Beavers Defense Bullied, falling to Rhea County 63-48; Karns Ends Historic Season 7-5


Caleb Jarreau

Karns finished their season at Rhea County on Friday night.

Caleb Jarreau

Karns’ junior running back Desean Bishop came into Friday’s contest just 434 yards short of the single season rushing yard record set by Jalen Hurd. He finished the game with 268 yards, four rushing touchdowns, one passing touchdown, and one receiving touchdown. He falls 193 yards short of the single season rushing record. Bishop posted the second most rushing yards in a single season, 3,164. Bishop also played in 2 less games than record holder Hurd. 


Going into Karns’ first round two playoff game in history, the question was if the Beavers defense could stop the explosive “Wing-T” offense run by Rhea County (10-2). The Wing-T prevailed. Rhea County found the endzone on all nine of their true possessions, never being stopped. Rhea County never saw a fourth down on offense Friday night. The Golden Eagles’ leading rusher Ethan Davis scored five touchdowns himself and rushed for 359 yards, torching the Beaver’s defense with misdirections and power runs. 


The Beavers started with the ball, but were pushed behind the chains after a false start call. The ensuing Jace Harvey punt was muffed, recovered by the Beavers at midfield. After Karns Quarterback Cassen Huffaker completed a couple of passes, Bishop ran it in from the seven yard line for his first score of the night. Karns was ahead 7-0 with 6:47 left in the first quarter. Davis and the Eagles made quick work, tying it up with 5:13 left in the first quarter. A couple of stops forced the Beavers to pass, Huffaker hit Bishop for a 61 yard reception. Karns went up 14-7 going into the second quarter. 


Ethan Davis ran 45 yards for his second touchdown of the night to open the second quarter. The Eagles tied it up 14-14 with 11:22 left. Bishop responded almost immediately, running it in from 64 yards out to regain the lead. Bishop surpassed the 3,000 yard rushing mark with this run. With 8:24 left before half, Rhea County quarterback Kaleb Martin snuck it in from the one, tying it at 21-21. The Rhea County defense got the first stop of the night with 7:13 left until half. Davis ran it in again to take the lead just 36 seconds later, going up 28-21. The Beavers offense continued to sputter when Bishop overthrew a wide open Walker Lockhart on a fourth down flea-flicker attempt with 4:11 left in the half. Davis ran it in again with 3:34 left in the half, extending the Eagles’ lead to 35-21. Bishop, in the wildcat, hits Adarion Patton in the back of the endzone to score right before halftime. 


At halftime the score was 35-28 Rhea County. The shootout would continue in the second half. 


Martin would find the endzone on the Eagles’ first possession after halftime. It was 41-28 Rhea County with 9:15 left in the third quarter. Karns answered quickly on a Bishop 58 yard touchdown run, but the PAT missed, making it 42-34. With 7:29 left in the third quarter, Davis found the end zone for the fifth time of the night, making it 49-34 Rhea County. The Karns offense failed to convert on third down after Huffaker fumbled in the backfield, forcing a punt with 4:14 left in the third. 


Rhea County opened the fourth with another touchdown run, this time Caleb Odell from five yards out. Rhea County extended their lead 56-34. Bishop answered immediately with a 71 yard touchdown run. Karns inched back 56-41. On a drive that chewed some clock, Martin found the endzone again. Rhea County extended their lead 63-41. Huffaker answered with a 25 yard touchdown pass to Lockhart making it 63-48. The Beavers then successfully recovered the onside kick, showing late life. On third and 14, Huffaker threw an interception to the Eagles defense with 2:41 left, effectively ending the game. 


The Beavers finish their historic season 7-4. Rhea County continues on, facing powerhouse Powell in round three of the playoffs.