Saturday, October 20, 2012
- by B.B. Branton
East Ridge football coach Tracy Malone wants his players to buy into the philiosophy of all out for four quarters.
Friday night against visiting Chattanooga Central, the men in Orange and White gave their all for four quarters and then some, posting a come-from-behind, 20-13 overtime win in a District 6-AA football game..
Quin Washington caught an Eric McCurdy pass for a touchdown on East Ridge's possession in the first overtime and then DeAngelo Johnston's interception at the 3-yard line of a Dominique Dawson fourth down pass on Central's possession sealed the win for East Ridge (2-7, 2-4) and set off a big celebration on the home sideline.
PIoneer kicker Tad Whitaker had tied the game in regulation, 13-13, with a 31-yard field goal with less than a minute to play to force overtime.
"They never took the momentum from us even when we were down 13-0 and we felt we could run the ball on them," said coach Malone whose team has now won two of the last three games after losing the first six games of the seaon..
Central led 13-7 and had the ball in East Ridge territory with six minutes to play, but Robert McAvoy recovered a Central fumble at the Pioneer 37 with 5:54 remaining in the fourth quarter.
East Ridge running back Alston Toran proved coach Malone right carrying the ball on four straight plays for 31 yards to the Central 32.
A McCurdy to Michael Knox pass play netted 15 yards to the Central 17 and then four plays later Whitaker's second field goal of the night was good from 31 yards out to force overtime.
"I was real nervous on that second kick, but the snap and hold were perfect and the line blocked great and I was able to make the kick," said Whitaker.
Central's Hook and Ladder: Central (2-7, 1-5) took a 7-0 lead at the 2:51 mark of the first quarter as Central coach John Allen went old school with a hook-and-ladder play and a 23 yard touchdown pass from Dawson to Traviunta Trammmell at the East Ridge 19 who, in turn, made a well executed touch pass-lateral to Kevin McKenzie who ran untouched to the end zone and Tareq Faleh's extra point was good for the 7-0 lead.
The Purple Pounders extended the lead to 13-0 early in the second quarter on a 39-yard end run by Trammell, but the extra point attempt failed due to a bad snap.
An interception by Central's Brian Billingsley set up the scoring run by Trammell.
East Ridge took back the momentum on the ensuing kickoff as Toran scampered 55 yards to the Central 45 with 9:12 remaining before intermission.
After a 5-yard penalty on East Ridge, Pioneer quarterback Jo Jo Tillery ran 16 yards to the Central 34. Toran then ran 26 yards for a touchdown on a 4th and 4 and Whitaker made good on the extra point.
Central's last scoring opportunity of the first half ended when Pioneer's Tyler Walden intercepted a Dawson pass at the East Ridge 10-yard-line.
Pioneers Keep Chipping Away: The Pioneers pulled within three at 13-10 on their first possession of the second half as Whitaker's field goal try from 39 yards out was good.
Central once again drove into East Ridge territory, but lost the ball on downs at the Pioneer 24 yard line with 4:21 remaining in the third quarter.
But it was then the Pioneers turn for a missed opportunity as Central's McKenzie intercepted a McCurdy pass on the East Ridge 10 with 8:40 remaining in the game and a 13-10 lead.
Central drove to the East Ridge 32 with McKenzie leading the way with 24 yards on three carries before the Pioneers' McAvoy recovered the fumble to set up the final East Ridge scoring drive in regulatrion.
"Defense - you played enough to win, but the offense didn't execute at crucial times as we should have been able to run out the clock on that long drive late in the fourth quarter," said coach Allen.
Central 7 - 6 - 0 - 0 - 0 ..- 13
East Ridge 0 - 7 - 3 - 3 - 7 -- 20
Central - Kevin McKenzie 23 pass from Dominque Dawson from Traviunta Trammell (Tareq Faleh kick), 7-0 - 1st Q
Central - Trammell 39 run (kick falled), 13-0 2nd Q
ER - Alston Toran 26 run (Tad Whitaker kick), 13-7, 2nd Q
ER- Whitaker 39 field goal, 13-10 - 3rd Q
ER - Whitaker 31 field goal, 13-13 - 4thh Q
ER - Quin Washington 5 pass from Eric McCurdy (Whitaker kick), 20-13 OT
Athletic Whitaker Family: East Ridge kicker Tad Whitaker has lettered in baseball, football, soccer and basketball ... his mother, Krissie Whitaker lettered in soccer, softball and basketball at Milton High School in Alpharetta, Ga. and led her school to the state basketball championship in the late 1970s ... Tad's father, Mitch, attended Brown University to play football, but after an injury, he played football and baseball for the Merchant Marines.
contact B.B. Branton at firstname.lastname@example.org