DICKSON – Mt. Juliet’s offense looked like a well-oiled machine Friday night in a 39-10 second round win over Dickson County.The Bears had three rushers go over 100 yards in the win. The 39 points scored were the most by a team on the stingy Cougar defense all season.
The Bears defense did their part as well, getting two interceptions and keeping Dickson County off the board in the second half.
A fumbled snap on a punt on Dickson County’s first drive set Mt. Juliet up with good field position, but they were unable to get in the end zone. Ryan Jenkins got a 35-yard field goal to give the Bears the early lead, 3-0.
The Cougars would answer with an 11-play, 80-yard drive, capped off by an Otis Gerron 3-yard touchdown run.
Mt. Juliet chose to attack the outside on their next drive, getting the ball on sweeps and tosses to Austin Chaplin and Caleb Hopkins. Chaplin converted a 4th-and-1 with a three yard run, and two plays later, Nolan Chowbay found Jalen Graham in the corner of the end zone. The Bears would grab the lead at 10-7 and never look back.
Later in the half, Michael Lewis got a big punt return to the Dickson County 32-yard line, and it only took one play to get back in the end zone. Contrez McCathern got a chance to get to the outside and hurdled a defender into the end zone for the score. Dickson County was able to drive down the field and get a field goal just before the half to make it 17-10 at the break.
Dickson County saw the game slip away quickly to start the second half. Mt. Juliet moved the ball efficiently, not even making it to third down in the third quarter. On their first drive of the second half, a 20-yard run by Chaplin, 13 by McCathern and 39 by Hopkins marched them deep into Dickson County territory. Two plays later, Chaplin scored from six yards out. The extra point was blocked, and the lead was 23-10.
The Bears gambled on the kickoff with a pooch onside, and it paid off as they came up with the football. A 20-yard run by McCathern got them inside the five, and Ben Cheatham scored from two yards out. The two point conversion failed, and the lead ballooned to 29-10 just a few minutes into the second half.
The Cougars got deep into Mt. Juliet territory on the next drive, but Deontre Nealous was able to get an interception. After an incompletion, a 22-yard run by Hopkins and 24 by McCathern got the Bears into Dickson County territory again. McCathern would finish the drive with a 2-yard run to make the lead 36-10.
Jenkins would add another field goal in the fourth to close out the scoring.
Chaplin led the Bears on the ground with 136 yards on nine carries. McCathern had 124 yards on 14 carries. Hopkins had 103 yards on 10 carries. On the defensive side, Brigham Powell was in on 13 tackles, five of which were solo. Cody Carr was in on 12 tackles, eight of them solo.
Mt. Juliet (11-1) will move on to face Brentwood (11-1) in the quarterfinals. The Bears beat the Bruins at home in the quarterfinals last season, 34-21. This game will be played at Brentwood with kickoff at 7 p.m.