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Number 10! PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, December 11, 2013


The Trousdale County Yellow Jackets defeat the Adamsville Cardinals to win the 2013 TSSAA 2A State Championship.

The win caps off a perfect season at 14-0.

The Yellow Jackets road to the Blue Cross Bowl was eventful. A signature win over Gallatin and a close victory over DeKalb County set the tone for the purple and gold in the playoffs. Wins over Goodpasture and Marion County in the first and second rounds set up a showdown with Knox Grace in the semi-finals. With Knox ranked #1 most of the season, Trousdale County traveled east and earned a spot in the championship with a 34-27 win.

The 2013 Blue Cross Championship was played on a very cold day in Tucker Stadium at Tennessee Tech. After deferring the opening possession, Adamsville kicked off. Trousdale moved down the field but fumbled at the Cardinal 38 yard line. After holding Adamsville to one first down, Trousdale drove down the field and turned the ball over on downs at the Cardinal 13 yard line to end the first quarter.

On the next possession, Adamsville scored on an 89 yard pitch and catch. The point after failed and Adamsville led 6-0 with 9:48 to go in the half. After exchanging possessions, the Yellow Jackets scored on a Maquel Claiborne 18 yard pass to Josh Jackson. Christian Lauderdale converted and TC led 7-6 at the half.

Holding Adamsville to a 3-and-out, Trousdale marched down to score again. Kenyan Harper accounts for 70 of 81 yards in the scoring drive. Zach Blackwell ends the drive with a 1 yard score and Lauderdale converts to make the score 14-6 Trousdale with 6:55 left in the third. On the next Yellow Jacket possession Adamsville gets a fumble recovery and 25 yard return in route to their second score. With 1:15 left in the 3rd Adamsville would trail only 12-14 after a failed two point conversion.

Both teams traded possessions to begin the 4th quarter. With 6:16 left to go in the game Claiborne would score on a 2 yard rush and Lauderdale would convert. Following a six play 65 yard drive Trousdale led 21-12. Adamsville would take the ball deep into Trousdale territory before Harper would return an interception from the 7 yard line to midfield. From there the Yellow Jackets would run out the clock to get the victory by a final score of 21-12.

The title is the 10th football championship in school history. Junior Kenyon Harper was named the game’s Offensive MVP. He led all players with 177 yards rushing on 24 carries and had 2 receptions for 55 yards. For Head Coach Kevin Creasy it is the third championship in his sixth season.


“We wanted to dance with what brought us here and give them a big dose of Kenyon Harper,” said Creasy. “We were fortunate that we had other players we could depend on to make big plays today.” The Yellow Jackets were led by Seth Holder with 8 total tackles and Tadrian Seay with 4 tackles for a loss totaling minus 29 yards. “I thought that our defense played a great second half and we had great play from the guys up front.”

The future looks bright for the Yellow Jackets. Even though Trousdale County says goodbye to seven seniors, four on the interior offensive line, they will return many starters on both sides of the ball. They should again be a force in District 8A next season.

Congratulations to the Yellow Jackets and another Gold Ball. Thanks for the perfect season.

Jackets win state

The Trousdale County Yellow Jackets are the 2A state football champs!
DEC 11, 2013
Marie Corhern • The Hartsville / Yellow Jacket's Zach Blackwell runs through the Adamsville's defense during the state championship game Dec. 7 at Tennessee Technological University.


The Trousdale County Yellow Jackets are the 2A state football champs! That gold football will now set beside the other eight in the trophy case at Trousdale County High School after the Jackets caged the Adamsville Cardinals 21-12 in the Blue Cross Bowl Dec. 7 at Tennessee Tech.

“It’s what a championship game is supposed to be. Two teams battling it out for four quarters, laying it all on the line,” Coach Kevin Creasy said. “The game reflected our season. We were challenged by a bigger, more experienced team that insisted on running the ball and making huge hits on defense. Again our defense stepped up to the challenge, just like all year.

"Coach Keeton and Jackson had a great plan that the players executed for four quarters. The special teams coached up by Brandon Eden put tremendous pressure on their kicker which led to yet another big special teams play, a missed extra point."

Creasy added, "Our offense was led by several playmakers that came through in the clutch with great blocking from our offensive line. Several times throughout the year our team has been behind and faced adversity, but once again our heart and character helped pull out a victory in the second half.”

The championship didn’t come without struggles as the Jackets had to come from behind and overcome three turnovers and 49 yards in penalties.

The Cardinals won the coin toss and deferred to the second half so the Jackets took the ball to start the game. Three plays later the Jackets lost a fumble.

The game remained scoreless until early in the second quarter when senior wide receiver Jacob Wallis got behind the Jackets secondary and hauled in a pass from junior quarterback Seth Paul that turned into an 89 yard touchdown. The Cardinals missed their extra point kick and the Jackets were down 6-0.

With time running out in the first half, junior quarterback Marquel Claiborne hooked up with junior receiver Josh Jackson for an 18 yard touchdown. Senior kicker Christian Lauderdale nailed the extra point and the Hartsville gridders took the lead 7-6.

Midway of the third quarter the Jackets pushed their advantage to 14-6 with a one yard touchdown run by junior Zach Blackwell and a Lauderdale kick.

On the Jackets’ next drive they were on the move again, but Claiborne got sacked and appeared to be down before losing the ball. The referee did not stop the play and Adamsville picked up the ball and junior Seth Holder had to make a touchdown saving tackle.

Four plays later the Cardinals scored on a one yard run by senior Zak Neary. After two Trousdale county time outs the Cardinals went for two but were denied leaving the score at 14-12 with 1:15 left in the third period.

The fourth quarter saw only one score and that occurred with 6:16 remaining when Claiborne ran two yards to pay dirt. Lauderdale added the conversion and the scoreboard at Tucker Stadium displayed 21-12 Trousdale County.

The Cardinals threatened late in the game but junior free safety Kenyan Harper picked off a Paul pass at the goal line and returned it 44 yards to salt the game away.

Harper rushed 24 times for 177 yards and caught two passes for 55 yards and was named the Offensive MVP.

Junior tackle Seth Holder paced the Jacket defenders with nine tackles and two tackles for loss along with senior defensive end James Kelley who had nine tackles, one tackle for loss and a sack. Senior linebacker D.J. Basford was credited with eight tackles and two tackles for loss while senior defensive tackle Taidrian Seay had six tackles, four tackles for loss and three sacks.

The Jackets posted an undefeated season of 14-0 against one of the toughest schedules that they have faced in some time.

It was the third state championship for Coach Creasy in six years and his overall record is now an impressive 70-8.


TC 0 7 7 7 = 21

A 0 6 6 0 = 12


Second Quarter

A Jacob Wallis 89 pass from Seth Paul, kick failed 9:48

TC Josh Jackson 18 pass from Marquel Claiborne, Christian Lauderdale kick :28


Third Quarter

TC Zach Blackwell 1 run, Lauderdale kick 6:55

A Zak Neary 1 run, run failed 1:15


Fourth Quarter

TC Claiborne 2 run, Lauderdale kick 6:16


Trousdale County      Adamsville

1st downs                      19                         13

Rushes-yds.               54-261                 32-65

Comp.-att.-int.             3-11-1                7-16-2

Passing yds                  73                         141

Total yds                      334                        206

Fum.- lost                     2-2                         1-0

Pen.-yds                     4-49                       5-34

T.O.P.                         26:16                     21:44

3rd down con            8-13                        6-11

4th down con             0-3                           0-0

Punts-avg.                 1-30                      5-29.4



Harper 24-177

Blackwell 10-49 TD

Dallas 7-25

Claiborne 11-11 TD

Team 2-(-1)



Claiborne 3-11-1 73 yds TD



Harper 2-55

Jackson 1-18 TD



Holder 9T 2TFL

Kelley 9T TFL sack

Basford 8T 2TFL

Seay 6T 4TFL 3 sacks

Harper 5T int.

Ellis 4T

Blackwell 3T int.

Dallas 3T

Jackson 2T

Trousdale County quarterback Marquel Claiborne (3) stiff arms Adamsville's Chris Bernier during the first half of the Class 2A championship game at Tennessee Tech in Cookeville, Tenn., Saturday, Dec. 7, 2013.
Trousdale County's Zach Blackwell (11) kisses a trophy after defeating Adamsville 21-12 during the Class 2A championship game at Tennessee Tech in Cookeville, Tenn., Saturday, Dec. 7, 2013. / Jae S. Lee / The Tennessean

COOKEVILLE — Entering the Class 2A championship Saturday, Trousdale County knew Kenyan Harper was going to be a key — if not the key — to success.

So did Adamsville.

The junior was limited early but came through late as the Yellow Jackets grabbed a 21-12 victory for their third state title in six seasons and ninth in school history.

Harper’s end zone interception of a Seth Paul pass with 1:37 remaining stopped any hopes of a comeback for Adamsville (11-3), which came up short in the final for the second straight season.

“I was pretty frustrated in the first half,” said Harper, who had a fumble and was out of position on the 89-yard completion that gave the Cardinals a 6-0 lead two minutes into the second quarter. “But you can’t hang your head in big games like this.

“It worked out pretty well for us. It doesn’t frustrate me one bit as long as we’re going home with that championship.”

The Yellow Jackets (14-0) struggled to establish Harper — who had rushed for 1,623 yards and had another 527 receiving — as Adamsville stopped him seven times for a yard or less in the first two quarters.

“You’ve got to pick your poison,” Adamsville coach Brandon Gray said. “He’s a great player. Sometimes you guess right, sometimes you guess wrong. But they do a great job trying to get you overloaded and moving a lot of guys.”

Harper didn’t score but finished with 177 rushing yards — 129 in the second half — along with two receptions for 55 yards and was named offensive MVP.

“You dance with the one that brought you,” Trousdale County coach Kevin Creasy said of forcing the ball to Harper early. “He had some slip-ups. He fumbled one, which he doesn’t usually do. He dropped a pass, which he doesn’t usually do. And he busted a coverage that led to their touchdown.

“But he put it behind him and he had some plays to help us win the game. That’s whatchampions do. You’ve got to give credit to Adamsville for taking him away, but that means others have to step up.”

With Harper slowed, Trousdale County became a little more diverse offensively, answering Adamsville’s score with an 18-yard touchdown pass from Marquel Claiborne to Josh Jackson to take a 7-6 lead at intermission.

“When they were keying on him, the rest of us knew we had to step up and make plays,” Claiborne said. “We came in expecting to pound it. We wanted to come do what we do, but they adjusted to it, so we had to adjust, too.”

Adamsville’s defense loosened up somewhat in the second half, with Claiborne completing a 33-yard pass to Harper that led to a 1-yard Zach Blackwell touchdown run midway through the third quarter.

Claiborne’s fumble on the next Trousdale County possession led to a 1-yard Zak Neary score as the quarter ended, but Adamsville was unsuccessful on the two-point conversion.

With eight minutes to play, Harper broke a 27-yarder, one of his three carries for 20-plus yards, all in the second half. Five snaps later, Claiborne scored from 2 yards out to make it a 21-12 game.

On the next Adamsville possession, defensive end Taidrian Seay came up with back-to-back tackles in the backfield to help force a punt. After Neary intercepted a Claiborne pass, Harper returned the favor.

“We were just trying to stop the run, stop (Neary),” Seay said. “Toward the end, the coaches were telling us to step, dip and rip, and that’s how it happened.”

Neary, who rushed for 372 yards and five touchdowns in the semifinals, had 84 on 22 carries Saturday. He was named defensive most valuable player, finishing with eight total tackles, two sacks, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery in addition to his 27-yard intception return.

Trousdale County's Taidrian Seay goes airborne over Adamsville High School's Zak Neary during the Class 2A championship game Saturday. / KENNETH CUMMINGS / The Jackson Sun
Trousdale County's Marquel Claiborne avoids a tackle by Adamsville's Ross Burcham during the Class 2A championship game Saturday. / KENNETH CUMMINGS/The Jackson Sun

More inside and online

• Log onto for a photo gallery and 

postgame comments from the Adamsville-Trousdale County game
• Extended coverage of Adamsville's appearance in theClass 2A state 

championship game, D3


COOKEVILLE — Adamsville High’s second shot at a state football championship in Cookeville came away without a first-place trophy, but Class 2A champion Trousdale County earned its 21-12 win on Saturday.

Down by nine points, Adamsville’s coaching staff had plans to kick an onside kick and go for the win if the Cardinals (11-3) scored atouchdown with about a minute-and-a-half remaining in the fourth quarter.

“We were moving the ball with not a lot of time left, but if we’d scored, we would’ve had to kick onsides to go for the win,” said Adamsville head coach Brandon Gray.

But quarterback Seth Paul’s pass into the end zone that would’ve cut the Yellowjackets’ lead to three was intercepted by Trousdale County’s Kenyan Harper and returned to midfield to secure the win and the program’s ninth championship after a first down and Adamsville had run out of timeouts.

Trousdale County head coach Kevin Creasy said he wanted Harper, who was the game MVP with 305 all-purpose yards, to return the turnover instead of taking a knee for a touchback.

“He had one last week at Knoxville Grace in the end zone that he knocked down that he could’ve returned 107 yards for a touchdown,” Creasy said. “He heard about it from us this week, so we wanted him to try again this week if the opportunity came up.

“But there were so many times earlier in the game where we had chances to maybe close it out but didn’t. That interception was good for us.”

Adamsville’s Gray said leaving Cookeville for the second straight year without a championship was frustrating, considering how close the Cardinals were at different times throughout the game.

“We cut the lead to two points there in the fourth quarter and were driving to take the lead, but we made a couple of mistakes that hurt us and took us out of a scoring chance,” Gray said. “But we had other chances, too.”

The Cardinals actually had two chances to tie the game after scoring their second touchdown late in the third, and it took two timeouts and ultimately two simultaneous defensive calls by Trousdale County’s coaching staff to keep Adamsville out of the end zone for the tie.

“We went out there, and they were showing spread, so we called timeout to line up again,” Creasy said. “Then they came out showing two tight ends, and they would’ve had us again.

“So I called a timeout a second time and gave them two defenses to line up in and to choose which one to line up in based on what they did. Fortunately they lined up the way they needed to.”

But even that nearly wasn’t enough as senior running back Zak Neary, who finished with 135 all-purpose yards and seven tackles, nearly got into the end zone twice.

“He’s a tough kid to stop, and he gave a great second effort on that play,” Creasy said.

Gray said Trousdale’s offensive versatility was a key to their success.

“They did a lot of different stuff that made us think about how we lined up, and it worked for them,” Gray said. “Then the clock helped them out the further into the game we got.

“It was one of those games where you look up, and the first quarter is already over because we’re both running the ball so much. That took time away from us and trying different things that we wanted to.”

Neary said that didn’t work in their favor the closer the end of regulation got.

“They run the ball a lot, and that’s what we do, too,” Neary said. “And when we’re needing to catch up, and that doesn’t help us out a lot.”

Trousdale’s defense was successful in getting into the backfield frequently and stopping Adamsville for short gains or negative yards. The Yellowjackets recorded five sacks – four on Seth Paul and one on Neary in a direct snap, and Neary had seven rushing yards at halftime after gaining 20 in his first six carries.

“They did a good job of getting back there and stopping us,” Paul said. “It was hard to throw, but it’s also hard to win when you throw two interceptions.”

Paul finished with 141 yards on seven completions. Jacob Wallis had 89 of those yards on the first score of the game when Paul threw a pass to him down the right sideline for a touchdown on third-and-long.

“I caught a post corner, and we don’t usually throw a post corner,” Wallis said about the reception. “I was wide open, so I just caught it and ran with it.”

That score gave Adamsville a 6-0 lead.

Trousdale took the lead just before half on an 18-yard pass to Josh Jackson.

Adamsville drove the ball to the Trousdale 20 just before half and opted to try to score with a pass instead of kicking a field goal with a second on the clock.

“We felt like we had good matchups with Ross [Burcham] and Jacob out there,” Gray said. “We just didn’t come up with it.”

The Yellowjackets extended the lead to 14-6 when Zach Blackwell ran a yard about midway through the third.

The Cardinals responded with a touchdown by Neary after he caused a turnover with a sack and fumble that was returned by Luke Kiser to the Trousdale 37.

The two-point difference proved costly when Trousdale scored again, this time on a two-yard run by Marquel Claiborne with 6:16 remaining.

The two-score lead was the reason Creasy elected to go for it on fourth down with about two minutes remaining at midfield.

“The thinking was either we get it here and run out the clock or we kick it and risk them with a long return, which they’d done a couple times,” Creasy said. “If it was just one score, we probably would’ve kicked it.”

Neary intercepted the pass and returned it into Trousdale territory to give Adamsville a chance, but Harper’s interception in the end zone all but ended the game.

“I hate that we didn’t win the second time around, especially for these seniors,” Gray said. “But I’m proud of them for all they accomplished this year.

“I don’t know how many people thought we’d be back here a year ago losing 22 seniors, but probably not a lot. I’m proud of them.”

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Trousdale County
Trousdale County
Yellow Jackets
105 College Street
Hartsville, TN 37074
Class 2A District 8
Football Stadium: John Kerr Field
State Championships: 1922, 1972, 1990, 1993, 1997, 1998, 2005, 2008, 2009

**** 2013 Schedule ****
Date Opponent Result
8/17     Tobacco Bowl  
8/23 @ Macon Co. W 29-0
8/30 @ Sycamore W 28-27
9/6  vs  Watertown  W 53-14
9/13 vs Friendship W 35-0
9/20 @ Goodpasture W 21-0
9/27 vs Gallatin W 28-27
10/4 @ Dekalb Co. W 24-21
10/11 @ Loretto W 49-14
10/18 vs Gordonsville  (HC) W 43-31
10/25 OPEN
11/1 @ Red Boiling Springs W 49-14
**** 2013 Playoffs ****
11/15 vs Goodpasture W 31-19
11/22 vs Marion Co W 41-14
11/29 @ Grace Christian W 34-27
12/7 Adamsville (State) W 21-12

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