McCallie Sharp In Jamboree Victory over Soddy-Daisy
Signal Mountain's Phillips Riddles Central Defense For Two TD Passes
Saturday, August 11, 2012
- by Larry Fleming
A McCallie receiver is brought down during their quarter of play against Soddy-Daisy.
- photo by Greg Davick
McCallie football coach Ralph Potter, having returned to his roots after spending five years at Brentwood Academy, stood near midfield at Finley Stadium on Friday night as his Blue Tornado prepared for the 2012 high school football jamboree.
5pt 0pt 0in;">What did Potter hope to gain from McCallie’s 20-minute “period” with a running clock against Soddy-Daisy?
“Nothing,” Potter said. “We do it because it’s the jamboree and a fun event, but in terms of the development of our team it’s really meaningless. What we did in a three-hour practice (Thursday) was more important. We’ve had three scrimmages and we look heavily at those.”
Still, the Blue Tornado looked sharp in whipping the Trojans, 14-0, before a sparse crowd held down by heavy thunderstorms that rumbled through the downtown area about 90 minutes before the jamboree kicked off.
Rain returned later and the final period between Baylor and McMinn County was stopped at 9:55 p.m. with 4:57 left with no score and unsettling flashes of lightning flashing across the sky.
In other action, Bradley Central beat Red Bank, 7-6, Rhea County edged Tyner, 6-0, and Signal Mountain thumped Central, 21-0.
The jamboree continues Saturday with a six-period lineup, starting with Brainerd and Walker Valley at 7 p.m. Following matchups pit Grace and East Ridge, Silverdale and Hixson, Notre Dame and Boyd-Buchanan, Howard and Cleveland and East Hamilton and Franklin County.
McCallie quarterback Nelson Johnston completed five passes for 61 yards and rushed six times for 15. He directed the Tornado’s opening possession 70 yards in eight plays, running for a score from 5 yards out.
The touchdown was set up when running back Alex Trotter galloped 11 yards to the Trojans’ 9. Samir Usman picked up 4 yards before Johnston found the end zone.
Johnston capped another 70-yard drive on McCallie’s second possession, throwing 6 yards to C.J. Fritz for the touchdown.
Potter said he’s glad the Blue Tornado doesn’t open the season next week, providing the team with more time to prepare for the opener at McMinn County on Aug. 24.
“We’re not ready,” he said. “We’re running the ball OK and our option game is ready to go, but not much else. We’re trying to teach our defense quickly because it’s the third defense for our kids in three years and that’s never good.”
Potter played at McCallie for his coach/father, Pete Potter, and became the school’s football after spending three years at Baylor. After 10 years with the Blue Tornado, a stretch that included an undefeated season and McCallie’s lone state championship in 2001, Potter moved to Brentwood Academy. He had two state runner-up finishes with the Bruins.
Soddy-Daisy coach Kevin Orr said, “We’ve got to come together. We have a good group of athletes, but we have got to work hard. Our first three games are as tough as they get.”
The Trojans’ first three opponents are Baylor, Red Bank and Bradley Central.
Bradley Central 7, Red Bank 6: Senior quarterback Bryce Copeland, the District 5-AAA Offensive Player of the Year in 2011, guided the Bears on a 66-yard, 10-play scoring drive on their first possession.
Bradley converted two third-down plays, including Copeland’s 10-yard scramble for a touchdown. When Copeland appeared to be hemmed in near the Lions’ 5, teammate Cal Pickel made a bone-jarring block to clear the quarterback’s path to paydirt.
The Lions’ Khalik Hudson kept Bradley’s drive going when he was flagged for a 15-yard pass interference penalty on a third-and-6 play that moved the ball to Red Bank’s 16.
The Bears open the season on Friday against rival Polk County.
“We’re going to have to play hard every Friday night,” Bradley coach Damon Floyd said.
Red Bank starts the season against Soddy-Daisy on Aug. 24.
Rhea County 6, Tyner 0: The Golden Eagles had a first down at the Rams’ 15 when the offense began to unravel.
Running back Desmond Sharp lost a yard after being tackled by Tyner’s Edward Duckett.
Running back Joby Berry was hit by Lamonte Solomon for a 4-yard loss.
Quarterback Krischam Goins was lost 5 yards when sacked by Joseph Sturkey.
On fourth-and-20 from the 25, Goins threw a touchdown strike to Demitrius Patterson.
Goins completed three passes for 72 yards, none shorter than 22 yards.
“We were a little nervous, a little jittery and the rain didn’t help, but we can’t use that as an excuse,” Tyner coach Wayne Turner said. “We’ll be all right down the road.”
Tyner opens the season against Signal Mountain on Aug. 24 while Rhea County gets started on Friday at defending state champion Powell.
Signal Mountain 21, Central 0: Eagles quarterback Reese Phillips, who has committed to Kentucky, riddled the Purple Pounders defense by completing 8-of-11 passes for 159 yards and two touchdowns.
Phillips startled Central’s defense with a 70-yard touchdown strike to an uncovered Chris Abernathy – his only catch of the period – on the first play from scrimmage.
Phillips also found C.J. Johnson for a 7-yard touchdown toss.
Bulldozing running back Robert Turner’s 14-yard touchdown run was sandwiched by the Phillips TD passes.
Johnson caught four passes for 52 yards and Jamil Mathis snagged three for 37.
“This is Reese’s second year and we expect a lot from him this season,” Eagles coach Bill Price said.
Signal Mountain goes to East Hamilton for its season opener. Central begins the season at Polk County on Aug. 24.
Baylor 0, McMinn County 0: Canadian transfer Michael O’Connor, a junior, shared the quarterback duties with sophomore Nick Tiano. Each player had one series before lightning halted play.
“They’re both competing,” said Baylor coach Phil Massey, who has led the Red Raiders to back-to-back Division II-AA state title games. “They’re both doing positive things. I’m still waiting on somebody to step forward and be the difference maker.
“Right now they’re close. I’m going to continue alternating the quarterback until I feel we’ve got. … We’ve got two non-league games coming up and before we get to the league maybe we’ll be settled in on a quarterback at that time.”
There was no significance to O’Connor directing Baylor’s first drive.
“You shouldn’t read anything into that,” Massey said. “Nick started our scrimmage (Thursday) and the day before that Nick started our scrimmage. Michael’s the older one so I gave him the first shot at starting tonight. But they both got equal time.”
O’Connor completed 1-of-3 passes for 21 yards, barely missing wideout Reggie Upshaw on what would have been a 31-yard touchdown. The pass went just beyond Upshaw’s fingertips at the goal line.
Tiano completed on pass, a 22-yard connection with Isaac White. He attempted two passes.
On Tiano’s first play, the center snap sailed over his head for a 16-yard loss. He saved another high snap three players later and gained 1 yard. The drive ended in a punt.
“We got to play under the lights and we never practice under the lights,” said Massey, who didn’t expect to get much out of the jamboree. “Outside of that, you hope and pray that nobody gets injured. This sort of wraps up our camp and we’re focused on next week going to Soddy-Daisy.”
McMinn County kicks off the season against rival McMinn Central on Friday.
Saturday’s Jamboree Schedule
At Finley Stadium
7 p.m. – Brainerd vs. Walker Valley
7:30 p.m. – Grace vs. East Ridge
8 p.m. – Silverdale vs. Hixson
8:30 p.m. Notre Dame vs. Boyd-Buchanan
9 p.m. – Howard vs. Cleveland
9:30 p.m. – East Hamilton vs. Franklin County
(Contact Larry Fleming at email@example.com)