–Karns captain Timmy Robbins, after win over Oak Ridge
By Steve Williams
The Focus reached out to Karns Head Coach Brad Taylor after his football team defeated Oak Ridge 42-35 last week – the Beavers’ second win over Oak Ridge in 34 games and their first since 1985.
We wanted to hear the reaction to that victory from a senior leader on the team. Coach Taylor passed along the request and two questions to Timmy Robbins, a senior offensive lineman and a captain who wears No. 50.
How did it feel to get the first win over Oak Ridge since 1985 and what does it mean to this Karns team and program?
“Words can’t even describe the pure joy I felt in that moment when the clock hit 00,” said Robbins. “I’m so proud of this team and how far we have come. The atmosphere was absolutely electric even with it being fall break, so a big thank you to the community for those who came out and supported us.
“This win to the team and program is a testament to our work in building a new culture here at Karns. We have been talking about this new culture and what it would look like since the offseason, and this team took initiative and didn’t just leave those talks to lip service. It’s been said “Karns is Karns” and to us we take that and use it as a chip on our shoulder to work even harder and as a reminder that we are still counted out simply because of the name on our helmets. But that’s okay when you have a group of hard working, resilient guys who love that underdog status.”
What do you think you will remember most about the game years from now?
“Years from now I’ll remember most the fight the team played with,” answered Robbins. “We had some guys pretty banged up, but everybody left it all on the field.
“There was a point in the first half where we were down 21-7 and they got the ball back. In a time where the typical Karns team may hang their heads, this team fought even harder, and made it 21-14. Walker Lockhart got an interception and put us in great field position. We get down on the 1-yard line with two seconds left in the half. In a situation where we have De’Sean Bishop, and an OL we trust, we expect to get that TD. But even when we got stuffed, the talk at halftime wasn’t ‘coulda, woulda, shoulda,’ it was ‘Hey, we got 24 minutes of football left to play.’
“We came out and played our game and got the job done. I couldn’t be prouder of this team’s fight. We’ve worked so hard that it just feels amazing to see the rewards and be able to celebrate with the guys who have been there with you through it all.”
In addition to Robbins, we also got reaction from others.
Dewanna Glover, Karns cheer coach: “The game was one of those that you will remember forever (last game like this was the 2003 win over No. 1 Dobyns-Bennett). Even though it was Fall Break, our students came out in full force. You could feel the energy from the student section and the band! But the big thing is the implication of this win. The excitement at Karns is immeasurable.”
Chad Turner, Karns athletic director: “It has been a great year for the Karns Beavers football team. Beating a quality opponent like Oak Ridge is a huge step for our program. The coaches and players have put in a lot of work to get to this point.
“Even with all of the difficulties in this school year our students have been great in supporting the school and the team this year.”
WELL RESTED: An open date in Week 8 helped Fulton’s football team, a team that entered the season with depth being a major concern.
“We spent the week working more on fundamentals and cleaning things up than preparing for future opponents,” said Fulton Coach Rob Black. “We were much less physical in practice, hoping to heal up some nicks and bruises.”
The Falcons traveled to Scott in Week 9 and handed the Highlanders a 49-0 loss in Region 2-4A.
BOUNCING BACK: “A tremendous team effort,” said Bearden Coach Morgan Shinlever after the Bulldogs’ 14-10 Region 2-6A win over Cleveland Friday snapped a four-game losing streak. “This team is resilient.”
Defensive standouts included senior linebackers Seth Arana and Nicco Young. Safeties Cody Clough and Cayden Douglas and cornerback Ethan Ford each had an interception.
Offensively, Coach Shinlever said Young also carried the team during the first half and finished the game with 150 yards rushing and two TDs plus two catches for 40 yards.
Sophomore WR Sam Tummins and freshman QB Drew Parrott were instrumental in putting Bearden ahead in the fourth quarter, added Shinlever.
A CHILL IN THE AIR: Week 10 arrives with the feel of football weather and several good matchups on the local scene. Catholic at Powell will start things off on Thursday.
Two key region games Friday pit Halls at Central (2-5A) and South-Doyle at Carter (2-4A).
Webb will be on the road and can clinch the Division II-AA East Region championship with a win at Boyd Buchanan.
Non-region attractions include Anderson County at Bearden, Clinton at Gibbs, Farragut at Fulton and last but not least West at Maryville.