In a battle for a shield, Clarksville High brought their spears.
The Wildcats visited archrival Rossview on Friday, Sept. 2 for their annual football matchup – the Battle for the Warfield Shield. Clarksville High dominated the host Hawks, winning 35-10 to claim the shield for the fifth-straight time.
“It doesn’t matter if it’s the first year of the fifth year,” said CHS head coach Isaac Shelby. “Rossview’s a really good football team. Todd Hood’s a really good football coach. I’m proud of our kids for beating a good football team.”
Clarksville needed a strong showing following an ugly Week 1 loss to McGavock and a blowout at Springfield in Week 2. Shelby challenged his players – seniors especially – to execute better. The rivalry game – which is always jam-packed with energy both on the field and off – could not have come at a better time.
They received the opening kickoff in front of a packed crowd of over 2,500 and immediately set a standard. Senior captain Jamar Carnell capped off a 73-yard scoring drive with a 1-yard punch-in. It was his first of three eventual touchdowns, all of which came from inside the five yard line.
“(Rossview’s) defense, they run a stack,” Carnell said. “They brought a linebacker down.... Coach Shelby in practice told us if we can’t run these certain plays, then we don’t deserve to win. We went out, ran (those) certain plays and pushed the ball down.”
Carnell was the primary weapon in an all-around rushing attack. While all of his touchdowns were short, they managed to get there via chunk gains from him, senior quarterback and captain Davin Garinger, sophomore Ahmoyre Galbreath and senior Jack Crouch.
They also did well on crucial downs – second-and-longs, short thirds and risky fourths – which was a major factor in their disappointing loss to McGavock. They never got away from what they wanted to do; they just finally did it well.
It was their first game of the season without turning the ball over. They coughed it up five times against McGavock and once against Springfield.
“We did the exact same thing we normally do,” Shelby said. “We just did it a lot better this week. A little more enthusiasm, (and) the younger kids were involved more. I know it wasn’t pretty and all that stuff, I just feel like they willed their way to this victory.”
Carnell went down with a cramp early in the fourth quarter – one of many players to fall victim to the heat-related ailment in the game – and didn’t return. However, his teammates scored twice more despite his absence: sophomore James Dalrymple took a fourth-down sweep 26 yards for a score and Garinger took a 2-yard keeper to ice the contest with 1:54 to go.
Despite having just an 11-point lead at the time of the injury, Carnell never had a doubt.
“I put all my trust into my teammates,” he said. “All of it.”
Clarksville will have a chance to get to .500 against a scuffling 0-3 Dickson County squad on Friday, Sept. 9 in a non-region tilt.
The loss, of course, is a frustrating one for Rossview. The margin of defeat on Friday is more than the one they took against 6A state title contender Riverdale the week prior.
“They just played better than we did tonight, man,” Hood said. “We didn’t coach very well, we didn’t play very well. Kudos to them, they made plays. They knocked us off the ball. I don’t know how many yards we had rushing, but we didn’t really get many stops, especially early on. That put us behind the 8-ball and we couldn’t catch up.”
There were good things to take out of the game, though. The Hawks didn’t turn the ball over, and sophomore quarterback Reed Bryant flashed some of his potential. He scored the team’s only touchdown on an 11-yard rush, evading multiple tacklers on the way.
But now that they’re 0-1 in the region and coming off back-to-back losses, Rossview still has plenty of developing to do.
“We hope we grow up,” Hood said. “There’s no secret to football. It’s blocking and tackling. We didn’t do either one of those well tonight. We’ll go back in practice on Monday (and) get some things straight. Make sure we’ve got people at the right position, coach them back up again. I love my coaches. We’ll just go back to work. It’s game three, not game 10. So we’ve got a lot of football left to play.”
They’ll get a week off from district play when they host city opponent Northeast (2-1) on Friday, Sept. 9 for their annual Homecoming game.