Logan Jackson just loves to run the football and he's doing a very good job of it so far.
Granted, it's just three games into the season and it's still August, but the hard-running senior for the East Hamilton Hurricanes is making life tough on opposing defenses.
He had gained more than 425 yards in games against Signal Mountain and Ooltewah. Thursday night in his team's first District 6-AA contest at Central, he gained another 155 yards on 11 carries and all of that came in the first half.
As it turned out, the high-octane Hurricanes didn't need his services after intermission as they improved to 2-1 overall and 1-0 in 6-AA with the 49-3 victory.
Jackson's first touch came on the first play of the game and it resulted in a 70-yard TD run down the left sideline. He gained 32 yards on the same call on East Hamilton's second play and he had runs of 3 and 8 yards before quarterback Hunter Moore put it in the end zone from the 1.
Meanwhile, Central had its best drive and scored its only points early in the first quarter. Perhaps a key play was a roughing the kicker penalty against the Hurricanes which kept Central's drive alive, but a 30-yard pass from Dominique Dawson to Traviunta Trammell moved the ball from the Central 41 to the East Hamilton 29.
Eight plays later, sophomore Tareq Faleh booted a 35-yard field goal to draw the Purple Pounders within 7-3 with 4:58 showing in the first stanza, but it never got any closer as the Hurricanes took advantage of a stronger and bigger offensive line in addition to a stable of talented and hungry running backs.
The difference was 28-3 at the half while it had increased to 42-3 when the third quarter ended.
Chaz Holsey made his only carry count as he raced 29 yards for East Hamilton's final TD with eight minutes to play. Cameron Carter's seventh-straight PAT made the final 49-3.
"They're big and they're really good," said Central coach John Allen shortly after the final horn sounded.
"The Jackson kid may be the best running back in Hamilton County as we didn't stop him all night. Our punter did well. We've got to find a way to win a game real soon because these kids have worked to hard not to. Someday, this will be a game worth watching," Allen concluded.
East Hamilton coach Ted Gatewood liked what he saw for the most part.
"It was a solid team effort. I thought we were focused from the start, but you never know who's gonna get off that bus. We had a lot of kids step up and make some big plays and be aggressive, but we still made way too many little small mistakes that will kill you in a close game.
"We need to learn how to finish four quarters of football and I thought we did that tonight. We came up short last week, but I liked what I saw. I had to get some of my younger guys some reps as we hope it's a long season.
"A lot of kids got valuable playing time and that's important at this level," Gatewood concluded.
While Jackson was the workhorse for the Hurricanes with his 155 yards, Lamond Greer added 71 yards on 10 trips while Holsey's only attempt netted 29 yards and a TD.
Sophomore Matt Milita had four straight carries to gain 30 yards for the Hurricanes to end the third quarter, the last of which included a 7-yard dash into the end zone for East Hamilton's sixth touchdown.
Moore had a minus one yard rushing on six attempts, but three of those carries came from the 1 and all resulted in touchdowns. He also had an outstanding game throwing the ball as he completed eight of 10 passes for 110 yards and one touchdown.
Tony Francois and Austin Gatewood both had two grabs for 35 and 34 yards, respectively, while Alonzo Francois, Quinn Griffith, Cody Knox and Bailey Lenoir all had one catch with Lenoir's eight-yarder the first touchdown of the second half for the Hurricanes.
Michael Ray and Sean Montgomery both had 26 yards rushing for the Pounders while TaQuan Johnson added 20 yards.
Trammell was the leading receiver for Central with two grabs for 43 yards while Jaylan Hobbs had another for 10 yards.
East Hamilton finished with 392 total yards, including 282 on the ground, and 14 first downs.
Central accumulated 121 total yards, including 68 on the ground and finished the game with eight first downs.
Central will be at home again next Friday to host the Cleveland Blue Raiders while East Hamilton will head up I-75 for a key battle with the Bradley Bears.
EAST HAMILTON 14 14 14 7 -- 49
CENTRAL 3 0 0 0 -- 3
EH -- Logan Jackson 70 run (Cameron Carter kick), 11:39 left in first;
CEN -- Tareq Faleh 35 field goal, 4:58 left in first;
EH -- Hunter Moore 1 run (Carter kick), 3:52 left in first;
EH -- Moore 1 run (Carter kick), 9:01 left in second;
EH -- Moore 1 run (Carter kick), 0:15.9 left in second;
EH -- Bailey Lenoir 8 pass from Moore (Carter kick), 3:34 left in third;
EH -- Matt Milita 7 run (Carter kick), 0:13.5 left in third;
EH - Chaz Holsey 29 run (Carter kick), 8:00 left in fourth.
(Email John Hunt at email@example.com)