COSBY — Caleb Lawson wasn’t done after he crossed the goal line in overtime.
Cosby needed a stop on defense to win the game, and Lawson came through with a sack on fourth down to give the Eagles a thrilling 26-20 overtime victory over Hancock County at Virgil Ball Stadium on Friday night.
Offensively, Lawson ran for 38 yards on 12 carries as he scored from the 10 on Cosby’s first play in the extra frame.
Jeremy Wise caught 3 passes for 47 yards and a score on offense while recording 8 stops and an interception on defense for the Eagles (1-0), who improved to 6-0 at home and 9-2 all-time against Hancock County (0-1).
Junior quarterback Hunter Workman fired three touchdown passes in the win, connection on 9-of-13 attempts through the air for 125 yards while keeping the ball himself 12 times for 50 more yards.
Workman’s first scoring toss answered the Indians’ opening touchdown as he found Anthony Thomas from 25 yards away, and a 2-point conversion gave Cosby an 8-6 halftime lead.
Wise caught a 26-yard scoring toss from Workman for a 14-12 lead in the third quarter, but Hancock County had an answer as Devon Blevins led the Indians on a 71-yard drive capped by his 9-yard TD pass to Ethan Short. The ensuing 2-point conversion gave the Indians a 20-14 lead.
Facing fourth down, Workman delivered his final scoring toss as he connected with Dominic Cowles from 38 yards out.
Although the 2-point conversion failed, Wise ensured the score remained tied at 20 with his late interception.
Blevins led Hancock County on a 79-yard drive in the first quarter, scoring on a 1-yard sneak for a 6-0 lead.
Darran Collins scored from the 3 for a 14-12 Indians lead in the third quarter.
Hancock County entertains North Greene while Cosby visits Unaka on Friday, with both games set to begin at 7:30 p.m.
Cherokee 14, Union County 6
ROGERSVILLE — Collin Trent wasted no time announcing he was back.
His opening-drive success proved even more critical when the game was called after halftime due to lingering lightning, allowing the Chiefs to defeat Union County 14-6 for the first season-opening win of the Cody Baugh era.
Trent found Austin Hamblen for a 65-yard gain on Cherokee’s opening drive, which the signal caller capped by keeping the ball himself for a touchdown.
On Cherokee’s second touchdown, Trent found himself on the receiving end of a 38-yard pass from Will Price with 6:48 until halftime, giving the Chiefs (1-0) what turned out to be the winning score.
Micah Jones intercepted a Union County pass attempt as the first half expired to preserve the lead.
The Patriots (0-1) did find the end zone but missed the game-tying extra point attempt, leaving the score at 7-6.
Cherokee visits Sullivan South for a 7:30 p.m. kickoff on Friday night.
Claiborne 28, Pigeon Forge 20
NEW TAZEWELL — Storm Livesay certainly lived up to his first name.
Livesay proved to be Claiborne’s go-to on this night as he led Claiborne to a season-opening 28-20 win over Pigeon Forge on Friday night.
On 21 carries, Livesay gained 175 yards and found the end zone twice for the Bulldogs (1-0), and he didn’t stop there. On defense, Livesay recorded 9 solo tackles with 2 assists which included 5 stops for a loss.
Eli Stone, who connected on 6-of-10 passes for 60 yards and a touchdown as well as a 2-point conversion, blocked a punt by the Tigers (0-1).
Haydn Hollin was on the receiving end of Stone’s scoring toss and conversion.
Claiborne’s other score came courtesy of Daniel Eversole, who returned an interception for a touchdown.
The Bulldogs travel to Maynardville to face Union County in Game 2, with kickoff set for 7:30 p.m. on Friday.
Campbell County 14, Cocke County 0
JACKSBORO — Neither team’s offense was as electric as the lightning, but Campbell County found just enough spark as the Cougars won their season opener over Cocke County 14-0 on Friday.
Lightning forced a 96-minute delay in the contest, with halftime taking place more than 2 1/2 hours after the opening kickoff in Cocke County head coach Scotty Dykes’ debut.
Hunter White led the Cougars (1-0) on their initial touchdown drive late in the first quarter as he found Devlin Dukes from 19 yards away with 2:57 on the opening quarter clock.
Campbell County’s 7-0 lead stood until the fourth quarter, when the two connected again more than three hours of real time later. The 38-yard score doubled Campbell County’s lead with 7:14 remaining.
The Fighting Cocks (0-1) visit Northview Academy for a 7:30 p.m. kickoff on Thursday night.