Williamstown’s defense stifles Roane

WILLIAMSTOWN – The 13 Williamstown seniors walked onto the field as one and walked off as winners as the Yellowjackets defeated Roane County 35-6 on Friday night.

One senior in particular took care of most of the handiwork as quarterback Jake Tracewell rushed for two touchdowns, passed for two more and intercepted a pass on defense that led to the final six points for the Yellowjackets.

“Our line was great, our backs were great and our defense played a lot better than it did last week,” Tracewell said. “I thought this would be a close game. Roane County is a good team and I didn’t think they would make the mistakes they did. But they did and we capitalized on them.”

Williamstown ends the regular season 8-2 and awaits its fate in terms of possibly hosting a first-round playoff game next week. On the flip side, Roane County managed just two first downs before Williamstown’s second string lined up for the start of the fourth quarter.

” Our defensive line got pushed around last week – we challenged our guys up front and they did well,” Williamstown coach Terry Smith said. “I feel good for the seniors. Hopefully, we we will be here one more week at least. Now it gets real serious.”

At the outset, what could go wrong did go wrong for Roane County. On their opening possession, the Raiders were flagged for two penalties and were forced to punt from their own 9. Starting running back Luke Scott also doubled as the team’s punter, and his kick ricocheted off one of his up-men. Scott recovered the loose ball and gained a sizeable chunk of yardage but was still short of a first down.

Facing a short field, Williamstown needed just five plays to cover 22 yards. The drive ended on Tracewell’s shovel pass to Dakota Watson, who scored from 12 yards out.

On the first play of the ensuing drive, Williamstown’s David Hastings recovered a fumble and the Yellowjackets offense took advantage by going 30 yards in seven plays. On second-and-goal from the 5, Tracewell rolled out to his left and kept the ball in his possession for the touchdown.

Barely seven minutes into the first quarter and Williamstown led 14-0.

With the Yellowjackets’ menacing defense holding Roane County to 50 yards of total offense in the first half, Williamstown was able to tack on one more score before halftime. On a simple run up the middle, Tracewell followed his blockers then darted to the sidelines to close out a 41-yard touchdown run. At the 2:32 mark of the second quarter, the Raiders trailed 21-0.

In the second half, Williamstown picked off Roane County quarterback Cody May twice, and both times the Yellowjackets converted the turnovers into six points.

Early in the third quarter, Hastings returned an interception 25 yards to the Roane County 5. Two plays later, running back Trace Hart executed the sweep to perfection and scored from 4 yards out.

On Roane County’s next offensive series, Tracewell looked like a center fielder as he dropped back in coverage and recorded the second interception for the Yellowjackets. Williamstown’s offense then capped a six-play, 36 yard drive when Tracewell connected with Hunter Neely on a 15-yard scoring strike and capped the Yellowjackets’ scoring at 35-0 with 2:17 remaining before the fourth quarter.

Williamstown reserves played the entire fourth quarter which witnessed Roane County’s offense finally get in sync. The Raiders’ lone offensive series of the period was a 14-play, 58-yard drive which resulted in Scott throwing a halfback pass to Tyler King for a 4-yard touchdown pass with 4:34 left in regulation. The point after failed.

Tracewell finished the game as the team’s leading rusher with 59 yards on 14 carries, and completed 9-of-13 passes for 158 yards. Teammate Austin Raines added 54 yards on four rushes. Neely was the Yellowjackets’ top receiver after catching five passes for 117 yards.

Scott paced Roane County with 55 yards on 18 carries. Through three quarters, Williamstown’s starters held Scott in check to a tune of 14 yards on 10 attempts.