Christian Academy of Knoxville, ranked No. 2 in TSSAA Division II-AA football, powered its way through a halftime deficit to light up the scoreboard and the home team Friday night at David Stanton Field, beating Chattanooga Christian School 48-20 in an East Region matchup.
CAK (6-0, 2-0) was led by junior running back J.D. Dunn, who rushed for three touchdowns and more than 250 yards on 33 carries. The Warriors mixed a couple of clutch defensive stands with their dominant ground game to wear down the Chargers (1-2, 1-1) and outscore them 45-13 in the second half.
CCS lost its opener 54-14 to Baylor but rolled in its region opener last week against Boyd Buchanan at Finley Stadium, 49-21.
"We want to take a team and make it a one-score game into the fourth quarter, and from there we know we're good," CAK coach Travis Mozingo said. "We feel like we always have a chance to assert ourselves because we train at a different level. ... With their previous two games being lopsided, we felt like they haven't had to battle for a full four quarters yet, and that was on our side."
Defense dominated the first half. On the second play from scrimmage, CCS running back Traveon Scott was stripped of the ball and set up the CAK offense near the red zone. Four carries by Dunn moved the Warriors inside the 10-yard line before they converted a 28-yard field goal.
Ten punts and two fumbles later, Scott and backfield mate JaMichael Baxter helped move the Chargers downfield late in the second quarter. After being stuffed on a third-down run, a horse-collar penalty kept the drive alive to allow Baxter to run in a 3-yard score to give the Chargers a 7-3 halftime lead.
From there, CAK came alive to the tune of 30 straight points that spanned from its first drive of the third quarter until midway through the fourth.
First the Warriors settled for a 43-yard field goal after driving into the red zone to start the half. Then on their next drive, Dunn scored his first touchdown of the game from 2 yards out with less than five minutes to play in the third. After forcing CCS three-and-out immediately afterward, the Warriors went back to work on offense. On his fifth carry of the drive, Dunn carried a Chargers defender into the end zone to cap an 11-yard run for a 21-7 CAK lead.
CCS was then stopped on fourth down on its ensuing possession to set up another Dunn touchdown — this time from 10 yards out. The 30-point run was then capped by CCS quarterback Sam Hall throwing a pick-six on the Chargers' next possession before both teams pulled their starters.
"I've never missed football more than I did last week, and I just wanted to make it up to my guys tonight," CAK's Dunn said. "We've been losing to this team for the past five years. We came out here with a different energy tonight and a mindset to dominate. And that's what we did."
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