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By David Sharp
Knox County (2-0) limited a physical Norborne-Hardin Central football team to 123 yards rushing and 136 yards passing in a 46-22 win at Norborne in week two area high school football play.
The September 3, 2021 eight man football game saw Knox County rush 29 times for 358 yards along with 103 yards passing and a touchdown. The Eagles outgained Norborne 461-259 in total yards from scrimmage.
Branson Miller led the Eagles in rushing with ten carries for 196 yards and four touchdowns. Branson Miller caught an 18 yard touchdown pass from Rylan Roberts with 9:38 remaining in the third quarter.
Branson Miller intercepted a pass in the second half, establishing a new school record for career interceptions. “It’s cool that I took it away from my nephew,” Branson Miller said of the previous record holder Hayden Miller.
“Carter Marble made almost every tackle out there,” Branson Miller said. “He really helped out at the line. It’s the first time we have been 2-0 in a very long time. We always played Marceline in week two. It gives us a lot of confidence.”
The Aggies (0-2) fooled the Eagle defense for two of their three touchdowns. Norborne Brayden Schick running back lined up in a Wildcat formation and passed to normal quarterback Kobe Gibson from 30 yards out with 9:23 to play in the first quarter.
Brayden Schick ran in the two point conversion for an 8-0 Aggie lead. Branson Miller took the ensuing kick 70 yards for a Knox County touchdown with 9:09 to play in the period. The two point pass was good, tying the game at eight points each.
Knox County stopped Norborne on downs on the next series of downs. Keyton Laire picked off a Knox County pass on the Aggie 34 yard line. Norborne was forced to punt.
The Aggie Defense rose and stopped Knox County on downs at their 15 yard line. Norborne capped a 65 yard drive with another touchdown pass from Brayden Schick to Kobe Gibson with 9:33 remaining in the first half. The scoring pass came from 23 yards out. The two point run failed for a 14-8 Norborne lead.
The humid atmosphere yielded a sudden rainstorm with about five minutes to play in the first half. Knox County scored on a Braydon Miller 70 yard kickoff return for a touchdown with 9:24 to go until intermission. Branson Miller ran in the two point conversion for a 16-14 Eagle edge.
Knox County stopped Norborne on downs at their two yard line just before the rains came. Braydon Miller took the football 78 yards for a touchdown with 5:12 to play in the second quarter. The two point run was successful for a 24-14 lead.
Neither team was able to score in the monsoon like rain, leaving the halftime score 24-14 in favor of Knox County. The Eagles outgained the run oriented Aggies 211-93 on the ground in the first half.
The Eagles were able to ground the Aggie passing attack in the second half. Standout running back Braydon Schick did not play in the second half. Knox County held Norborne to 22 yards passing in the second half.
Knox County took the second half kickoff and scored on a 50 yard drive. Branson Miller hauled in an 18 yard pass from Rylan Roberts with 9:38 to play in the third quarter. The two point run was no good for a 30-14 KCHS lead.
Carter Marble led five of Knox County’s eight defenders to a 12 yard quarterback sack of Keyton Laire. Branson Miller raced 50 yards for a touchdown with 4:47 remaining in the period. Rylan Roberts ran in the two point conversion for a 38-14 KC lead.
Knox County drove 57 yards for another touchdown in the fourth quarter. Branson Miller ran the ball in from 15 yards out for a touchdown with 9:59 to play in the game. Rylan Roberts ran in the two pointer for a 46-14 Eagle lead.
Keyton Laine closed the book with a Norborne touchdown at the 9.8 second mark of the fourth quarter for the 46-22 final score. Brayden Schick led the Aggies with 21 carries for 79 yards. Kobe Gibson was 3-8 passing for 112 yards and two pass receptions for touchdowns.
Norborne had five penalties for 40 yards. Knox County had ten penalties for 65 yards on the night. Knox County had 15 first downs to 13 for Norborne. Braydon Miller had 78 yards rushing. Knox County hosts Northland Christian for their next game on Saturday, September 11, 2021 with a 1PM kickoff.
“We knew they were going to be a big physical team,” Knox County coach Bruce Vannoy said. “They put it to us the first quarter. They put us on our heels. Luckily, we had a couple of huge kick returns. That kept us in the game.”
“Then our offense finally got settled in and got going,” Coach Vannoy said. “We actually ran the ball better than we did last week. A lot of good things, but a lot of mistakes too.”
“I want to establish the run game,” Bruce Vannoy said. “We are going to be able to throw the football this year. I was excited to see us run the ball tonight. Branson (Miller) is just a gamer.”
“He is a special kid. He really is,” Coach Vannoy said. “He is elusive, but he will finish runs. That’s a rare mix that you will see in high school football. They are going to be well coached,” Bruce Vannoy said of Northland Christian Coach Seth Bass.
Coach Bass is the man who led North Shelby into the world of eight man football. North Shelby has been a top five state ranked football program the last several seasons.
“They are going to do what they are supposed to do. They will play fundamental football,” Vannoy said. “We have to know what we are going to do. We are really getting into the meat of our schedule in these next three weeks.”