published Saturday, October 29th, 2011

Tyner Rams in playoffs after loading up on Lions

Tyner is in the playoffs and left Red Bank on the bubble because of the load.

The Rams, pulling out a 26-14 win Friday, clinched second place in District 6-AA along with an invitation to the state's biggest fandango. They'll be in the state's Class 3A field, which is to be announced around noon today.

Tyner finished the season 5-5, winning five of its last six games.

The Rams' "load" offense was just too much for the Lions.

"We started calling it the load offense this week, and that's probably what we'll continue to call it," Tyner coach Wayne Turner said.

The load consists of 6-foot-2, 260-pound Darius Lomnick; 5-11, 250-pound Edward Duckett; and 6-foot, 230-pound Chandler Patrick. As a group, they combined for 33 carries and 150 clock-eating yards along with two touchdowns -- both by Duckett.

After losing two running backs early and then again in the middle of the season, Turner began working on the big-boy offense three weeks ago. Patrick had been penciled in as a fullback, but Duckett got his first carries in last week's win over Howard and Lomnick got his offensive backfield introduction against the Lions.

"Tired? I'm energized," Lomnick said. "Duckett told me to follow his blocks, and running, well, I like it pretty good."

Duckett also scored two TDs last week and added his two Friday on runs of 12 and 3 yards, one in each half.

"I've been practicing in the backfield the last three years, and Coach has had me running the hills hard so my legs wouldn't give out," he said.

The Rams finished with 280 yards on 63 carries with quarterback Willie Harris adding a 22-yard scoring run and then completing his only pass in five attempts on a game-icing 46-yard TD pass to DeDrick Calloway with 1:30 to play.

Just as impressive was the Rams defense, which held the Lions to minus-1 yards of offense and no first downs in the first half.

"We got one heck of an effort from the offense, the defense and special teams," Turner said. "The comeback in the second half of the season came from the kids putting forth the effort. We were counted down and out but these guys focused and tonight we turned it around the old-fashioned way."

Red Bank closed to within a TD on a 27-yard pass from Niquia McDuffie midway of the third period and closed within five points at 19-14 on a 76-yard kickoff return from Kameno Watson with 2:33 to play.

about Ward Gossett...

Ward Gossett is an assistant sports editor and writer for the Times Free Press. Ward has a long history in Chattanooga journalism. He actually wrote a bylined story for the Chattanooga News-Free Press as a third-grader. He Began working part-time there in 1968 and was hired full time in 1970. Ward now covers high school athletics, primarily football, wrestling and baseball and University of Tennessee at Chattanooga wrestling. Over a 40-year career, he has covered ...

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