Photo by Dan Andrews.
Hardin Valley’s Joe DeFur pulls in a touchdown pass Thursday night at Neyland Stadium. The Hawks dropped a 7-6 decision to Powell at the KOC Kickoff Classic.

By Ken Lay

The 2013 high school football season had its unofficial opening Thursday night with the Knoxville Orthopedic Clinic Jamboree at Neyland Stadium.

The games didn’t mean anything but many teams looked to be in midseason form.

The new season will begin for most area teams next week but that didn’t mean that the evening wasn’t filled with excitement.

Two transfers led Bearden to victory Thursday night. Running back/defensive back Malachi Horton caught a 7-yard touchdown pass to lead the Bulldogs to a 7-0 victory over the Halls Red Devils. He also made a stop on the final play of the 12-minute game to preserve the victory for the Bulldogs, who went 8-3 in 2012.

Xavier Johnson, a senior transfer from Central, threw the game-winning touchdown pass from Horton, who played at Morristown West before moving to West Knoxville.

Powell 7, Hardin Valley Academy 6: The Hawks scored a touchdown when senior quarterback Nathan White connected with sophomore tight end Joe DeFur on a 6-yard scoring strike with 26 seconds left. The Hawks missed an extra point that would’ve evened the game.

Powell scored with 3 minutes, 29 seconds remaining on Tyshawn Gardin’s 4-yard scoring scamper. Austin Rogers kicked the extra point that provided the winning margin for the Panthers, who were playing their first game under rookie head coach Tobi Kilgore, who previously served as an assistant at Halls and Central.

Hawks’ coach Wes Jones said he was pleased with his team’s comeback effort that fell just short.

“I like the way that or kids came out and responded.” Jones said. “We had an interception early but I was disappointed with the missed extra point.

“We also had four penalties in that 12-minute quarter but those are all correctable mistakes.”

Fulton 28, Clinton 0: The Falcons scored on four possessions and showed Knoxville area fans why they are the defending Class 4A State Champions.

Xavier Hawkins had a 70-yard scoring scamper to open the game and was on the receiving end of a 32-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Penny Smith.

Daryl Rollins had a 54-yard scoring scamper and Zach Winston scored from nine yards out for Fulton.

Catholic 7, West 6: New Irish coach Steve Matthews won his unofficial debut in Knoxville. Logan Lacey scored on a 3-yard plunge and kicker Wyatt price converted an extra point to lead the Irish past the Rebels. West, a two-time Class 5A semifinalist, scored on a 9-yard run by Nathan Cottrell. West, however, missed the potential game-tying PAT.

Karns 7, Austin-East 0: Beavers head coach Travis Tipton won his debut and spoiled the first competition for Roadrunners coach Jeff Phillips.

Jevon Harper scored on an 8-yard run for the game’s only score. Beavers’ quarterback Matt Nauman went 5-for-6 with 83 yards.

Roadrunners’ quarterback Keishawn Johnson threw for 101 yards and connected with Michael McMahan on a 71-yard completion.

Karns’ defense was opportunistic as the Beavers recovered a pair of A-E fumbles.

Webb 14, Gibbs 0: Webb, the defending Division II-A State Champion, got a pair of touchdown runs against the Eagles. Fullback Brant Mitchell scored on a 1-yard run and Robby Strachan had a 64-yard scoring scamper for the Spartans, who held Gibbs to 22 yards of total offense.

Central 7, Farragut 7: The Bobcats scored on the first play from scrimmage when Austin Kirby threw a 70-yard scoring strike to JaJuan Stinson.

The Admirals knotted the game when Billy Williams scored on a 14-yard run.

King’s Academy 14, TSD 0: Lions head coach Matt Lowe won his unofficial debut as King’s Academy downed the Vikings, who normally play 8-man football. Quarterback Adam Deathridge had a 48-yard scoring run and kicked two extra points for the Lions, who also got a touchdown run from Jason Maduafokwa.

Grace Christian Academy 14, Anderson County 7: Rams quarterback Devin Smith threw a pair of long touchdown strikes in a victory over the Mavericks. Smith connected with Jake Waldsclager from 54-yards out and hit Kyron Inman on a 40-yard score.

Carter 8, Lenoir City 0: Hornets’ coach Heath Woods was victorious in his return to coaching. Woods missed most of last year due to health reasons. Carter won on this night thanks to a 2-yard scoring plunge by Toy’shon Winton.

The Hornets picked also picked up a two-point conversion.

Jocquez Bruce leads Cherokees: South-Doyle’s Jocquez Bruce rushed for a touchdown and caught a scoring pass to lead the Cherokees to a 13-7 win over Campbell County.

The Cougars got a 4-yard scoring plunge from Nick Bailey.