ELIZABETHTON - One of the biggest stories in East Tennessee football so far this season is the Claiborne Bulldogs and how they are just not winning games, but how they are doing so in such impressive fashion.
The Bulldogs crushed Unaka 46-6 Friday night to run their overall record to 3-0. Claiborne has outscored their first three opponents 115-19 as they are dominating the competition on both sides of the ball.
Storm Livesay had a six-yard touchdown run to start things off for the Bulldogs and was followed by Jimmy Del Ervin’s 22-yarder and an eight-yard keeper by quarterback Eli Stone. Alex Bailey’s extra point kick put the visitors up 20-0.
The Rangers finally got something going when Landon Ramsey hit Daniel Shearl with a 10-yard scoring pass but any hopes of switching momentum faded in an instant when Livesay took the ensuing kickoff to the 36 yard line on a 39-yard run with four ticks left on the clock. With no time remaining in the first half, Stone hit Isaac Lester for the touchdown and Bailey booted through the point after to put Claiborne up 27-6.
Livesay struck again in the third when he had a score from 14 yards out and Ervin added another score of his own, this time on a five-yarder, to push the score to 39-6. Freshman Josh Bolton is making the most of his debut for the Bulldogs as he had his second fumble recovery returned for a score this season, this time for 65 yards. Bailey capped the scoring with the point after to produce the 46-6 tally.
Livesay rushed 10 times for 134 yards and two scores and had eight tackles with four sacks for minus-22 yards. He also added three quarterback hurries. Ervin had 85 yards and two touchdowns to go with his nine tackles and two sacks. Stone was efficient on offense and special teams once more as he rushed for 51 yards on 11 carries, threw for 36 yards, had a 41-yard punt and kicked off seven times for 275 yards. Lester had five tackles for Claiborne on defense and Bolton added three tackles, a forced fumble, recovered fumble and a quarterback hurry.
The Bulldogs return to regional play next Friday as they host Unicoi County.