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FOOTBALL: Collins explodes early, routs Bearcats in finale

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By John Herndon

Collins scored just 44 seconds into the game, starting an avalanche over Anderson County Friday night.

What was expected to be a close football game turned into a 49-10 rout in the regular season finale for both teams. Both finished the year at 8-2 and head to the state playoffs as district winners.

“We were outplayed and outcoached in every way tonight,” Anderson coach Mark Peach said.

Collins took the opening kickoff and needed just three plays to go 60 yards for the score. Ryan Watkins sped around left end for 47 yards to make it 7-0. Just over three minutes later, Collins' Lawson Page hit Nathan Sames for 7-yard touchdown, a score set up when Collins intercepted Anderson quarterback Zachary Carmichael.

Anderson tried to get back in to things, marching from the Bearcat 20 to inside the Collins 5 before stalling. The Bearcats had to settle for a 25-yard field goal from Joe Rose after two open receivers dropped what should have been touchdown passes.

The 14-3 margin was as close as Anderson would get.

The Bearcats got their only touchdown when Carmichael sneaked in from the 1 with 31.4 seconds left in the first half to cap an 80-yard drive. However, Collins struck quickly with Page hitting Landon Forrest for a six more on the final play of the half to make it 35-10. “That was the back-breaker,” Peach said.

Collins piled up 539 yards of offense to Anderson's 352. Page, the Collins quarterback, threw for 382 yards and ran for 64 to lead the attack.

Anderson was without star receiver-running back Ross Cox, who was out with a thigh bruise suffered at East Jessamine last week. The Bearcats hope to have him back for the playoff opener against Cooper next Friday.
During the game, linebacker Huston Page went down with a shoulder injury and Carmichael limped off the field in the third quarter with a hip injury. The extent of their injuries was not clear immediately after the game.

Peach was already looking forward to getting a chance to avenge a 48-0 loss to Cooper in last year's playoffs as well as putting the Collins fiasco behind the team. “I can't think of a better way of redeeming ourselves than in the playoffs,” he said.

For a complete look at the Anderson-Collins game, along with a playoff preview, see the Nov. 6 edition of The Anderson News.