COOKEVILLE — Trousdale County made its bid for a 10th TSSAA state championship but came up short Thursday after the Yellow Jackets fell 17-9 to Peabody in the Class 2A BlueCross Bowl.
The Yellow Jackets (11-4) entered with high hopes after knocking off the top three ranked teams in the state in each of the last three weeks. But No. 4 Peabody (14-1) proved too much of a hill to overcome.
“You’ve got to tip your hat to them; they were very good on defense,” said Trousdale coach Brad Waggoner. “We had chances in the red zone; we just didn’t get the job done.”
Peabody quarterback Cooper Baugus was named Most Valuable Player after rushing for a touchdown and throwing another for the Golden Tide.
Peabody set the tone early by returning the opening kickoff 65 yards and setting up deep in Trousdale territory. But as would happen so many times, the Yellow Jacket defense stood tall – eventually forcing a turnover on downs.
On its second possession, Peabody took a 3-0 lead on a 29-yard field goal by Isaiah Hicks.
Trousdale County would respond quickly as a 65-yard run by senior Dyson Satterfield gave the Jackets first and goal and set up a 5-yard run by senior Keyvont Baines and a 7-3 lead late in the first quarter.
Satterfield would finish with 116 yards on 22 carries to lead Trousdale County.
On its next possession, the Yellow Jackets appeared to have extended the lead when Baines went down the visitors’ sideline for a touchdown. But a holding penalty negated the score and Trousdale was forced to punt.
Baugus gave Peabody the lead back, rushing 38 yards for the go-ahead touchdown on fourth and 3.
“He’s a heck of an athlete. He’s shifty and big,” Trousdale defensive end Jake Gregory said of Baugus. “We just needed to bear down and make a play.”
Baines suffered a shoulder injury on the play and was limited in his ability to throw, which hampered the Trousdale offense for the remainder of the game. Sophomore fullback Cameron Rankins, who was the backup at QB, was already slowed by an elbow injury suffered in the semifinals against Meigs County. Rankins caught one pass for 8 yards and did not carry the ball at all Thursday.
“We were limited in what we could do offensively in the second half because Cameron was hurt, Keyvont was hurt, and it put us in a situation where we basically had to run one formation,” Waggoner said.
Peabody would extend the lead to 17-7 in the third quarter when Baugus found receiver Noah Halbrook for a 51-yard touchdown with 6:53 left in the third quarter.
The Yellow Jackets tried to respond, driving inside the 20 before being stopped on downs.
Trousdale would drive into Peabody territory twice in the fourth quarter but again came away with no points. A fumble by Satterfield on a fourth-down carry was recovered by the Golden Tide to stop the first drive.
The Jackets’ defense again rose to the task as senior Braden Hawkins and Gregory sacked Baugus in the end zone for a safety with 7:58 to play and make it a 17-9 game.
On the ensuing possession, Trousdale drove and had first and goal from the Peabody 6. But the drive stalled and ended when Baines was tackled at the 24 on fourth down. Peabody was able to run out the clock after that and claim the Class 2A title.
“We had the ball in the red zone three times and didn’t get any points out of it,” Waggoner said. “It’s disappointing.”
Trousdale County outgained Peabody 224-167 and held the Golden Tide to 54 rushing yards. But the Jackets could not maintain any offensive momentum, going 5-of-14 on third down and 0-for-4 on fourth down.
Waggoner praised his team’s fight in reaching the final and said the senior class had set the bar for the future.
“In Hartsville, we don’t play for second place,” he said. “Our senior class got us back to the standard of what we expect in Trousdale County. They’ve set the standard for where we want to be next year.”
“I’m just happy to play football with my brothers; it’s a privilege to play for Trousdale County,” Gregory said after the game.
“Nobody thought we were going to make the championship,” Baines added. “We showed everybody we could make it, but we just didn’t come up with a win.”
“We had a lot of doubters, and to come up short is just how it goes. We just have to live with it,” Satterfield said.
Reach Chris Gregory at 615-374-3556 or email@example.com.
Peabody 17, Trousdale Co. 9
TC 7 0 0 2—9
P 3 7 7 0—17
P-Hicks 29 field goal, 3:43.
TC-Baines 5 run (Chasse kick), 2:07.
P-Baugus 38 run (Hicks kick), 6:18.
P-Halbrook 51 pass from Baugus (Hicks kick), 6:53.
First downs 11 8
Rushes-yds 48-177 34-54
C-A-I 3-10-0 8-12-0
Pass yds 47 113
Total yds 224 167
Third-down conversions 5-14 2-12
Sacks 4-28 1-18
Fumbles-lost 1-1 1-1
Penalties-yds 6-45 9-86
RUSHING—TC, Satterfield 22-116, Hicks 8-52, Baines 17-11, TEAM 1-(minus-2). P, Baugus 15-28, Halbrook 5-25, Dickson 10-17, Wilkins 1-(minus-2), TEAM 3-(minus-14).
PASSING—TC, Baines 3-10-0-47. P, Baugus 8-12-0-113.
RECEIVING—TC, Chumley 2-39, Rankins 1-8. P, Halbrook 4-81, Dickson 2-17, Wilkins 1-9, Hammonds 1-6.