BEAVERS WIN! Karns Wins First Playoff Game in School History 27-25


Caleb Jarreau

The Beavers hosted and won their first playoff game in history at the Dam on Friday.

Caleb Jarreau, Managing Editor

After finishing the season 6-4, Karns was able to host their first home playoff game in the 108-year history of the school. Seeking their first playoff win, they faced Walker Valley (5-5). Karns running back Desean Bishop led the Beavers offensively, tallying 188 yards and three touchdowns. Bishop, who was announced as a semi-finalist this week for Mr. Football in 5A, is up to 2,896 yards on the year. He is 461 yards shy of the Tennessee state record set by Jalen Hurd in 2014. Walker Valley Quarterback Ryan Lay has been their offensive leader most of the season, statistically leading on the ground and in the air. 


Karns’ game plan has been obvious this year; “I think we need to be able to run the football,” Karns Head Coach Brad Taylor said. 


The Beavers set the tone early. After receiving the opening kickoff, Karns marched down the field, on a drive that saw Bishop receive the snap a majority of the drive. Bishop finally found pay-dirt from the 1 yard line with 1:51 left in the first quarter, putting Karns up 7-0. 


Walker Valley answered at the beginning of the second quarter when Quarterback Lay hit Spencer Jackson for a 39 yard touchdown. The Mustangs missed the PAT, a trend most of the night, keeping Karns up 7-6. Penalties killed both teams ensuing drives. Finally, Karns quarterback Cassen Huffaker hit a wide open Walker Lockhart for a 37 yard touchdown. Karns went up 14-6 with 5:02 left in the half. Lay would show why he’s the Mustangs offensive stat leader the next drive, running it in to get Walker Valley within two. They failed the 2 point conversion, making it 14-12 Karns with 3:31 left in the half. After driving down the field, Bishop leaped over the line to score his second touchdown of the night. Karns would lead 21-7 going into half. 


Receiving the ball after halftime, Quarterback Lay hit Kade Tjaarda for a jump ball 18 yard touchdown. The PAT was missed, 21-18 Karns with 9:04 left in the third quarter. The Karns offense sputtered, setting up the Mustangs at midfield. Lay hit Tjaarda for another touchdown, this time from six yards out. Walker Valley would get their first lead of the night, 25-21 with 5:51 left in the third. Karns remained quiet, and the Mustangs had a string of dropped passes to keep it 25-21 going into the fourth quarter.


After a very quiet fourth quarter, Bishop fought for a three yard touchdown run. Karns would miss the PAT, but regained the lead 27-25. With 1:52 left in the game, Karns’ defensive end Chris Hunter sealed the game, strip-sacking Lay. Karns would run the clock out. 


The Karns defense held Walker Valley scoreless in the final 18 minutes of the contest. Karns moves to 7-4 on the year, and looks to stay hot as they continue their record-breaking season. 


After defeating Walker Valley, Karns will travel to Rhea County (9-2) November 12th for the Beavers first ever appearance in round 2 of the TSSAA playoffs.  The Beavers look to upset the one-seeded Golden Eagles, known for defeating teams with the Wing-T offense.