DUNLAP, Tenn.—Two of the smallest programs made the biggest impression at the annual Sequatchie Valley football jamboree Friday night at Sequatchie County High School.
Whitwell, which hasn't had a winning season in seven years, looked sharp in beating Grundy County 13-0 and battled host Sequatchie County before falling 6-0. Lookout Valley also was impressive, beating Marion County 12-6 but losing 10-8 to Grundy County.
Besides an offense that had three plays of 30-plus yards in the two quarters, Lookout Valley coach Tony Webb was happiest about the fact that his team forced three turnovers and committed none.
"We controlled the ball in both quarters we played and ran it pretty well," Webb said. "This is basically a glorified scrimmage, but I thought we gained some confidence tonight, and that's big for us.
"The kids believe we can be good, so tonight was a step in that direction. I'm pretty excited."
On Lookout Valley's second play of the first quarter, Jamal Jones broke free for a 54-yard scoring run. After Marion tied it on a 51-yard run by Matt Zeman, the Yellow Jackets' Tony Summerow turned the corner and raced 70 yards for the deciding TD.
Against Grundy County, Van Scribner scored on a 2-yard run for Lookout Valley and Jones added the two-point run, but Grundy answered with a 13-yard TD run by Johnny Cook and a safety by Derrick Sanders.
In its win over Grundy County, Whitwell got a 1-yard scoring run from quarterback Justin Havis on fourth-and-goal and Havis passed to Cody Floyd in the back of the end zone for the second score.
Sequatchie County took more than six minutes off the clock before Shane Yother capped the 70-yard scoring drive with a 10-yard touchdown run. Whitwell's ensuing drive was stopped at the Indians' 20 with just 33 seconds remaining.
"This is definitely a confidence boost for the kids," Tigers first-year coach Billy Barnhart said. "We had success on both sides of the ball, but the thing I'm most pleased with was the effort by all the kids. We can work with that."
Defending Class 1A state champion South Pittsburg won both its quarters, beating Bledsoe County 7-0 and holding off Marion County 7-6. The Pirates' TD against Bledsoe was a 49-yard run by freshman reserve quarterback Corbin Fitzgerald, and freshman linebacker Jesse Elledge's interception stopped a Bledsoe drive.
Sophomore Jiajuan Lankford scored midway through the quarter against Marion on a 5-yard run, but the Warriors answered with a 60-yard pass from Matt Zeman to Eric Qualls on the final play of the quarter. The two-point attempt failed.
Stephen has covered local sports in the tri-state area for more than 24 years, having been with the Times Free Press since its inception, and has been an assistant sports editor since 2005. Stephen is among the most decorated writers in the TFP’s newsroom, winning numerous state, regional and national writing awards, including seven in 2013 and a combined 12 in the last two years. He was named one of the top 10 sports writers ...