchdowns.

The Cavaliers were not as fortunate against the Lebanon Blue Devils. Though Cookeville dominated the time of possession, having the ball for nearly 34 minutes, the team was unable to overcome an early two touchdowns from the Blue Devils losing 21-14. Lebanon had managed to keep the Cavaliers out of the end zone despite Cookeville having 179 yards rushing and 171 yards passing.

The next game against the White County Warriors didn’t fare well for the Cavaliers with a 41-13 loss. The Warriors turned the Cavaliers into a one dimensional team and completely shut down their run game. The Cavaliers were only able to muster 38 yards rushing. The Cavalier quarterback, Mace Thomsen, did his best to make up the difference. Thomsen threw for 213 yards and two touchdowns in the loss.

The Warren County Pioneers next took on the Cavaliers and snapped an over 20 year losing streak to the team. The Cavalier defense could not stop the Pioneer rushing attack, giving up 261 rushing yards and two touchdowns on the ground. Ultimately, the Pioneers would walk out of Cookeville with a 21-14 win.

The Gallatin Green Wave took a victory off of the Cavaliers next though no stats were posted for that contest. Gallatin won 28-12 regardless. The most recent matchup was against the Alcoa Tornadoes, a historic powerhouse in the state. Like the Gallatin game no stats were posted, but the result was the same with the Tornadoes winning 38-0.

The Red Raiders look to have the advantage in this matchup on paper. Konor Heaton has been running very well in the past two games, and a strong run game seems to be the Cavaliers kryptonite. Expect the Red Raiders to run the ball early and often. Defensively, the Red Raiders should find success in stopping the running game. If the team can turn the Cavaliers into a one dimensional threat, it’s likely that the Red Raiders will send Cookeville home with a loss in two weeks.