The Lake County Falcons defeated the Greenback Cherokees 38-23 to win the Class-A TSSAA High School Football State Championship.
It was a slug fest to begin the game, but Lake County got on the scoreboard first with Tanner Snyder’s first touchdown of the day. The Falcons had a bad snap on 2nd and goal that set them up with 3rd and goal from the 17. That’s when Snyder found Izaiah Matheny over the middle.
The score was tied at eight going into the half, but the second half started the real action as Snyder connected with Matheny again for a Falcon lead.
Greenback was able to tie the game after only four plays, but the Cherokees had no answer for Tanner Snyder at the goal line.
Greenback did outscore the Falcons 15-14 in the third quarter of play, but were no match to Lake County’s fourth quarter performance that saw another rushing score for Snyder.
On the first play after the ensuing kickoff, Greenback quarterback Braden Carnes found the other quarterback on the field, as Snyder snatched the ball out of the air and took it to the house for a Lake County pick-six.
Tanner Snyder was named MVP of the game after his amazing performance that saw him throw for 266 yards on 12-of-22 passing, rush 24 times for 138 yards, throw two scores through the air, ran for two more, and then he topped it off with a defensive touchdown off Carnes’ third interception of the game.
Lake County’s Cayden Puckett had 11 carries for 77 yards, and he also came up big defensively for the Falcons all throughout the day. Larry Tubbs finished with 71 yards off ten carries before exiting the game early with an injury. Tubbs did not return.
Izaiah Matheny finished the game with seven receptions for 175 yards and two touchdowns. Cayden Puckett had four receptions for 82 yards.
As a team, Lake County outperformed Greenback in every statistical category except penalties. The Falcons put up 535 total yards to the Cherokees’ 239. Passing yards saw Lake County with 266, while Greenback had 200, and rushing yards – Lake County with 269 to Greenback’s 39. The Falcons did give up 84 yards on 10 penalties to Greenback’s 18 yards off two penalties.
Lake County finishes the season (15-0, 6-0 in Region 7-A) earning its third state championship trophy since 1980, and first since 1985. In his seventh season at the Falcons’ helm, Coach Josh Puckett boasts a (61-26) overall record, and a (13-4) playoff record. You can now add a state title.
(photo courtesy of Allen Jones – Lake County Banner)