MURFREESBORO — Friendship Christian forced Middle Tennessee Christian into eight turnovers that included three fumbles in the first quarter en route to a 47-3 win at Throneberry Field Friday night.
"In Week Zero things can happen good or bad," Commander head coach John McNeal said.
The scoring started early for the Commanders as on their opening drive of 2009, they took the ball in for a touchdown on a 25-yard pass from Lee Maasen to Parker Teeter. The drive lasted over four minutes and with the point after by Will Crockett it was 7-0.
"He is a big guy and I just put it up and let him go get it," Maasen said of the lanky Teeter.
The Cougars had the ball for three plays but put the pigskin on the ground and the Commanders scooped it up. It led to a touchdown drive that lasted 14 seconds and came on another pass, this time to John Markham of 27 yards and the score was 14-0 with 6:34 left in the opening quarter.
The teams traded turnovers on the next two possessions. The Commanders threw an interception while the Cougars fumbled.
Off of the third fumble in the quarter by Middle Tennessee Christian, the Commanders again put the pigskin in the end zone, this time on a 2-yard run by Maasen.
Near the end of the first quarter, Middle Tennessee Christian changed quarterbacks, going from Christian Barrett to Ivey Starling.
Starling led the Cougars on their lone scoring drive of the game, an 11-play, 56-yard drive capped by a 37-yard field goal from Trevor Brunsvold.
Before the end of the first half, the Commanders again scored through the air as Teeter caught his second touchdown of the game, this time from 10 yards out and the halftime score was 27-3.
Teeter finished the game with four catches for 64 yards and two scores. The leading reciever on the night was Markham with four catches for 114 yards and one score.
Other pass catchers for the Commanders included Kyle Neal with one catch for 42 yards, Chris Hall one catch for 15 yards and Dalton Patterson one catch for 2 yards.
Maasen on the night was 11-of-15 passing for 237 yards, three touchdowns and one interception.
"They were forcing the run and playing man to man with no free safety, so we had no choice to run a guy across the middle," McNeal said after the game.
In the second half, it was more of the same for the Cougars as they had the ball four times and turned it over four times. They also fumbled a Friendship Christian punt that led to a score.
A highlight for the Cougars was a big kickoff return by Chris Beasley that got them into the red zone. But they threw an interception in the end zone, bringing the ball out to the 20-yard line for Friendship.
Dekolas Reeves scored two touchdowns in the second half from 2 and 8 yards, respectively. The second score invoked the mercy rule where the clock is continually run.
The scoring was closed out with a run of - yards by Destin Manous.
Friendship Christian (1-0) will open its home schedule at 7:30 p.m. next Friday hosting Macon County, coached by former Watertown assistant Keith Goolsby, at Pirtle Field. Middle Tennessee Christian (0-1) will travel to Goolsby's old school at 7 p.m. Friday at the Purple Tigers' Robinson Stadium.
White House-Heritage pulls away from Purple Tigers late
WHITE HOUSE — Watertown matched White House-Heritage score for score for some three quarters Friday night before the Patriots pounded the Purple Tigers in the fourth for a 42-19 season-opening victory Friday night.
Quarterback Dalton Phillips and running back Dylan Holycross scored once apiece for the Tigers, who never led but were within 21-19 after missing a two-point conversion. Phillips also fired a touchdown pass to Cody Christian.
"Score wasn't as bad as it indicates," Watertown coach Gavin Webster said. "Had good opportunities to win the ballgame. Made some mistakes late.
"It was a physical ballgame on both sides."
White House-Heritage jumped to a 7-0 lead before the Tigers tied the score 7-7. The Patriots went back in front 14-7 by halftime. Watertown drew within 14-13 after missing the extra point. Heritage led 21-13 before Watertown's final score.
Then the roof caved in.
"We got behind and started making mistakes," Webster said. "We gave them short fields and they took advantage.
Heritage got the ball with about 50 seconds left in the game and scored on a 35-yard play, a development Webster said rankled him.
But nothing can be done about that until Heritage comes to Robinson Stadium next year.
In the meantime, the Tigers will await a home-opening visit from Middle Tennessee Christian at 7 p.m. next Friday.
DCA drubs MJCA in D-II debut
DONELSON — Mt. Juliet Christian was no match for Donelson Christian in the schools' Division II debut Friday night as the Wildcats pounced on the Saints 56-0.
DCA jumped to a 21-0 first-quarter lead. It was 35-0 at halftime and 49-0 through three periods.
"We had good effort, we just didn't execute well," said Mt. Juliet Christian coach Paul Townsend, a former DCA assistant. "We made too many mistakes against a team like DCA."
Mt. Juliet Christian survived an early mistake when the Saints stopped the Wildcats after turning it over on their 25-yard line early in the game.
"We felt like we had a chance," Townsend said of the early stop. "We had a little momentum. Unfortunately, we didn't do much with it.
"We played hard, just not well."
Mt. Juliet Christian committed four turnovers.
"They're always costly, but when three of them come inside the 20, that's tough," Townsend said of the turnovers.
Mt. Juliet Christian will bus to Seymour in East Tennessee next Friday for a 6 p.m. CDT game at King's Academy.
Sports Editor Andy Reed contributed to this story.