published Friday, August 12th, 2011

Owls edge Tigers in scrimmage at Finley

Ringgold and Ooltewah played Thursday at Finley Stadium.
Ringgold and Ooltewah played Thursday at Finley Stadium.
Photo by Angela Lewis.

People accustomed to the normal format of the Best of Preps jamboree might have been confused when Ooltewah and Ringgold played a five-quarter scrimmage by themselves Thursday night at Finley Stadium, but over the last four months, "normal" has been a loose term for both schools' communities.

The Owls won 13-10 on a 70-yard catch-and-run by junior T.J. Davis with 10:58 to go in the exhibition played on the eve of the full City Jamboree. There will be six games a day over the next two nights, but Ooltewah pitched the idea to Ringgold coach Robert Akins to play a day early as a chance to raise some money for victims of the tornadoes that destroyed parts of both communities on April 27.

The varsities played the first, third and fifth quarters. The freshman teams played the second; the junior varsities played the fourth.

Ringgold's varsity was held to an Adam Ray field goal on its first possession, but the Tigers' veer offense did cause some problems early in the contest as they marched downfield behind runs from Derrik Baker and quarterback Slade Dale.

Freshman Sky Rogers scored Ringgold's only touchdown in the second quarter on a 3-yard run.

"We moved the ball early but had some mistakes with penalties and putting the ball on the ground," Akins said. "We wanted to see how people were going to defend the veer. We know teams are going to crowd the box, but we have to work some more on our passing game."

Dale finished 4-for-10 for 25 yards.

The Ooltewah passing attack clicked at times with quarterbacks Bradley Stephens and Brody Binder. The two combined for 180 yards in the three varsity quarters, with Stephens completing 11 of 23 throws for 161 yards and the decisive touchdown. Sophomore Desmond Pittman was the game's leading rusher with 39 yards on six attempts.

Callum Wishart kicked two field goals for the Owls.

"I was proud of our defense," Ooltewah coach Shannon Williams said. "I know time of possession was 3-to-1 in their favor, but they had no big plays, we kept everybody healthy and we got some young guys in the game."

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