By Clayton Carroll

JACKSBORO, TN (WLAF) – Campbell County, 4 and 6 on the year, headed south to Cleveland to take on the 8 and 2 Walker Valley Mustangs in Round 1 of the TSSAA Playoffs.

Campbell would receive the opening kickoff and unfortunately be stopped and forced to punt the football to the Mustangs. Walker Valley quickly got on the board first. With 7:11 left to go in the 1st quarter, the Mustangs led by a score of 6-0 after the extra point attempt was blocked by Campbell’s Timmy Gibson.

On the Cougars’ second possession of the night, Landen Hensley would find K. J. Chadwell for a touchdown with 3:44 left to go in the first quarter. After a successful PAT from Rylan Sanders, Campbell led 7-6. Following another Mustang touchdown, Campbell trailed 13-7 with 11:56 left to go in the first half. After a pick six, Walker Valley expanded their lead to 20-7.

At this point, both offenses began to kick into another gear. Landen Hensley found Gabe St. John for a touchdown. Walker Valley answered. Landen Hensley kept it on the ground and found the endzone. The Mustangs answered back again. Gabe St. John had another touchdown reception, and, you guessed it, Walker Valley fired back. Finally, after all of this, at the half Walker Valley held a 41-27 lead at the intermission.

To much despair to the Cougar faithful, as the game went on, it looked like the season would not. Walker Valley scored touchdown after touchdown, allowing them to hold a 67-33 lead at the end of the 3rd quarter.

In the 4th quarter, Walker Valley would score with under a minute to go in the game, to take the lead by a score of 74-33, scoring the most points that the Mustangs had scored in a single game in school history.

The Cougars would score only once in the 2nd half, after scoring the most points in the first half that they had all year. Also, Campbell County would not stop the Mustangs once in the game.

The Mustangs will advance to round 2, where they will host the Lenoir City Panthers, who defeated McMinn County to advance.

Despite the loss, it was a fun year for the Cougars, with a 46-30 victory over Fulton, a historic program, for the first win of the year; a miraculous 36-33 comeback at The King’s Academy. A beatdown of Karns on Senior Night, 49-14; and a close, hard-fought, scrappy win at Morristown-East 41-31.

What unfortunately is a sad moment for Cougar fans, is made better when realizing that this team will be returning many of its starters from this year. Landen Hensley will have one more year at Campbell County, along with Gavin Owens and Keagon Cowan. Receiving wise, Luke Lindsay, Gabe St. John, and Timmy Gibson will all have two more years wearing the Orange and Blue. On the defensive side of the ball, Campbell County will be returning defensive studs such as Luke Carroll, Eli Dorton, Tiras McCulley, Blake Albright, and Kole Welch.

To all of the seniors on this team, thank you for giving your all for not only this team, but for all of Campbell County as well.

Until next season, thank you to all of our sponsors and to everyone who tuned in this 2023 football season. And as always, Go Cougars!

Making coverage of Campbell possible over WLAF are these outstanding corporate partners:

Charley’s Pizza                                

Brandon’s Towing & Recovery Service

Citizens Bank                                   

Robbins Guttering & Roofing

Clayton Homes                                 

C & L Metal Sales                                      

Smith Metal & Dock Sales

Grace Rehab

Attorneys Burrell & Varsalona

Community Trust Bank                     

Exterior Home Solutions                          

C & L Furniture

Rice Oil – Big O’s                            

Bales Buick-GMC

United Cumberland Bank                           

Defense Attorney Jeffrey Coller


Greeneview Farms Market

La Follette Medical Center


ALCO Builders & Realty                   

E.E. Hill Insurance                                     

Holston Gases

First National Bank

Gray Insurance Group 

La Follette Nutrition                      

Doyle’s Tire Shop


Cumberland Gap Medical                                    

La Follette Mine Supply                    

Jacksboro Body Shop

Hensley Tire & Service                     

Allstate Agent Casey Allen Med Spa                                     

Hammer’s Dry Goods

C & C Concrete                               

McDowell Real Estate

Peoples Bank of the South               


Byrge Screen Printing      

The Cantrell Law Firm, La Follette                


Cumberland Equipment Rentals

Thu., Aug 17 AT Halls Red Devils – Rivalry Thursday Halls 41 Cougars 14

Fri., Aug. 25 Fulton Falcons HOME Cougars 46 Fulton 30

Fri., Sep. 01 AT The Kings Academy Lions – Cougars 36 TKA 33

Fri., Sep. 08 Clinton Dragons# HOME – Clinton 55 Cougars 14

Fri., Sep. 15 AT Lenoir City Panthers# – Lenoir City 43 Cougars 26

Fri., Sep. 22 Daniel Boone Trailblazers HOMECOMING – Boone 44 Cougars 21

Fri., Sep. 29 Gibbs Eagles HOME – Gibbs 56 Cougars 28

Fri., Oct. 6 Karns Beavers# HOME – Senior Night Cougars 49 Karns 14

Fri. Oct. 13 OPEN DATE

Fri., Oct. 20 AT Morristown East Hurricanes Cougars 41 East 31

Thu., Oct. 26 AT Oak Ridge Wildcats Oak Ridge 55 Cougars 28

Fri., Nov. 2 AT Walker Valley Mustangs 74 Cougars 33

# – Region 3-AAAAA