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Hopkins' 5 TDs send Bears to second round
Nov 04, 2012 12:00 am
By KIMBERLY JORDAN
MT. JULIET — Mt. Juliet ran its way into the second round of the Class 6A playoffs, easily handling the Independence Eagles 52-22 Friday night. The Bears never trailed in the contest.
Caleb Hopkins ran for five touchdowns on his way to a 190-yard performance to pace Mt. Juliet as the Bears improved to 10-1 for the season going into next Friday's 7 p.m. second-round game at Dickson County, which beat McGavock 42-14 last night.
The second quarter proved to be the most action packed as the teams combined for five scoring plays. Ryan Jenkins booted a 47-yard field goal to start off the scoring spree and Hopkins sandwiched two of his touchdowns, a 16-yard score and a 27-yard sprint down the sideline, around a 29-yard run by the Eagles' Vic Wharton.
The Independence fans had the last cheers of the first half when Josh Murray hauled in a pass from Wharton and raced down the middle of the field for a 69-yard touchdown with 38 seconds to play in the half. But Mt. Juliet was still in front and headed into the locker room with a comfortable 31-14 lead.
"I think we played well in all phases of the game," Bears Coach Roger Perry said. "Just so proud of our football team, the effort they put in."
Mt. Juliet jumped to an early lead with Hopkins' first two scores on runs of 17 and 2 yards.
Hopkins' counterpart, Contrez McCathern, added 61 rushing yards on the night.
Perry said the duo of Hopkins and McCathern have complemented each other for four years, and added that Hopkins had "a big night" Friday.
Nearing the end of the third quarter, Mt. Juliet's younger players got a taste of playoff football as Courtland Douglas and Kyle Mahler carried the load on the ground for the final period.
Jalen Wade led the Eagles with 94 yards rushing, including his 71-yard touchdown with 4:27 to play as Independence ended a 6-5 season.
"It was an outstanding victory, and we're proud to be moving on," Perry said.