Friday night was full of firsts for Coffee County.
The CHS Red Raiders leaned on their offensive line and junior tailback Konor Heaton, who bulled his way to 239 yards and 3 touchdowns on 31 carries to lead the Red Raiders to a 27-7 win over Cookeville at Carden-Jarrell Field in Manchester.
The win sealed a playoff bid for the Raiders – their first since 2017. It also marked their 4th win this season, which guarantees the Raiders four or more wins in back-to-back seasons for the first time since the 2006 and 2007 campaigns. The win makes three in a row for CHS, the Raiders’ first three game win streak since 2007.
“I’m so happy for these boys,” said third year CHS head coach Doug Greene. “[Getting to the playoffs] was a big goal when I first got here. And that’s not about me. I wanted these young men to experience what winning football is like.”
Friday night against Cookeville, the Raiders (4-4 overall, 2-2 Region) got a break early when the Cavaliers fumbled the opening kickoff. The Raiders punched it in three plays later when Konor Heaton rumbled in from 4-yards out. Heaton quickly moved the Raiders down the field with runs of 13, 7 and 4 to put CHS on the board.
The Cavaliers took a 7-6 lead later in the half but that would be the end of the highlights for Cookeville after the Raider defense tightened down.
Cookeville was harassed by the Raider defense in the backfield all night. CHS got a sack from Derrick Scott and three from Jacob Barlow – bringing his state-leading sack total to 10 (unofficial stats).
Blayne Myers also had what would have been a sack but a flag was thrown in the backfield for a facemask.
Coffee County pulled ahead 20-7 by halftime and added to the lead with 7-seconds to play in the third quarter on a 2-yard run by Heaton, who also scored from 7-yards out.
The other Raider touchdown came on a 12-yard connection from quarterback Connor Shemwell to Travis Martin. Shemwell was incredibly efficient, picking up 95 yards through the air on 7-of-12 passing and the one score. Kelby Walker had 3 catches for 44 yards and Jahlin Osbourne 3 for 41.
The Raiders outgained the Cavaliers 360-325.
Coffee County returns home next Friday (Oct. 22) for senior night when Rockvale (7-1 overall) comes to town. It is the Raiders’ final home game of the season. CHS beat Rockvale last season 20-14.