published Sunday, August 21st, 2011

Alcoa shuts out Cleveland

  • photo
    Alcoa defenders swarm around Cleveland's David Morgan at Maryville High School Saturday, Aug. 20, 2011. Alcoa won the game 21-0 over Cleveland
    Photo by The Knoxville News Sentinel /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

MARYVILLE, Tenn. — The Cleveland defense showed Saturday against Alcoa that its capable of competing against one of the top teams in the state.

The Raider offense showed that it still has a ways to go to be capable of duplicating that statement.

The seven-time defending state champions didn’t blow out the underdog Raiders yet took advantage of any and every mistake their opponent made in a 21-0 win in the first game of the Airport Motor Mile Kickoff Classic at Shields Stadium in Maryville.

Alcoa scored on a halfback pass on their first possession and a second-quarter punt return by Vanderbilt Hambrick. Other than that, they had only one score on a sustained drive, were shut out in the second half and were stopped at their 1-yard line by a hungry Cleveland defense — much to the delight of Cleveland coach E.K. Slaughter and the dismay of Alcoa coach Gary Rankin.

“We didn’t look well-coached out there,” Rankin said. “If we play that way next week [against rival Maryville], it’ll be over Thursday.”

Said Slaughter: “Our defense played great today, but our team battled and never gave up. That defensive stand was huge; they had like three tons of meat in there blocking, but we were able to shut them down.

“I really liked our attitude and the way we stuck together.”

The Alcoa defense was just as strong, however, confusing the Cleveland attack. Quarterback Chad Voytik was left scrambling at times and the team had multiple procedure penalties. Another issue were stalled drives. After the defense’s stop at the 1-yard line, the offense drove the ball to nearly midfield, only to have a second-down pass go through a receiver’s hands for an interception by Cody Lewis.

The Raiders also had two fumbles recovered by Alcoa, and Voytik threw had another interception when an Alcoa defender tripped and fell, only to have the ball fall directly into his hands.

“We just couldn’t stay ahead of the chains,” Slaughter said. “We made a lot of mistakes on offense, but I also think our guys let a lot of people know that we’re going to have a great season here. We just have some things that we’re going to have to fix before next week.”

Contact Gene Henley at ghenley@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6311. Follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/gh3sports

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Humphrey said...

too bad signal mt. won't play Alcoa.

August 21, 2011 at 1:28 p.m.
JSamson7 said...

Humphrey, Signal Mountain would get throttled just the same if not worse...

August 22, 2011 at 4:24 p.m.
sbm362 said...

@Jsamson...+1

<p>@Humphrey...nothing would make me happier than to see Signal get stomped at home and then completely embarrassed at Alcoa.

August 23, 2011 at 9:58 a.m.
JSamson7 said...

@sbm362, Alcoa will lose this week. Maryville owns them as far as overall wins in the series & although they've enjoyed a 2 year winning streak, it's about to come to a crashing end. They'll still win the 3A title & destroy everybody else on their schedule (including a "wack" defending 4A champion in Greeneville), but the winnig streak ends on Saturday the 27th!

August 23, 2011 at 2:45 p.m.
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