|Lenoir City's losing streak is history
New coach, QB Harvey edge Karns, 27-26
By Bob Hodge knoxnews.com PrepXtra
In a matchup of Karns High School's new offense against Lenoir City's new coach, the new coach won.
Mike Zeller's record is now 1-0 and Lenoir City's 18-game football losing streak is now history.
Fill-in quarterback Cody Harvey led the Panthers on a 90-yard drive in the game's final minutes, scoring the go-head points with 14 seconds left as Lenoir City rallied to a 27-26 win at Karns.
"We need some success," Zeller said. "Our guys have had good attitudes and they've worked hard."
With about 6 minutes to play - the clock wasn't working - Karns was on the verge of putting the game away and pushing Lenoir City's losing streak to 19.
With a first-and-10 at the Panthers' 24 and a 26-21 lead, Karns was flagged for unsportsmanlike conduct. Two plays later, Harvey, a defensive back/wide receiver by trade, picked off his second pass and was tackled at the 10.
Lenoir City, playing without three starters and a half-dozen other players because of injury, went the 90 yards in 14 plays. Harvey's passing and running accounted for all the yards but 2.
"I was just trying to hold the team up," said Harvey, who admitted to battling cramps and fatigue. "Down near the goal line we knew there was less than a minute left, but we knew what we had to do."
On second-and-goal from the 4, Harvey ran a quarterback draw up the middle, found nowhere to go, then bounced outside for the score.
Besides the two interceptions and game-winning score, Harvey returned a fumble 47 yards for a score and passed to Michael Goodman for another.
"He's just an athlete," Zeller said. "We just put the ball in his hands."
Karns took the lead on the next-to-last play of the third quarter on Derek Weaver's 1-yard run. The Beavers' new spread option offense accounted for 297 yards, but they also committed six turnovers and eight penalties for 81 yards.
"I'm not worried about the interceptions, but the penalties and the fumbles showed poor discipline on our part," said Karns coach Robert Reeves. "It's the same as last year, we let down at critical times."
Zac Askew accounted for 79 yards receiving and 75 yards rushing to lead Karns. His 70-yard run one play after Harvey's fumble return helped put Karns back in the game.
Weaver added another touchdown on a 13-yard run in the second quarter.