If there was any lingering doubt about what this year's Brainerd football team is capable of, that should have ended Friday night.
The Panthers improved to 5-1 overall by throttling rival Austin-East 60-0 for an impressive nonregion win, snapping a four-game losing streak to the Roadrunners.
Senior running back KaDarius Price ran for 163 yards — averaging 13.6 yards per carry — and scored four touchdowns to lead the way as the Panthers rolled up 386 rushing yards. Javonte Moon and Jaylyn Dupree also added scoring runs for the Panthers.
"It's remarkable what these kids are doing," Brainerd coach Tyrus Ward said. "It's kind of shocking a little bit. I expected us to play good, but not this well. I looked up at the scoreboard at halftime and it was hard to believe. Hats off to the team and our staff for this.
"This should give us a lot of confidence going into region play and the rest of the season."
Bledsoe County 35, Sequatchie County 0: The Warriors improved to 5-0 for the first time since 2010, whipping their rivals on the strength of a stingy defense and physical ground game. Bledsoe outrushed the Indians 392-119, building a 21-0 lead by halftime.
Dylan Robeck led the way with 169 yards and three touchdowns, including two in the first quarter that covered 17 and 29 yards. Cadillac Seiver ran for 129 yards — averaging 13 yards per carry — and scored on a 41-yard run. He also had a fumble recovery on defense.
Warriors quarterback Harmon Keith ran for 94 yards and a touchdown.
"Our whole community is excited, for sure," said Warriors coach Dewayne Tabor. "I'm really proud of our kids. We were able to spread the ball around and our offensive line did a great job. Being able to run the ball and control the clock was big. Defensively we were able to contain the big play and force them into third and long a lot."
Rhea County 34, Gibbs 27: The Eagles raced out to a 21-0 lead but had to hold off a late rally for the win. Ethan Davis ran for 184 yards and two touchdowns, while Dalton Hampton added 137 yards and a score.
The Eagles ran for 238 of their 422 rushing yards in the second half.
After Gibbs closed within 21-14, Rhea answered with two touchdowns to extend its lead to 20 points before Gibbs scored twice in the fourth quarter.
Walker Valley 47, Cumberland County 7: The Mustangs offense continued to gain momentum as Tucker Pope completed 15 of 20 passes for 242 yards and three touchdowns, while Spencer Jackson finished with 200 all-purpose yards, including 146 rushing and a score.
Brody Swafford caught three passes for 126 yards and two touchdowns and Kyler Tjaarda led the defense with nine tackles, including two for loss.
McMinn County 42, Bearden 0: The undefeated Cherokees went on the road to improve to 5-0 with the nonregion win. Jalen Hunt led the winners with 166 rushing yards and one touchdown. Will Harris scored twice, while Jaden Miller ran for one score and threw for another. Jalen James rushed for one touchdown and caught another and the Cherokees held Bearden to 90 total yards of offense while gaining 404 themselves. McMinn County hosts Maryville Heritage next Friday night.
Donelson Christian 35, Grace Academy 0: Despite 110 yards passing from Mason Long, 66 yards rushing from Joe Colbaugh and a 58-yard catch by Colbaugh, Grace was no match for visiting Donelson Christian. Bradford Gaines threw two touchdowns for the winners and Jon Lewis scored three touchdowns, including an interception return.
Knoxville Webb 49, Notre Dame 9: The Fighting Irish fell to 2-3 heading into next week's game at Christian Academy of Knoxville. George Fillhauer had a pick-six for Notre Dame's only score.
Loudon 41, Polk County 7: The Wildcats fell to 0-6 despite a strong defensive performance by Cameron Coffee, who had seven total tackles, two for loss, as well as a touchdown run from Daniel Martin.
Sale Creek 56, Pickett County 30: In a nonregion road win, Sale Creek got its first victory of the season when it scored four touchdowns on five possessions in the opening half. Braden Penny scored twice and had 110 yards rushing. His brother, Cam Penny, had a 20-yard touchdownrun, while Will Roberts scored twice and Garrett Hart once for the Panthers.
Sale Creek started out 0-4 last year and made the playoffs. Now 1-4, it hopes to do the same this season, starting with next Friday night's Region 3-1A game against Whitwell at Hixson High School.
Other area scores: Alcoa 63, Tyner 7; Huntland 39, Lookout Valley 0; Knoxville Grace 41, Silverdale Baptist 13; Meigs County 34, McMinn Central 0.