By Maurice Patton
SUMMERTOWN – That storybook ‘student one-ups teacher’ scenario? Bobby Sharp wasn’t having any of it Friday night.
Lewis County’s Hall of Fame coach looked across the field and saw one of the best he’d had – Dakota Crews, the only Panther player to ever earn TSSAA Mr. Football honors when he did so in 2007 – along the Summertown sideline as the Eagles’ first-year defensive coordinator.
Then he proceeded to direct an offense that rolled up 398 yards, including 373 on 43 rushing attempts, as his team rolled to a 42-21 Region 5-2A road victory.
“You don’t match wits with Coach Sharp,” Crews said after his team sustained its second straight loss and its first in league play, falling to 3-2 (0-1). “He’s been one of the top coaches in the state for 35 years.
“It’s like the old karate movie, trying to catch the grasshopper. Coach Sharp is who he is. He’s going to do what he does. Either you stop it or you don’t. We didn’t.”
Crews is hardly the first to feel the frustration of trying to slow down the Lewis County Wing-T attack. But after seeing it from the Panthers’ sideline, before spending the past two years on fellow ex-Panther Kevin Creasy’s staff at Oakland, he created more problems for Sharp and his current staff that the numbers may indicate.
“We had to change all our signals,” Sharp said following the matchup of Associated Press top 10 teams – Lewis County came in ranked No. 3, the Eagles No. 9. “We screwed up a few times. He did a really good job.”
Turnovers aided both squads early, as the visitors turned back Summertown’s first drive of the night in the red zone – forcing a Javen Edmiston fumble at the end of a 10-yard reception – and went 89 yards on 10 rushes before Lincoln Brewer scored the first of his two touchdowns for an 8-0 lead.
The Eagles punted on their next possession, and Lewis County looked primed to extend the margin before Edmiston recovered a red zone fumble along his sideline and returned it 88 yards to put Summertown on the scoreboard. Edmiston then caught a Colton Shaffer two-point pass to tie the game.
A long Blake Carroll kickoff return set up a short scoring drive, as Carroll and Kael Feichtinger hooked up for a 14-yard score and a 15-8 Panther lead midway through the second period that held up into halftime.
From there, it was virtually all Lewis County. The visitors scored each of their four possessions to open the second half. Fullback Ethan McCann accounted for two of those TDs on the way to a 97-yard performance in support of Carroll’s 148-yard effort.
“We’ve been fortunate,” Sharp said. “We’ve had a lot of big kids up front, and we get in that unbalanced T and those big guys start leaning on folks. It wears you out.”
Crews and Summertown coach Leslie Mote can attest. Shaffer scored from 11 yards out with 4:19 remaining in the third quarter to make it a 22-14 game, but the Eagle defense couldn’t get enough stops for the offense to close the gap any further.
“They just whipped us up front, on both sides of the ball,” Mote said. “What they do, they do well. I’d said before the game, ‘1’ (Carroll) is a pretty good player, ‘21’ (McCann) is pretty good, they threw when they had to. It just wasn’t our night.”
For Lewis County, the win avenged a 21-14 loss to the visiting Eagles a year ago – a defeat that helped keep them from their typical spot atop the Region 5-2A standings at season’s end.
“It’s a big win for us,” Sharp admitted. “Whoever won was going to have an advantage in the region, though we’ve still got to play some good football teams.”
Lewis Co. 42, Summertown 21
L 8 7 14 13 – 42
S 0 8 6 7 – 21
L – Lincoln Brewer 3 run (3:05), Brewer run
S – Javen Edmiston 88 fumble return (8:00), Edmiston pass from Colton Shaffer
L – Kael Feichtinger 14 pass from Blake Carroll (5:10), Carroll kick
L – Ethan McCann 5 run (10:09), Carroll kick
S – Shaffer 11 run (4:19), kick failed
L – McCann 32 run (2:21), Carroll kick
L – Brewer 6 run (10:01), kick failed
L – Carroll 13 run (6:47), Carroll kick
S – Edmiston 17 pass from Shaffer (0:28), Austin Abbott kick
First downs 22 13
Rushes-yards 43-373 27-76
Passing yards 25 143
Comps-Atts-Ints 2-3-0 10-17-0
Penalties-yards 3-25 6-36
Fumbles-lost 2-2 1-1
Lewis Co. – Sloan Mosley 3-29, Blake Carroll 15-148, Lincoln Brewer 11-64, Ethan McCann 11-97, Ethan Fransen 3-35
Summertown – Aniken Johnson 7-26, Colton Shaffer 14-35, Javen Edmiston 6-15
Lewis Co. – Blake Carroll 1-1-0, 14, Bryson James 1-2-0, 11
Summertown – Colton Shaffer 10-17-0, 143
Lewis Co. – Kael Feichtinger 1-14, Ethan McCann 1-11
Summertown – Javen Edmiston 4-79, Michael Abbott 1-1, Gavin Robinson 1-15, Justus Gray 4-48