Fayetteville High School's football team stepped up in weight class – three, in fact – Friday night at Red Bank and got knocked out for its effort.
In pitching a 28-0 shutout, the host Lions won their third straight game heading into a Region 3-4A showdown with visiting East Hamilton next week. The loss was the Tigers' first after 14 straight wins, one of which came against South Pittsburg in last year's Class 1A state championship game.
"We've scheduled very competitively," Red Bank coach Chris Brown said. "We don't live in a world of classifications or what happened in previous years. That's a really good football team that came to Red Bank – very good, very talented, very well coached and athletic.
"So how would we show against a team like that? I don't think we could have shown better."
Red Bank took advantage of a short field in racking up its first score. Starting from the Fayetteville 28, the Lions needed only three plays to jump on top, with quarterback James Blackmon throwing 27 yards to Jaden Baccus seven minutes in.
Red Bank notched its second touchdown halfway through the second quarter, Blackmon hitting Reco Trimble from 19 yards to cap another three-play drive. Blackmon dealt Fayetteville the dagger two minutes before halftime, scoring from a yard out immediately after A.D. Crutcher's 76-yard sprint.
Blackmon capped the scoring with his third touchdown pass, connecting with Trimble from 16 yards with nine minutes left in the third quarter. Blackmon finished 11-of-15 passing for 117 yards and three touchdowns. Crutcher rushed for 119 yards on just 12 carries.
After a 2-3 start, Red Bank has outscored its past three foes by a total of 128-12. Brown said the Fayetteville game was "an opportunity to see how much better we've gotten over the last month."
So how much better is Red Bank?
"I think this team would beat the team that started the season by about 50," Brown said. "Our kids had that much room to grow, and they get better every week."
Contact Bob Gary at email@example.com.