- Family Features
- Business Directory
- Gallery Of Homes
- Subscribe Now!
- Place A Classified Ad
- New! Digital e-Edition
Mt. Juliet finally shakes off pesky Cookeville
Oct 14, 2012 12:00 am
McCathern's 5 TDs, 199 yards boost Bears
By KIMBERLY JORDAN
MT. JULIET — The Mt. Juliet Golden Bears celebrated Homecoming Friday night with a 45-24 victory over Cookeville.
The win didn't come easy as Cookeville kept the contest close through halftime and into the third quarter.
"Cookeville played an outstanding football game," Mt. Juliet Coach Roger Perry said after his team moved to 7-1 for the season. "We didn't play well, worst defensive performance we've had all year."
Penalties were also a factor as the Bears were flagged for four personal fouls as well as a holding penalty that negated a rushing touchdown.
"Making those types of mistakes, to have the penalties, our defense has played strong all year, but Cookeville took it to us," Perry added.
The Cavaliers stopped Mt. Juliet on the Bears' first series and forced a punt. Cavalier quarterback Ryan Eberle gave the Bears defense an early scare as he launched a pass to Chase Mabey that connected for a 61-yard gain.
The defense held and forced Cookeville to settle for a field-goal attempt by Tyler Wright that was wide of the target.
The rushing attack for the Bears kicked into gear on the next series. Caleb Hopkins busted through the Cavalier line and sprinted for a 37-yard gain and, three plays later, Austin Chaplin scampered 12 yards for a score to give the hosts a 7-0 lead.
The Cavaliers were unsuccessful converting a fourth-down try late in the first quarter and gave the Bears a short field on their 29-yard line. Nolan Chowbay tossed a pass to receiver Jalen Graham and Cookeville was called for a personal foul after the play which left Mt. Juliet on the 6-yard line. Contrez McCathern rumbled to the end zone for the first of his five touchdowns and gave Mt. Juliet at 14-0 lead that would stand until the end of the quarter.
"Contrez McCathern had an outstanding football game," Perry said. McCathern lead all rushers with a 199-yard performance.
Cameron Germanis gave the Cookeville fans something to cheer about at 9:43 to play in the half, punching it in from the 1-yard line. Mt. Juliet's Michael Lewis blocked the extra-point attempt, but the Bears were called for being offsides. The ensuing two-point conversion failed and the score stood at 14-6.
A seven-play drive that began at Mt. Juliet's 40-yard line culminated in a 50-yard field goal by Ryan Jenkins with just under seven minutes to go until halftime.
Cody Carr gave the Bears' defense a lift less than a minute later as he intercepted an Eberle pass and returned it to the 12-yard line. McCathern crossed the plane again for a 6-yard score with 5:05 left in the half to give Mt. Juliet a 24-6 advantage.
Cookeville didn't go into the locker room quietly however, scoring 10 points in the final 29 seconds on a 6-yard run by Alex Sklavenitis and a 23-yard field goal from Wright to bring the score to 24-16 prior to the Homecoming festivities.
Cookeville's final point came with 4:09 remaining in the third quarter as Sklavenitis scampered 10 yards and Eberle connected with Mabey on the two-point try to tie the score at 24.
McCathern tacked on three more scores in the second half with runs of 10 and 4 yards and the longest play of the night, the game-sealing 95-yard run with 1:02 left on the clock.
"He scored a big touchdown there late to help put the winning edge on it," said Perry.
He also praised the efforts of his defense during the final minutes.
"The defense stepped up on the last couple series and stopped them, which was huge."
After McCathern's 199 yards and five scores, Hopkins added 72 yards rushing and a 4-yard reception while Chaplin rumbled for 64 yards and a touchdown. Jalen Graham hauled in two passes for 20 yards, Michael Khoury added a catch for 10 yards. Nolan Chowbay finished 4-of-5 passing for 34 yards.
Sklavenitis lead the way for the Cavaliers with 101 yards rushing and two touchdowns followed by Germanis with 54 yards and a score as Cookeville fell to 4-4.
The Golden Bears will travel to District 9-AAA rival Hendersonville next Friday for a key league game at 7 p.m.