When Justin Price was hired as Campbell County head football coach three years ago, he had a plan in mind to turn around the Cougar program, but it wouldn't be easy.
Since the school was formed in 1975 after consolidation of Jacksboro and LaFollette schools, the Campbell County football has been downtrodden.
It wasn't until 2004 that the Cougars had their only winning season to date at 7-5.
The Cougars have only made three playoff appearances, all first round losses.
Campbell County was also known as a basketball school, which was another perception that Price had to fight.
Price along with his twin brother Matt, his defensive coordinator put their plan into motion.
There were short and long term goals for the Price brothers such as getting the administration and community behind the program.
Getting a new weight room and sound system plus a new paint job at the stadium were short term goals that Price has gotten done thanks to the school board.
"I knew that for the plan to work we had to start small and get everyone on board," Justin Price said.
Because of the losing ways, the program was used to Price knew he had to be positive at every turn.
"Regardless of what happens on the field or the outcome, we are always positive with the kids," Price said.
"A lot of our kids are from broken homes and being positive is great for them to hear plus they started believe in what we were selling."
"But unless the kids see results it's hard to keep them engaged for the long haul."
The payoff for the hard work and believing in Price's philosophy came last Friday night as the Cougars (6-1) made school history by beating No. 10 Oak Ridge 27-14 in front of a sellout crowd in Jacksboro.
The win was the first one ever over Oak Ridge in 28 tries.
What the Cougars were used to was
27 straight losses to Oak Ridge by an average margin of 45.8 to 5.2.
During the streak, the Wildcats out scored Campbell County to the tune of 1,192 to 135.
Talk about feeling like a second class citizen.
But not anymore under the direction of Price.
Junior quarterback Ethan Jeffers passed for 208 yards with two touchdowns to lead the Cougar offense while fellow junior defensive back Trey Torres was the star on defense as he intercepted two passes and recovered a fumble while recording four tackles in the win last Friday.
The Cougars took their first possession of the game and went straight down the field going 80 yards in 11 plays to take an early 7-0 lead.
Oak Ridge (4-2) countered to tie the score at halftime at 14-14 before Campbell County scored the deciding 13 points in the fourth quarter to take the win.
"It's such a big program win because of the caliber of program that Oak Ridge is," Price said.
For the season Jeffers has passed for 1,893 yards and 24 touchdowns which is four more then his total in his sophomore campaign.
So where did the turnaround come about for the Cougars?
"I think the game that made our kids believe in what we were doing was the 20-13 loss to Powell last season," Price said.
"The kids saw that they were getting there and now they expect to win every time out."
After back-to-back 3-7 seasons in 2011 and 2012, the Cougars are tied for the district 3-AAA lead with Anderson County who is the only defeat on the Cougar schedule thus far.
The Campbell County program is getting statewide recognition as well as they are currently ranked No. 7 in this week's AP Class 5A poll.
The Cougars could be a year ahead of schedule even for the upbeat Price as they only have three senior starters on offense to go along with seven juniors and one freshman.
"We have a good core coming back next season but I really think we can go far this season," Price said.
So while they have exceeded expectations in 2013, next season really could be the year of the Cougar.
And Campbell County fans are really enjoying the product that Price brothers have been fortunate to give them this year.
"The community is so starved for a winner and they are really behind the kids and it makes Friday night really special here," Price said.
The biggest compliment that Price has heard so far came from long time Oak Ridge coach Joe Gaddis on Friday.
"He told me that we were doing a great job here and that the facilities were really good and that Campbell County now had a home field advantage and that was never the case," Price said. "That meant a lot to me because he is such a good coach and its another indictment that we are doing good things here."
Campbell County wasn't the only big win on Friday as a couple other teams scored big wins such as:
Trousdale County 23, DeKalb County 21- What the odds a team turns the football over six times and still wins?
"Until it happened to us on Friday, I would have said never," Trousdale County head coach Kevin Creasy said.
But Friday in Smithville, the Yellow Jackets (7-0) the state's No. 2 team in Class 2A did exactly that as they turned it over six times (four interceptions, two fumbles) but still won over DeKalb County 23-21.
Dekalb (4-2) started strong and led 14-0 at the break as Trousdale had four turnovers at halftime.
"I didn't go crazy at halftime because I thought if we made some plays and quit turning the ball over we could still win the game," Creasy said.
But DeKalb made the comeback tougher as the Tigers took the second half kickoff and scored to make it 21-0.
Trousdale then threw an interception on their first possession of second half.
But then the Yellow Jacket defense stiffened and didn't allow another point.
Trousdale got on the scoreboard as junior quarterback Marquel Claiborne scored from 13 yards out to cut the deficit to 21-7.
The Yellow Jackets then scored again as senior back Dillon Burnley scored the first of his two touchdowns to get Trousdale to 21-14 after three quarters.
Burnley scored late in regulation to tie the game at 21.
"I told the kids at halftime, we needed to make a big play on special teams like in the Gallatin game," Creasy said.
With the game on the line, the Yellow Jacket special teams came through again as they blocked the DeKalb punt in the end zone and a safety was rewarded for the winning margin.
"We didn't play well, but DeKalb had a lot to do with that," Creasy said. "But I'm proud of the kids because they are a resilient bunch."
Lewis County 37, Fairview 34- Like Trousdale County, the Panthers are an opportunistic bunch.
The No. 8 Panthers took advantage of five Fairview turnovers to best the No. 4 ranked Yellow Jackets to take control of district 11-AA.
The Panthers took a 17-13 at the half after a one yard run by Shane Bowman.
The Yellow Jackets rolled up 506 of total
offense but the turnovers continued to hurt them in the second half and Lewis County took advantage for the big district win.
The following schools with wins on Friday have wrapped up their districts as champions:
7-A- Monterey 48, Jackson County 6
11-A- Columbia Academy 55, Cornersville 33
12-A- Wayne County 20, Loretto 6
11-AA- Lewis County 37, Fairview 34
Division II-A East/Middle- Knoxville Webb 38, DCA 14
Division II-A West- ECS 35, FACS 0
Whitwell 47, Lookout Valley 8- The Tigers (2-5) broke a 24 game district 6-A losing streak as sophomore Clay McHone rushed for 130 yards in the win.
Brainerd 19, Howard 16- LaTony Word connected with Sam Caffey twice for touchdowns as the Panthers beat Howard to break a nine game 6-AA district losing streak and pick up their first win of the season.
YATES COMMITS TO MERCER
Oakland Senior offensive linemen Caleb Yates has committed to Mercer University.
Yates (6-4, 285) committed to Mercer over UAB, MTSU and Western Kentucky.
"Mercer is a great academic fit for him, because they offer biomedical and mechanical engineering and it's also an opportunity to compete to play early," Oakland coach Thomas McDaniel said.
Yates joins fellow teammates as commitments as Emmanuel Smith (Vanderbilt) and Class of 2015 offensive lineman Jack Jones (Tennessee).
Here are the best games for week seven
BGA at Knoxville Webb
Knoxville Catholic at Anderson County
Sullivan North at Elizabethton
East Nashville at Pearl Cohn
Giles County at Ensworth
MBA at Father Ryan
Ridgeway at Collierville
Dyer County at Westview
Millington at Liberty
Luke Fronckoski, RB, Unicoi County- Rushed for 226 yards and two touchdowns and another on a kickoff return in a 41-14 win over Sullivan East.
Creed Rose, RB, Cascade- Rushed for 191 yards and scored three touchdowns in a 41-34 win over Marshall County.
Moses Cornelius, RB, Antioch- Rushed for 195 yards and scored four touchdowns in a 41-20 win over Hillsboro.
Charles Taylor, RB, Cordova- Rushed for 224 yards on just 13 carries and scored three touchdowns in a 40-27 win over Bartlett.
DeVante Turner, RB, Memphis East- Rushed for 234 yards and scored two touchdowns in a 35-26 win over Melrose.
DaiQuon Norfork, RB, Covington- Rushed for 207 yards and scored twice in a 21-13 win over Liberty.
Hunter Sheffield, QB, Arlington- Passed for 344 yards and three touchdowns in a 45-14 win over Bolton.
Joc Bruce, RB, South Doyle- Rushed for 200 yards and two touchdowns in a 34-14 win over Seymour.
Tyshawn Gardin, RB, Powell- Rushed for 245 yards and scored four times in a 67-6 win over Clinton.
Matt Fox, RB, Anderson County- Rushed for 357 yards and scored three times in a 60-38 win over Knoxville Central.
Denzel Harding, RB, Siegel- Rushed for 218 yards and scored three touchdowns in a 35-7 win over Smyrna.
Kyle Anderton, QB, Station Camp- Passed for 369 yards and six touchdowns in a 48-27 win over Wilson Central.
Josh Malone, WR, Station Camp- Caught a career high 13 passes for 286 yards and scored four times in a 48-27 win over Wilson Central.
Charles Talleyrand, QB, Rossview- Accounted for 469 yards (298 passing, 3 TDs, 171 rushing, 3 TDs) in a 59-44 win over Kenwood.
Malcolm Perry, QB, Kenwood- Rushed for 374 yards and five touchdowns in a 59-44 loss to Rossview.
DeAndre Tigg, RB, Lipscomb Academy- Rushed for 251 yards and scored three touchdowns in a 42-22 win over Stratford.
Jalen Manning, RB, Smith County- Rushed for 207 yards and and one touchdown in a 16-3 win over Livingston Academy.
Adrian Roper, RB, FRA- Rushed for 209 yards and scored twice in a 48-17 win over Zion Christian.
Blake Lynn, RB, White County- Rushed for 216 yards and scored once in a 35-7 win over Cumberland County
Kaelin Cason, RB, Gordonsville- Rushed for 203 yards and scored twice in a 28-13 win over Watertown.
Braylon Porter, RB, Bartlett- Rushed for 264 yards and scored once in a 40-27 loss to Cordova.
Bryce Young, RB, Haywood County- Rushed for 209 yards and scored twice in a 26-24 win over Ripley.
Colter Swafford, RB, Dresden- Rushed for 315 yards and scored three touchdowns in a 24-14 win over West Carroll.
Dalton Lee, QB, Claiborne County- Rushed for 275 yards and scored four touchdowns in a 32-21 win over West Greene.
Alaz Looper, RB, Monterey- Rushed for 196 yards and three times on offense while also returning an interception for a touchdown as well in a 48-6 win over Jackson County.
Ethan Thomas, RB, Elizabethton- Rushed for 194 yards and scored twice in a 50-8 win over Happy Valley.
Josh Jasper, RB, Sullivan North- Rushed for 201 yards and two touchdowns in a 36-22 win over Johnson County.
Gage Johnson, LB, McMinn Central- had 16 tackles (10 solos), a sack, a forced fumble and an interception return for a TD in the Chargers' 40-17 win over Sweetwater.
BY THE NUMBERS
1-27- The series record between Oak Ridge and Campbell County as the Cougars got their first win in the series 27-14 on Friday.
2- Total rushing yards by Whitehaven in their 49-27 loss to Sacred Heart Griffin (IL)
7- Consecutive Mercy Rule Games that Fulton has forced this season.
17-0- Trousdale County's All time record against DeKalb County.
19- Consecutive wins for MBA over Father Ryan, the last Ryan win came in 1997 in the Division II-Large title game.
25-0- All time record of Hampton-North Greene with Hampton winning every game.
1,157- Combined total yardage in Rossview's (615 total yards) 59-44 win over Kenwood (542).
Contact Donovan at email@example.com and follow him on Twitter at Examine_Stew