Drake McCutchen accounted for 239 yards from scrimmage and all four offensive touchdowns to propel Section to a 35-0 Class 2A Region 7 win over Whitesburg Christian Friday night in Gurley.

The Lions improved to 4-3 on the season and 2-3 in region play.

“This is the third year of our program and the guys understand what it takes to win and we understand what a team we got and how good we can be,” said third-year Section head coach Chris Hammon. “We just had some injuries and just like life, you go through some rough patches and you just continue to work and keep fighting. This is what these kids have done, they understand that. We’re going to enjoy this (win) tonight…Proud of our guys, they continue to fight. I wouldn’t trade them for nothing.”

The game began with Section’s offense losing a fumble after a drive where they had three penalties, including one on what would have been a 60-yard touchdown run from McCutchen.

 “That first drive, we scored and had a penalty call it back and that kind of stalled us out. Other than that, I thought we played well,” Hammon said. 

After the fumble, Whitesburg strung together a few plays before stalling out and setting up a fourth-and-seven from the Section 27. Section’s Dominik Blair would intercept the pass and return it all the way for a touchdown. That would be the first of three consecutive turnovers forced by the Lions defense, with Whitesburg only having one offensive drive end without a turnover during the first half.

After a disastrous Warriors fumble from the Section 1-yard line gave the Lions the ball back at their own 8-yard line, Section’s Jacob Cooper would hit McCutchen on a screen pass on their next offensive drive for a 33-yard touchdown, scoring in just two and a half minutes.

On the ensuing Whitesburg drive, the Warriors again lost a fumble, this time at the Section 20. The Lions scored in two plays, with McCutchen ripping off another long run, this one for 76 yards.

“(Whitesburg) had a couple scoring opportunities and the defense stepped up and made plays. I was proud of them for that,” Hammon said.

At halftime, McCutchen had 153 scrimmage yards on just five touches. In the second half, the Lions scored their final two touchdowns in the third quarter on runs by McCutchen from 19 and 40 yards. McCutchen finished with 239 total yards on 10 touches.

“Drake is just a special player,” Hammon said. “He can take over a game. I’m glad he’s on my team.”

Section closes region play next week with a showdown featuring major playoff implications against county rival Pisgah (4-3, 3-1), which defeated Ider 28-6 Friday night for its fourth straight win. 

“(Stopping Pisgah) comes back to fundamental football, blocking and tackling. It ain’t no secret,” Hammon said. “We block tackle and fit where we’re supposed to fit, we’ll be fine. If we don’t, then we’re in trouble.”

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