Season Recap: Karns football finishes the year 2-7, looks towards future

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Head coach Brad Taylor and the Karns football team didn’t have a year as they’d hoped for, but the future is bright for the young Beavers. “A lot of young guys played for us and gained some experience,” Taylor said. Many of the Beavers greatest contributors are freshman and sophmores. Walker Lockhart, the Beaver’s starting quarterback in eight of the nine games, showed great potential and poise under center. Taylor was impressed with the improvement Lockhart made game to game. Sophomore running back Desean Bishop, rushed for 1,731 yards and 26 touchdowns through nine games. Bishop also recorded two touchdown catches, a throwing touchdown, and he returned a kickoff for a touchdown. Taylor said it was no surprise that Bishop had the outstanding season he did. Taylor made sure to note that the offensive line play contributed to the success of the running game. The defense averaged 44.5 points allowed per game in 2020. Going into next season, Taylor hopes defensive improvement will round out what could become a good football team. He also wants to see his receiving core become more consistent.

 

The Beavers first scheduled game got cancelled due to a COVID-19 scare in the Beaver’s locker room. Then with severe weather in the forecast, the Beavers second game got pushed back a day to Saturday, where Karns suffered defeat against the Halls Red Devils. Karns played very good defensively on the swelteringly hot August day. Quarterback Riley Keegan, starting his only game of the year, tried to lead the Beavers late in the fourth, but the Beavers ultimately lost 32-21. Halls would go on to finish the regular season 7-4, beating Tennessee High in the first round of the TSSAA playoffs. They’re scheduled to play Knoxville Central in the second round.

 

Following the tough loss to Halls, the Beavers hoped to rebound against a very good West Rebels football team. The home crowd and hot defense was unable to hold back the Rebels, leading to a lot of points put up in the first quarter. Karns had a rough night, making the final 44-0 and bringing the Beavers to 0-2 on the year. West would go on to finish the regular season 10-1, blowing out Lenoir City in the first round of the TSSAA playoffs. They’re scheduled to play Walker Valley in round two.

 

Despite the tough week before, the energy preceding the trip to Powell could be felt. The Beavers played very well before halftime, but highly touted quarterback Jordyn Potts and the Panthers ran away it coming out of half. The Beavers fell 43-7. The Panthers finished the year 8-3, losing a tough game to Walker Valley in the first round.

 

With arguably the toughest stretch of the schedule over, Karns hoped to pick up a win against Fulton. The Beavers started off on the right foot, but Fulton ran away with it after halftime. Karns was just 1-11 on third down conversions, putting up 138 yard of total offense. Fulton won 47-7. Fulton finished the year 4-7, losing to Rhea County in round one of the TSSAA playoffs.

The Beavers had short rest following Fulton, playing a rivalry Thursday showdown at Campbell County. This game made for good TV, with Desean Bishop leading the Beavers to their first win of the year, and their first win against Campbell County since 2011. Bishop rushed for 330 yards and six touchdowns in the rainy win. The back and forth contest would end with a Beavers victory, 41-39. Campbell country went on to finish 4-6, not making the playoffs.

 

Coming off a very good Rivalry Thursday performance, the Beavers faced Oak Ridge on Homecoming. Karns’ offense sputtered, and penalties hurt the Beavers all night. Without much to show, Karns fell 56-14. Oak Ridge went on to finish the regular season 7-3. The Wildcats beat Soddy Daisy in round one of the playoff, and they’re scheduled to play Rhea County in round two.

 

Following the bye week, Karns looked to bounce back against Heritage. Behind Bishop’s six touchdowns and career high 342 yard, the Beavers would secure their second win of the season 40-30. The contest was back and forth, but the Beaver’s defense would seal the deal. Heritage went on to finish 2-9, missing the playoffs.

 

Karns followed up the win with a road trip to undefeated Rhea County. Rhea County, known for running a Wing-T style offense, put up 66 points and beat the Beavers 66-28. Karns had flashes of life, but ultimately couldn’t handle the Golden Eagles. Rhea County would finish the regular season 9-1, and beat Fulton in the first round of the playoffs. They’re scheduled to play Oak Ridge in the second round.

 

Karns, in their final game of the year, hoped to pick up a win against a winless Clinton team. The chilly night started off slow, but soon became a ball game. Clinton and Karns went back and forth until a pick six thrown by Walker Lockhart, and a late score by Clinton put the nail in the coffin. Karns would lose 42-33. Clinton went on to finish the season 2-8, missing the playoffs.