The first day of the annual high school football jamboree at Finley Stadium is
in the books.
A dozen teams saw action and most coaches were more
than happy with what they witnessed. All
were relieved to have escaped injury free on an evening where there was a
20-minute running clock for each “quarter” and younger, inexperienced players
got a chance to see what it’s like playing under the lights in a big-time football
There were no ties and eight of the 12 teams scored at least
a field goal.
Tyner blanked Silverdale by 14-0 in the first round while
Boyd-Buchanan and Bradley both had 13-0 “wins” over Sale Creek and Howard,
Signal Mountain slipped past McCallie by 10-7 in the best
match of the night while Baylor edged Cleveland by 7-3. McMinn County scored late to defeat a
much-improved Red Bank squad, 7-0, in the final battle.
There will be another dozen teams in action on Saturday
night with Grace and East Ridge opening the slate at 7 p.m. The other matchups take place approximately
every half-hour with Notre Dame-Brainerd, Hixson-Walker Valley, East
Hamilton-Central, Rhea County-Ooltewah and Soddy Daisy-Franklin County to
The regular season opens next Thursday night at Finley when
McCallie hosts Cleveland.
TYNER 14, SILVERDALE 0: Not much has changed for Tyner as
the Rams play hard-nosed football on both sides and they continue to have a group
of talented running backs.
Jaylen Grimes got the first score on a 49-yard run about
three minutes into the action on Tyner’s sixth play. Kevin Cortes added the first of two extra
points and the Rams were on their way.
The Seahawks picked up one first down before punting and
Tyner wasted no time scoring again.
Junior quarterback Emmanuel Moss hooked up with sophomore
Keiontae Halfacre on a 53-yard pass play down the right sideline as Halfacre
raced untouched into the end zone.
A bad snap lost 18 yards on Silverdale’s next drive while a
sack by Shannon Spralls moved the Seahawks back another 11 as Tyner’s defense
really stepped up play on its second time on the field.
“We executed better on offense and we were sharper than we
have been in practice,” said Tyner coach Wayne Turner afterward.
“We always use a lot of running backs, but that was a heck
of a run by Jaylen. He’s doing a great
job, but we have to do a better job tackling.
Tonight we were reaching too much,” the veteran coach added.
Silverdale coach Al Rogers liked what he saw, at least for
his team’s first possession.
“When we didn’t shoot ourselves in the foot, we moved the
football pretty well, but we had too many missed tackles,” he responded at the
Senior quarterback Tanner Webb had runs of six and seven
yards to highlight the Silverdale ground game while Webb hooked up with Hunter
Arnold for a 10-yard gain on their only pass completion.
BOYD-BUCHANAN 13, SALE CREEK 0: The Buccaneers took turns
handing the ball off to Austin Jackson
and E.J. Matthews and both did well as the Bucs piled up 135 yards
Quarterback Cooper Hodge had the biggest gain with a
45-yarder for a touchdown on the Bucs’ second play from scrimmage.
Jackson started things with a 25-yard gain on a sweep before
adding runs of 15 and 10 yards as Boyd-Buchanan marched 77 yards in eight plays
for its second TD, a four-yard run by Matthews.
The Panthers punted on their first two possessions, but
picked up a first down on the third when sophomore quarterback Jeb Hart hooked
up with freshman Chase Poole for a pickup of 12 yards.
Jackson finished with 63 yards on four carries while
Matthews had 27 on five trips.
“We had one too many penalties, but we were trying to move
fast on offense, so that happens,” said Boyd-Buchanan coach Grant Reynolds.
“I thought we played with a lot of heart and overall, I’m really
pleased with our effort,” he added.
“We did okay overall, but we made a few mistakes,” said Sale
Creek coach Ron Cox.
“We were hoping to build a little confidence tonight and we
did. We were running the right
formations, which is an improvement from last year, but the mistakes we made
are all correctable. The good news is
that we didn’t drop our heads when plays went against us,” he added.
BRADLEY 13, HOWARD 0: The Bears had the edge in experience
and it showed, but the Hustlin’ Tigers are working hard to implement a new
offense with first-year head coach Mark Teague and better days are ahead for them.
D. J. Moyse, a bullish 240-pound fullback, pounded into the
end zone from the 4 for Bradley’s first score.
Christian Hamilton had runs of 16, 13 and 4 yards to set up that TD
after Howard was stopped on downs at their own 37.
Sophomore quarterback Cole Copeland hooked up with Tyler Carpenter
on a 35-yard TD strike for Bradley’s second score.
Sophomore quarterback Vincent Bowling showed a lot of promise
for Howard as he completed two passes for 23 yards as the Hustlin’ Tigers
showed what they could do with their no-huddle offense for the first time.
“This was our first scrimmage and I thought our sophomore
quarterback got a little nervous at times, but I’m pleased with what I saw,”
said Howard’s Teague.
“I saw a lot of fixable mistakes,” he added.
“I’m just happy that nobody got hurt,” said Bradley coach
“We didn’t really have a goal in mind other than getting a
little game-experience under the lights.
I’m sure I’ll find something wrong when I watch the film, but I’m pretty
happy with the way we performed,” he added.
SIGNAL MOUNTAIN 10, McCALLIE 7: This was by far the best battle of the night
as the Eagles took advantage of a fumble recovery by Chris Moore to score the
winning touchdown with less than a minute remaining.
JaVaughn Craig hooked up with Tyler Payne on a 28-yard TD
pass into the left corner of the end zone to give McCallie a 7-0 lead with just
under seven minutes to play.
The Eagles got on the board when kicker Josh Patta booted a
37-yard field goal to make it 7-3 and it looked like McCallie might be able to
run off the final three minutes, but Craig lost the handle at the 40 in the final
minute and Moore recovered.
Southpaw quarterback Jack Teter made the Blue Tornado pay
when he connected with Hunter Van Dyken down the middle from the 40 on the last
Kaleb Menzel had a 46-yard run to set up Patta’s field goal.
The Eagles had threatened on their first drive, but another
37-yard field goal attempt by Ben Brown was wide right.
“This was just a scrimmage, but it was good to come out and
compete the way we did,” Signal Mountain coach Bill Price expressed afterward.
“It was really nice to score there at the end. We drove down the first time and didn’t get
anything, so that was a good ending for us,” he added.
McCallie coach Ralph Potter was obviously unhappy with the
way his team performed and he made his point loud and clear in their post-game
“That’s between me and them,” he said when asked what
message he had just delivered.
“I just had to get that off my chest, but we did a lot of
stupid stuff out there tonight. We haven’t
practiced well all week and it carried over to tonight. But I just hate poor execution,” he added.
Maxim Yoah was the leader on the ground for McCallie with 37
yards on six attempts. Craig completed
four of five passes for 65 yards to four different receivers with Payne’s
28-yarder being the longest one.
BAYLOR 7, CLEVELAND 3: The passing game was the difference for
the Red Raiders as quarterback Nick Tiano hooked up with Gage Upshaw twice on
Baylor’s opening drive.
The second one was a nice 41-yard strike down the middle on
fourth-and-5. Another one covering 24
yards got the drive off on the right foot.
Cleveland had a nice drive on its first possession as the
Blue Raiders covered 50 yards in 15 plays, but two straight imcomplete passes
led to a 37-yard field goal by Brandon Romero.
The second unit for both teams played at the end and the
quarter ended without any further threats.
“The good news is that nobody got hurt,” Cleveland coach Ron
“We had a coverage mistake and that cost us on the
touchdown, but overall, it was a positive evening for us. We’ve really been scrambling with injuries,
but this was a good experience for us,” he added.
“The pre-season is behind us and we’ve got to get ready for
our first game, but we saw some good things tonight,” said Baylor coach Phil
“We played with a lot of confidence on offense and we didn’t
want to give up any big plays on defense.
And it was good to get some time under the lights,” he smiled.
McMINN CO. 7, RED BANK 0: These same two teams scrimmaged
earlier in the week and the youthful Lions had the upper hand on Tuesday, but the
Cherokees made up for lost time on Friday night.
It looked like neither team would score, but senior
quarterback Corbin Powers had other ideas as he hurled a 57-yard TD pass to a
wide-open Shymez Brabson on the first play following Red Bank’s second punt
just inside the two-minute mark.
The Lions got a 30-yard gainer on a completion from Caleb
Tate to Malik Davis, but the clock expired before Red Bank could get any
“We hit ours and they didn’t as we just got lucky,”
expressed Cherokee coach Bo Cagle when it ended.
“This was much better than Tuesday when we got embarrassed,
but we played hard tonight and much more like we’re accustomed to playing. We needed that,” he added.
Red Bank coach Chad Grabowski tried to make sure his team
didn’t stay down after the last-minute defeat.
“Good things are happening for us and we just need to keep
our heads up,” he told his kids following the scrimmage.
“We can’t be upset with this as it was basically a
scrimmage. We did okay against a much-bigger
school. The real season starts next
Friday night. We just need to keep
improving, but there’s not much time to do anything when you have a running
clock,” he added.
Tate had a good evening throwing the ball as he completed
six of nine passes for 71 yards to six different receivers. The 30-yarder to Davis was the longest.
Powers was good on all five of his pass attempts totaling 79
yards, but none were any bigger than the 57-yarder to Brabson.
(Email John Hunt at email@example.com)