Grayson, KY (WSFA) - The Faulkner Eagles (1-0) opened its 2017 football season in style with a convincing 63-8 win over Kentucky Christian (0-1) Saturday.
Led by an Eagle defense that got after the quarterback early and often, Faulkner racked up seven sacks and two interceptions. Just 40 seconds into the game, senior linebacker Daniel Johnson intercepted Kentucky Christian quarterback Darius Strickland and took it seven yards to the end zone.
In total, the Eagles allowed 13 rushing yards and 193 yards total. Junior linebacker Hunter Reid led the defense with nine tackles with senior Kameron Ricks and junior Tyran Evans behind with eight tackles each.
Faulkner scored in every quarter of the game's competition, and led in an offensive attack that consisted of 60 percent groundwork. Senior running back Joe Jones led the way on the ground for the Eagles with 76 yards on nine carries and two touchdowns.
Sophomore running back Josh Gaines and Freshman running back Dee Williams contributed with 47 and 43 yards respectively, Williams even added a rushing touchdown.
Faulkner's dual-quarterback system behind center Saturday proved beneficial as starting quarterback Clayton Nicholas completed 11 of 13 passes for 134 yards and two touchdowns. Sophomore Mason Blocker pitched in with 54 yards of his own in the air, but it was his feet that kept the defense on edge. The Jones Community College transfer was the team's second-leading rusher behind Joe Jones with 72 yards on just five carries.
Blocker even found the end zone on three occasions and in total, Faulkner put up 429 yards of total offense.
Northwest Mississippi Community College transfer Jacob McCrary hauled in two touchdown catches to lead the receiving corps.
Head Coach Charlie Boren said getting this first win was important, but Saturday showed him what kind of team he has.
"I thought we played really well," said Boren. "And a big part of that really isn't the score. To be honest, we really didn't know for sure what to expect going into today. We still have a few guys out with injuries and there are with so many new faces on defense that we wanted to see how things came together. I think today shows what we are capable of doing moving forward.
Kentucky Christian managed to scratch across eight points in the fourth quarter on a two-yard pitch and catch from Justin Smith to Anton Wheeler. A two-point conversion gave the Knights the eight points they would eventually end with.
Faulkner returns home to host ranked No. 21 Georgetown College (Ky.) next Saturday at Billy D. Hilyer Stadium. Kickoff is set for 1:30 p.m.