Bison overcome mistakes to keep possession of first place in Region 5-5A
GALLATIN – At this time last season, Station Camp supporters wondered if they’d find a victory.
These days, winning is all they’re doing.
The 2021 version of the Bison added a signature win on Thursday evening, rallying for a 28-27 victory over visiting No. 1 Mt. Juliet that gave the sixth-ranked Bison a share of first place in Region 5-5A.
Not only did Station Camp (6-0, 3-0 5-5A) overcome a 13-point, fourth-quarter deficit, they recovered from their own mistakes. An interception and a fumble were returned for touchdowns by Mt. Juliet’s defense, and a bad punt snap that resulted in a Golden Bear safety.
“I’ve got to be honest, I’ve got some young guys on defense that don’t care (about turnovers),” Station Camp head coach Brent Alexander said. “They just want to go play football. They are mad every time they have to come off the field. So they don’t get up, they don’t get down, they just go out there and have fun and they play, they listen, they make mistakes but they ignore the scoreboard. I tell them all the time, you don’t play with the scoreboard, you let me do that. They just keep playing.”
However, the Bison needed some good fortune to finish the job, and they got it when Mark Shenouda’s 38-yard field goal attempt sailed wide left as time expired.
Jack Biller’s 1-yard plunge with 2:23 to play put the Bison in position to tie or potentially take the lead. Alexander chose the latter option, and Parker Brown hit Luke Dickens with a short pass that turned into the eventual game-winning two-point conversion.
“There were a lot of emotions going through my head,” senior offensive lineman Drew Dallenbach said. “I didn’t know if we were going to make it or not, but I saw him go right behind me and run into the endzone. It was a great feeling.”
“I told them right there, I said, ‘this is the change that you wanted, right here, this is your opportunity,'” and they executed it,” Alexander said. “They’re growing, getting better, they really are.”
Dickens finished with 135 yards on 27 carries to lead the Bison, who rushed for 213 yards as a team. Dallenbach said the offense felt like they could have success on the ground Thursday.
“At first yes, but in the second drive we got a little taste of our own medicine,” Dallenbach said. “We had to slow it back and get on our own schedule.”
Connor Kemp added, “Practice was hard and the coaches kept getting on to us, but we knew it was a big game so we just had to step up. Practice wasn’t good Monday. We came in Tuesday and it was better, Wednesday better, got our walkthrough Wednesday and we just got our heads on right.”
Brown hit Ashton Moore for a 28-yard touchdown earlier in the period to jumpstart the rally.
Mt. Juliet (6-1, 3-1) led 17-13 at halftime and extended the lead in the third quarter when Aydan Smith recovered a Brown fumble and returned it 15 yards for a Golden Bear touchdown with 7:51 remaining in the period. Shenouda added a 37-yard field goal nearly four minutes later to extend the lead to 27-13.
“There’s nine new guys on defense that weren’t playing defense or starting for us last year,” Mt. Juliet head coach Trey Perry said. “They’re starting to be able to adjust to things in games, and they’re starting to grow up, but we need them to grow up more.”
Ethan Crisp had a 28-yard interception return to put Mt. Juliet up 17-6 before Brown found Connor Kemp with seven seconds remaining in the first half to pull the Bison back within one score.
Crisp also caught a two-point conversion pass from Stephen Swoner following Griffin Throneberry’s 4-yard touchdown run in the first quarter. Throneberry led the Golden Bears offensively with seven carries for 125 yards.
Cooper Green had Station Camp’s first touchdown, a 6-yard run to cap their opening possession.
With the win, Station Camp improved to 6-0 for the first time since 2007, when the Bison began 9-0 as a Class 3A team. The Bison went 1-10 last season, with their lone win coming over Hunters Lane in an additional game the TSSAA allowed for non-playoff teams.
Mt. Juliet travels to Lebanon next week, while Station Camp hosts Wilson Central. Although Station Camp’s win puts them in prime position to compete for the region title, the Golden Bears are still in play if they can get a little help elsewhere.
“I know it sounds cliche, but you got to worry about you,” Perry said. “You can get into three-way tiebreakers, three-way tiebreakers go into overall records, so that means the next game might as well be a region game. And we’re going to face a Lebanon team that’s either a one-loss team or possibly a region champion by the time they get to us, so and we’re on the road again, fifth out of 6 games so we have to go play.”
STATION CAMP 28, MT. JULIET 27
|Mt. Juliet (6-1, 3-1 5-5A), Station Camp (6-0, 3-0)||1st||2nd||3rd||4th||Final|
S – Cooper Green 6 run, 8:53. George Ligon kick.
M – Safety, punt snap out of end zone, 5:39.
M – Griffin Throneberry 4 run, 2:40. Ethan Crisp pass from Stephen Swoner.
M – Ethan Crisp 28 interception return, 3:14. Mark Shenouda kick.
S – Connor Kemp 4 pass from Parker Brown, 0:07. Kick failed.
M – Aydan Smith 15 fumble return, 7:51. Shenouda kick.
M – Shenouda 37 field goal, 4:01.
S – Ashton Moore 28 pass from Brown, 8:10. Ligon kick.
S – Jack Biller 1 run, 2:23. Luke Dickens pass from Brown.
|Mt. Juliet||Station Camp|
|Pass Attempts-Completions- Interceptions||9-19-0||10-19-1|
|Punts – Average||3-33.3||2-32.5|
Mt. Juliet: Griffin Throneberry 7-125, Jaylen Holmes 8-27, Garrison Lewis 6-9, Tanner Cocke 1-5, Stephen Swoner 2-4, Amarion Workings 1-2.
Station Camp: Luke Dickens 27-135, Robert Bogus 8-60, Cooper Green 10-49, Brandon Griffin 1-4, Sanders Ellis 1-0, Parker Brown 4-(-25).
Mt. Juliet: Swoner 8-17-0 118, Throneberry 1-2-0 5.
Station Camp: Brown 9-18-1 102, Blake Lancaster 1-1-0 24.
Mt. Juliet: Walter Bowers IV 5-71, Throneberry 2-62, Osize Daniyan 3-37, Cocke 2-10.
Station Camp: Ashton Moore 3-58, Brandon Griffin 2-25, Kevin Pascarella 1-24, Aden Murray 3-19, Conner Kemp 3-8.