Signal Mountain's Wilson Leads Eagles To 35-6 Win At Brainerd
Friday, October 4, 2019 - by Joseph Dycus
Leading 14-0, Signal Mountain signal-caller Jack Wilson took the snap and scanned the green Brainerd grass for open targets. Finding none unencumbered receivers downfield, he shifted his gaze to his senior tailback Terrance Russell. He flipped a short dump-off to the halfback, who stuck his foot in the ground and broke right. After shrugging off a couple of Brainerd defenders, Russell used his superior speed to flash into the endzone for Signal’s third touchdown of the half.
Signal Mountain wrecked Brainerd’s homecoming with their 35-6 defeat of the home team Panthers.
Russell was a particular standout, scoring in a myriad of ways. His first score came on a sweep out of the double-wing from the four yard line. After fullback Braden Casner bulled in for the second score, Russell’s dynamic catch-and-run gave him six through the air. He wasn’t done though.
On their first drive after halftime, Russell took the handoff from his familiar wingback slot, and began ripping ot the right. But rather than turn upfield, he abruptly stopped and lofted a pass to 6’5 tight end Rod Hutcherson for an 18 yard score. After a Brainerd turnover gave Signal Mountain the ball again, they embarked on a long drive that lasted most of the third quarter, and ended with another pass to Rod Hutcherson for the touchdown.
Brainerd’s offense struggled for most of the night. They began the proceedings with a shotgun-based attack, which began every play with a wide-receiver cutting across the field for a handoff or fake. After this proved to be ineffective, they turned to an under-center veer offense with two split-backs. After this did not jumpstart the offense, the Panthers finally turned to their last strategy.
The Panthers went to a full-blown spread offense, with one tailback in the backfield and wide-receivers peppering the line of scrimmage. A wide receiver wearing 81 was able to make plays after the switch, catching a nice slant for 28 yards. While few points were scored, Brainerd’s offense had much more success in sustaining drives. In comparison, Signal Mountain rarely varied from their standard double-wing, which featured two backs split out, one fullback, and a couple of receivers.
Brainerd’s efforts were rewarded in the fourth quarter though, when they broke through for their only score of homecoming night. A halfback donning the number two took a handoff and cut to his right. Met by a Signal Mountain defender, he used a Barry Sanders-esque spin move to shake free, and scooted in to paydirt. This gallant effort provided the final score in the contest.