Friday night’s contest between the Lions of Red Bank and the Pounders of Central Chattanooga proved to be a sloppy one for both teams. The two squads combined for twenty-four penalties and seven turnovers, but the Lions were able to take control in the second half. They took the victory in an important district matchup by a final score of 33-7.
Miscues haunted the Pounders from their opening possession of the game. On their first two drives quarterback Ronye’ Watson hit receivers in stride for what were sure to be massive gains, but they weren’t able to come up with the ball.
Later in their second drive, Tristan Odom caught a pass and was spinning upfield for a first down when the Lion defense was able to punch the ball out of his arms. The recovery was made by Kobe Smith, who stuffed the stat sheet in every possible manner.
Smith’s career night was highlighted by a pair of defensive touchdowns. One on a blocked punt in the first and another on a fumble that he recovered from Marquise High in the third. The junior defensive end was simply in the right place at the right time over and over again on Friday night.
Despite the early errors of their opponent, Red Bank struggled to pull away until the tail end of the first half. They had a thirty-nine yard touchdown called back for holding and had one of their own punts blocked.
Central made things dicey when they pulled a touchdown out of a hat in the most improbable of manners. With little more than four minutes in the half, Watson lined up in the gun on third and goal. The ball was snapped way over the sophomore signal caller’s head and he sprinted after it as it rolled towards the thirty yard line. Instead of just throwing the ball away to avoid the sack, he lobbed a prayer towards Tristan Odom who was left alone in the left corner of the end zone as defenders raced to scoop up the fumble. Odom came down with the pass which seemed to hang in the air for minutes at a time, knotting the contest at seven apiece.
This proved to be a wakeup call for the Lions who put on a clinic of offensive efficiency to close out the half. “When we went up 7-0 I think we started to settle,” said first year Coach Ted Gatewood, “That’s something you can’t do against a good team.” “When they tied things up, we stayed the course. We could have hung our heads and shied away from adversity, but we faced it and made the plays that we needed to make,” he continued.
A massive pass from QB Jake Brune to Jaden Baccus helped ignite the stagnant Lion’s offense. He spun away from defenders on a simple out route and was off to the races. Two plays later his team scored on a misdirection out of the pistol formation. They feigned a jet sweep and were able to sneak running back AD Crutcher into the end zone untouched.
Central did themselves no favors with a costly fumble just three plays after allowing the touchdown. Despite the best efforts of the Pounder’s defensive unit, Brune was able to beat the clock with a nineteen yard touchdown pass to Jaden Baccus with just six seconds remaining.
This play gave Red Bank a more comfortable lead, one that they would continue to build in the final twenty-four minutes of play. Central was forced to abandon their initial game plan thanks to the stout Lion line and a less than stellar deficit. Watson, who threw just seventeen passes in last week’s win at Hixson, was forced to air it out thirty-eight times in the contest and had difficulty completing his passes against a secondary that knew what was coming.
Red Bank improves to 4-0 maintaining a perfect 2-0 record in district play while Central falls to 3-2 with a 2-1 record in the district.
CENTRAL 0 7 0 0 - 7
RED BANK 7 13 13 0 - 33
RBHS - Kobe Smith twenty yard blocked punt return (Malachi Stephenson kick 7:05 1st)
CCHS - Ronye’ Watson eleven yard pass to Tristan Odom (Owen Maddox kick 4:07 2nd)
RBHS - AD Crutcher nine yard run (Malachi Stephenson kick blocked 2:19 2nd)
RBHS - Jake Brune nineteen yard pass to Jaden Baccus (Malachi Stephenson kick 0:06 2nd)
RBHS - AD Crutcher twenty-one yard run (Malachi Stephenson kick blocked 6:53 3rd)
RBHS - Kobe Smith thirty-three yard fumble return (Malachi Stephenson 6:09 3rd)
CCHS STATS RBHS
16 First Downs 12
22-34 Rushes/Yards 31-75
199 Passing Yards 148
233 Total Yards 223
16-38-3 Passing (Att-Comp-Int) 11-17-0
13-135 Penalties/Yards 11-125
3-18.3 Punts-Avg. 6-20.5
4-3 Fumbles-Lost 1-1
Rushing: Ronye’ Watson 12-37, Marquise High 9-(-2), Jeremy Bell 1-(-1) (CCHS); AD Crutcher 11-46 1 TD, MarChez Beech 8-27, Daune Morris 4-5, Tyler Berry 3-5, Jake Brune 5-(-8) (RBHS)
Passing: Ronye’ Watson 16-38 199 Yds, 1 TD, 3 Int (CCHS); Jake Brune 11-17 148 1 TD 0 Int (RBHS)
Receiving: Tristan Odom 5-94 1 TD, Larry Henderson 5-38, Houston Boykin 3-33, Judah Villar 1-18, AJ Copeland 2-16 (CCHS); Jaden Baccus 4-75 1 TD, Tyler Wright 4-37, Malachi Stephenson 1-20, Jordan Shaw 1-14, Daune Morris 1-2 (RBHS)