Watertown is Region 4-2A champion…again.
For the first time in what head coach Gavin Webster believed was school history, Watertown (8-2) won the title with a 5-0 finish in region play.
The Purple Tigers completed their sweep with a 56-20 win over East Robertson (5-5, 3-2) Friday at Robinson Stadium.
Watertown will host to Tellico Plains (3-7, 1-3), which finished fourth in Region 3-2A, Friday at 7 p.m. in the first round of the playoffs.
East Robertson will travel to Bledsoe County, which finished second in Region 3-2A, on the road for the first round. Bledsoe County defeated Tellico Plains 40-6 Friday.
“I’ve got three words for you: back-to-back,” Webster told his team after the game.
Watertown tailback Deramus Carey capped off a nine-play, 65-yard drive with a 10-yard touchdown run on the Purple Tigers’ opening possession to take a 7-0 lead.
East Robertson answered on its opening possession to tie the game at 7-7 when quarterback Drake Alsup hit Jaden Crouch on a 17-yard screen pass for a touchdown.
But that was as close as the Indians would get.
Carey answered with back-to-back touchdowns runs of 4 and 3 yards to give Watertown a 21-7 lead midway through the second quarter.
Both teams then traded interceptions. Watertown’s Jordan Cason started and ended the turnover battle with a 56-yard return to set up the Purple Tigers at the East Robertson 12-yard line.
On the next play, East Robertson’s Taylor Groves intercepted a pass at the 1-yard line and returned it to the 12.
Three plays later, Cason picked off his second pass at the 22-yard line and returned it nine yards to the 13. On the next play, Quanterrius Hughes-Malone took a jet sweep the final 13 yards for a touchdown to increase Watertown’s lead to 28-7.
On East Robertson’s first play of its next possession, Watertown’s Brady Watts picked off a pass and returned it 22 yards for a touchdown to increase its lead to 35-7 late in the second.
East Robertson opened the second half with a 65-yard touchdown pass from Alsup to Groves. That narrowed Watertown’s lead to 35-14.
On Watertown’s next possession, three straight Carey rushes resulted in a 14-yard touchdown run and Carey’s third TD of the night to extend the Purple Tigers’ lead to 42-14.
A successful onside kick recovered by Hughes-Malone put Watertown back on offense on the ensuing kickoff. Three plays later, Brandon Watts found the end zone from eight yards out to give Watertown a 48-14 lead.
Hughes-Malone intercepted an East Robertson pass at the 13-yard line on the Indians’ ensuing drive and raced 87 yards for a touchdown to extend Watertown’s lead to 56-14 midway through the third.
East Robertson answered on its next drive on a 13-yard touchdown run by Matthew Jarrett early in the fourth. After Watertown got the ball back, the running clock helped the Purple Tigers drain time and seal the win.
“I thought we came out on both sides of the ball and dominated,” Webster said. “We were preaching all week what we had riding on this game. We had to take control and take care of this game.”
Hughes-Malone led the Purple Tigers in all aspects of the game, with one carry for 13 yards and a touchdown, one catch for 21 yards, an 87-yard pick six, a recovered onside kick and 22 return yards for 143 all-purpose yards.
Carey finished with 16 carries for 130 yards and three touchdowns, one reception for 36 yards and 18 return yards for 184 all-purpose yards. Quarterback Brayden Cousino was 3-of-6 passing for 82 yards and added 16 yards on four carries. Brandon Watts finished with six carries for 31 yards and one touchdown. Cason racked up two interceptions and returned one for a touchdown.
Alsup went 13-of-20 passing for 133 yards and two touchdowns for the Indians.
Groves finished with eight receptions for 107 yards and one touchdown and 163 all-purpose yards. Crouch had three catches for 25 yards and a score.