Watertown scored on all but two possessions, but added a pick-six, in a dominant first half Friday night as the Purple Tigers celebrated Senior Night with their second straight Region 4-2A championship via a 56-20 victory over East Robertson at Robinson Stadium.
Deramus Carey scored Watertown’s first three touchdowns on runs of 10, 4 and 2 yards. Jordan Cason’s second straight interception set up Quanterrius Hughes-Malone’s 12-yard scoring run and Brady Watts returned an interception 25 yards to the house for a 35-7 halftime lead.
The Purple Tigers ran the region table at 5-0, finishing the regular season at 7-0 and will play host to Tellico Plains at 7 p.m. next Friday in the opening round of the Class 2A playoffs.
East Robertson returned to Cross Plains 5-5, 3-2 and will likely travel to Bledsoe County next week.
Watertown drove the ball 65 yards on the game’s first nine plays to Carey’s 10-yard score.
East Robertson answered with a 58-yard march, primarily on short passes by Drake Alsup and Purple Tiger penalties. Alsup flipped a screen to Jaden Crouch, who went 17 yards to the end zone to tie the game 7-7.
Watertown answered right back with a 64-yard drive to Carey’s 4-yard score early in the second quarter.
The Purple Tiger defense then found its footing on a field left soggy by two days of rain, forcing two punts and picking off three passes, including two in short order by Cason. But East Robertson’s Taylor Groves intercepted Brayden Cousino in between.
East Robertson made a quick bid to get back in the game to start the second half. Groves out jumped Watertown’s defensive backs downfield to latch onto a Alsup aerial and went the rest of the way to the end zone for a 65-yard score to bring the Indians with 35-14.
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But Watertown coach Gavin Webster gave East Robertson’s defense a heavy dose of Carey, who carries three straight snaps for 51 yards, including the final 14 to the end zone for a 42-14 lead with just 1:15 off the second-half clock.
The Tigers got the ball right back when Cole Miller’s onside kick was recovered by Jayden Jobe. East Robertson was hit with a pair of personal fouls before Brandon Watts took it in on an 8-yard run for a 48-14 lead.
Watertown’s defense went right back to work, getting offensive. Hughes-Malone intercepted Alsup’s fourth-down pass and returned it 85 yards for a touchdown and a 56-14 lead.
Backup running back Matthew Jarrett weaved his way into the Watertown end zone from 13 yards out on the first play of the fourth quarter. East Robertson went for two points, but a block-in-the-back penalty deep in the backfield on a scrambling catch-and-score by Groves backed the Indians 30 yards before the visitors were caught with too many men on the field. Alsup’s pass which counted was knocked down, leaving the Tigers with a 56-20 lead.
By: Andy Reed