Battle Of Unbeatens: Red Bank Steamrolls Rhea County

Wilkey Tosses Two TD Passes & Runs For Another As Lions Roll, 36-0

Friday, October 11, 2019 - by John Hunt
Kel Eddins takes the ball in for a Red Bank touchdown.
Kel Eddins takes the ball in for a Red Bank touchdown.
- photo by M.A. Locke

Head coach Chris Brown was nowhere near Red Bank Community Stadium for Friday night’s non-region football game with unbeaten Rhea County while serving a one-game suspension after being ejected from last week’s game at Sweetwater.

Turns out the Lions didn’t need him too much as they clicked on all cylinders while rambling to an impressive 36-0 romp over the Golden Eagles in a battle of ranked and unbeaten football teams.

It was hard to say which was more impressive, Red Bank’s offense or defense as both played outstanding football.

With quarterback Madox Wilkey completing nine of 11 passes for 153 yards and two running backs both surpassing the 100-yard mark, the Lions finished with 499 total yards.  Meanwhile, the Golden Eagles were limited to just 63 total yards, including 57 on the ground and just six through the air.

The Golden Eagles, now 6-1 overall, had been averaging 350 yards rushing before this last game. 

To say the least, this was an old-fashioned whipping with a woodshed being the only thing missing.

Ted Gatewood is now the offensive line coach for the Lions after serving as the head coach at East Hamilton for a number of years.  The popular former All-State Red Bank lineman was put in charge for Friday’s game in coach Brown’s absence.

Turns out he didn’t have to do a whole lot of coaching.

“That was an awesome display of high school football by some of the finest young men I know.  Coach Brown had a great game plan in place, so this win is for him,” Gatewood said while Red Bank players, fans and parents visited among themselves after the game ended.

“You never know what will happen when you’re dealing with teenaged boys, but our offense is starting to click.  We had a solid game plan against a good team, but we had a totally balanced attack and I’m thrilled with the results.  I’m having a ball over here at Red Bank and really thankful to coach Brown for giving me the opportunity to work on his staff,” Gatewood nodded.

While the Red Bank offense continues to click with several outstanding playmakers, none have been any better than Madox Wilkey, a slender 17-year-old senior who broke Jake Ledbetter’s school record last week for career passing yards.

Wilkey was pretty efficient in this last game as he completed the first four passes he attempted in the first and second half and finished with 153 yards on nine completions, including touchdown throws of 25 yards to Kel Eddins in the first quarter and another of 19 yards to Lucas Brown in the third.

He also ran the ball twice for 27 yards, including a 14-yard keeper for a touchdown late in the third quarter that pushed the Red Bank lead to 36-0 and created a running-clock situation for the entire fourth quarter.

“I’ve been around Red Bank football for a long time and I’m honored to have broken Jake Ledbetter’s record and to be at the top of the passing list,” Wilkey smiled following the game.

“We dedicated this game to coach Brown.  I feel like we played pretty well, but I think I can still play better.  I couldn’t do anything without my offensive line, so they get all the credit for my success,” he added.

Rhea County was playing without its leading rusher and also its leading tackler, but it might not have made much difference.  Golden Eagle coach Mark Pemberton didn’t dodge any bullets when discussing his team’s first loss.

“I know we’re all really disappointed, but we aren’t going to dwell on it.  They just whipped us on both sides of the ball,” he told his kids shortly after the final horn had sounded.

“I didn’t see a whole lot of positives on our part as they totally whipped us in the trenches and they were able to break several long runs, but the good news is we still play for a region championship next week,” he concluded, making reference to next week’s home game against Soddy Daisy.

Rhea County took the opening kickoff, but a three-and-out led to a 24-yard punt and Red Bank was in business.

Putting together their longest drive of the game, the Lions marched 70 yards in nine plays, taking almost six minutes off the clock before Wilkey hooked up with Eddins on the 25-yard scoring pass with 4:03 left in the first quarter.  Kyle Smith’s kick made it 7-0.

Smith booted a 29-yard field goal early in the second quarter before DeAngelo Ross darted 77 yards for Red Bank’s second touchdown.

Ross started his run as a sweep to the right, but reversed his field before racing untouched down the left sideline for another Lion touchdown.  The score was 16-0 after a missed kick and that was the difference at halftime.

The Lions put the game away in the third quarter with three more touchdowns, including a 19-yard pass from Wilkey to Brown, a 74-yard run by Reco Trimble and the 14-yard keeper by Wilkey.

Red Bank finished with 499 total yards, including 346 on the ground and another 153 through the air.

Trimble, who also had a 48-yard gain on his next carry following the touchdown, finished with 142 yards on just five carries.  Ross had 101 yards on 10 trips while Lumiere Strickland had 67 yards on 11 attempts.

Brown was the leading receiver with 79 yards on four catches.

The Golden Eagles had just 63 total yards for the game, including 57 on the ground and six through the air.

Ryan Young was the leading rusher with 27 yards on 10 attempts while Dalton Hampton and Nathan Ferry both had 17 yards on eight and 10 carries, respectively.

Young caught the only Rhea County pass for six yards.

Red Bank finished with 16 first downs to just four for the Golden Eagles.

While Rhea County will be at home to host Soddy Daisy next week, Red Bank will be back at home to host Brainerd.

RHEA COUNTY  0  0  0  0  --  0

RED BANK  7  9  20  0  --  36

RB – Kel Eddins 25 pass from Madox Wilkey (Kyle Smith kick), 4:03 left in first;

RB – Smith 29 field goal, 11:39 left in second;

RB – DeAngelo Ross 77 run (kick failed), 5:42 left in second;

RB – Lucas Brown 19 pass from Wilkey (pass failed), 7:51 left in third;

RB – Reco Tremble 74 run (Smith kick), 5:07 left in third;

RB – Wilkey 14 run (Smith kick), 0:11.2 left in third.                   


First Downs 4 16

Rushes-Yards   31-57                                33-346

Passing Yards                                        6                                     153

Total Yards                      63                                     499

Passes (Comp-Att-Int)                      1-7-0                                  9-11-0

Penalties-Yards                                  2-10                                    5-40

Punts-Avg.                   6-34.0                                 1-34.0

Fumbles-Lost                                     1-0                                         3-0


RHEA CO. RUSHING: Dalton Hampton 8 for 17; Nathan Ferry 10 for 17; Ryan Young 10 for 27; Kyle Carr 3 for minus 4.

RHEA CO. RECEIVING: Ryan Young 1 for 6 yards.

RHEA CO. PASSING: Kyle Carr 1 for 7 for 6 yards.

RED BANK RUSHING: Reco Trimble 5 for 142 yards; Deangelo Ross 10 for 101 yards; Lumiere Strickland 11 for 67 yards; Madox Wilkey 2 for 27 yards; Joseph Blackman 3 for 9 yards.

RED BANK RECEIVING: Lucas Brown 4 for 79 yards; Kel Eddins 3 for 47 yards; Lavelle Coffey 2 for 27 yards.

RED BANK PASSING: Madox Wilkey 9 of 11 for 153 yards.

(Email John Hunt at

Red Bank fans cheer a Lion touchdown.
Red Bank fans cheer a Lion touchdown.
- photo by M.A. Locke




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