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MJ’s big 1st half propels them to win over Antioch, 36-28

Kenny Howell

Managing Editor

Mt. Juliet’s offense looked unstoppable in the first half Friday, as they scored touchdowns on their first four possessions. 

Antioch made a surge in the second half, but Mt. Juliet was able to come out with the 36-28 win. 

Kyle Smith’s 50-yard kickoff return set the Bears up with good field position on the opening possession. 

Ten plays later on 4th and goal, Nolan Chowbay plunged in from one yard out to give Mt. Juliet a 7-0 lead. 

On Antioch’s third play, they fumbled on a pitch out, and Cashuss Reid came up with the loose ball at the 42-yard line. 

Six plays into the drive, Mt. Juliet was backed up on a 3rd-and-16, but Chowbay found Ahmad Bradley, who made a catch in traffic in the end zone, making it 14-0 Mt. Juliet. 

Antioch got on the board on their next drive, which included a 4th-and-15 conversion. KaDarius Hannah scored for Antioch, and the 2-point conversion made it 14-8. 

Mt. Juliet had the answer with a 12-play drive that covered 70 yards. Chowbay picked up three yards on 4th-and-1 to keep the drive alive, and found Smith three plays later for a 17-yard touchdown. Chowbay hooked up with Patrick Cartmell on the 2-point conversion to make it 22-8. 

Chowbay and Cartmell connected twice on Mt. Juliet’s next drive after an Antioch punt. On 2nd-and-7, Cartmell picked up 15 yards, then scored on a 25-yard reception three plays later. The extra point made it 29-8. 

That score looked like it could be the halftime score, as time was running out. But Antioch had one big play left in them for the half. Michael Johnson reeled in a 69-yard pass from Raekwon Hosey. Moses Cornelius added the 2-point conversion to make it 29-16 going into the break. 

It only took Antioch a few plays to get back in the end zone to start the second half. Kebrin Peterson scored on a 43-yard run. The 2-point conversion failed to make it 29-22. 

In the fourth quarter, Antioch put together a long 15-play, 80-yard drive to get within one. Cornelius scored on a 2-yard run to make it 29-28. Antioch lined up to go for two, but Matt Massey came up with an interception to keep Mt. Juliet in front. 

Mt. Juliet needed a score to come out with a win. Set up the 42-yard line, Mt. Juliet went 58 yard on eight plays, helped out by two personal foul penalties on Antioch. Kyle Mahler plunged in from three yards out to get the deciding score. 

Antioch tried to put together a game-tying drive, but another fumble, recovered by Jacob Daniel, ended it. 

Mt. Juliet spread the wealth on offense, as they had eight different ball carriers in the game, and six different receivers pull in passes from Chowbay. 

Chowbay, Smith, Mahler, Ben Cheatham, Jahuar Jackson, Cole Sears, Courtland Douglas and Jordan Hooper all had carries. 

Smith, Mahler, Bradley, Cartmell, Douglas and Logan Hyder had receptions. 

Smith led Mt. Juliet on the ground with 66 yards on nine carries. Smith has 233 yards through the first two games, and is averaging just under 13 yards a carry. 

Chowbay was 7-for-15 for 105 yards and three touchdowns. He picked up 13 yards on the ground as well, and another score. 

Mt. Juliet hits the road to take on Station Camp Friday in a key district matchup. The Bison are 0-1 on the season after a 42-39 defeat against Beech on the nationally televised game on ESPN Sunday, Aug. 25. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. Friday. 

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