Chase Trojans defeat Owen High in football season opener

Ezra Maille
Black Mountain News
The Trojans scored a total of 56 points, due in large part to their running game.

The Chase High Trojans proved to be a formidable opponent to the Owen High Warhorses in Owen's first home game of the season Aug. 27. 

"A lot of missed opportunities," Owen coach Brint Russell said. "We played a really good football team, and they executed well."

Chase scored eight touchdowns and added four two-point conversions before the end of the third quarter to mount a 56-0 lead. Owen managed a strong final push in the fourth quarter, leading to a single touchdown, resulting in a 56-6 Chase win. 

The Trojans scored a total of 56 points, due in large part to their running game.

The Trojans defense managed to shut down nearly every attempt by the Warhorses to gain traction, forcing multiple turnovers and utilizing the momentum to score. After a short kickoff from Chase, Owen managed to start only 36 yards from the end zone. 

Owen quarterback Alex Sanchez fumbled the ball, leading to a recovery from Chase middle linebacker Anthony Smith at the 12 yard line. This recovery led to Chase wide receiver Isaiah Dodd (4 receptions, average of 15.3 yards per catch) scoring a touchdown with six minutes left in the first half. 

"We shot ourselves in the foot a lot of plays," Russell said. 

Junior Sanchez was 1 for 5 passing with one interception, leading to another Chase touchdown from running back Marqies Mccombs. After another Chase touchdown, also courtesy of Mccombs (averaging 15.1 yards per carry), Owen was down 48-0 at halftime. 

The Trojans scored a total of 56 points, due in large part to their running game.

"We've got a whole second half to show a little bit of pride," Russell told the Warhorses at the half. 

Senior running back Briggs Barker accounted for Owen's only reception of the game with a gain of 22 yards. After repeated incompletes, Owen slowly pushed up the field with short runs from Sanchez and Barker. The Warhorses ended up a yard and a half from the goal line after a personal foul to Barker on a hard hit.

With two minutes remaining in the fourth quarter, Owen pushed forward, and running back Kameron Moore finally scored Owen's only points of the game. Due to a fumbled attempt at an extra point, Owen was unable to add any additional points to their final score. 

The Warhorses rushed for a total of 166 yards. Moore was the top rusher with 86 yards, 15 carries and the team's only touchdown, followed by Barker with 43 yards on eight carries. Sanchez finished with 34 yards on 10 carries. 

The Warhorses gave a strong final push, managing to score their first touchdown of the season in the last two minutes of the game.

"I think we had flashes of what we can be," Russell said. 

The coach said while the Warhorses suffered a tough defeat, the team showed the coaching staff many positives of what is possible once the new offense adjusts and the pieces come together. He said the small things that he has been emphasizing in practice became more evident to the players, hopefully showing them where to turn their focus. 

"We played a really good football team," Russell said. "Even in victory and defeat we can learn something from the game."