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Late touchdown dooms Erwin Knights

Thunder rumbled right at the end of regulation to keep the Knights out of the win column.
The Tennessee Thunder got within the red zone trailing by a point and banked on an unsportsmanlike call to come away with a 40-33 win over the Erwin Knights on Saturday, May 9, at Gentry Stadium.
“It was a heartbreaking loss,” Knights coach Andy Slagle said. “A couple of plays here and there and we could have won that game. The guys played very well. We should have won it and I hate it for our guys … they deserved it.”
Leading the charge for the Knights was Unicoi County native Coty VanHoy who tallied up all but one score on the field for the team and was the spark that nearly had the team clinch a win.
“Coty is just a great athlete,” Slagle said. “He played lights out. He threw a touchdown, caught on, ran one in … he lit it up for us.”
VanHoy stayed all over the field the entire contest. He moved to quarterback in the third quarter after Ryan Thomas was injured.
“He has a concussion and bruised ribs,” Slagle said of Thomas’ injury. “He was fighting for extra yards and put his body on the line for the team.”
Zack Beard and Jimarius Davis both came up big on the defensive side of the ball, according to Slagle.
“From top to bottom, I’m proud of the entire team,” he added. “From the Berry boys (Jordan, Ryan and Trevor) to the Pattens (Allen, Brandon and Robbie) … Erwin has talented players. Everyone has stepped their game up from the local guys to the ones from Carter County and everywhere else.”
The Knights also had a solid fan base on Saturday and it was appreciated, the coach added.
“It was the biggest turnout we had all year,” Slagle said. “We always want more, of course, but we had a good turn out. I know we aren’t the Blue Devils and the town loves their Blue Devils, but we appreciate the support we have so far and we’re in the process of building something that people can enjoy during this time of the year.
“We’re a fun team to watch. We’ve had people call us up wanting to join because the first year teams barely make it past their second game. We’re 0-5, we have problems we need to fix, but the heart is there. We can’t build it over night, but the pieces are in place to have an exciting program here for years to come.”
The Knights will make the trip to Gatlinburg on Saturday, May 16, for a rematch against the East Tennessee Pirates. Kickoff for the event was not announced prior The Erwin Record’s press deadline.