Rain started falling with four minutes to play and nourished the spirits and attitudes of both Notre Dame and Chattanooga Christian.
The CCS Chargers earned their first win of the year with a 30-28 victory over the Irish in a game that turned out to be more physical than finesse -- an oddity for both teams.
The Chargers rushed 61 times for 268 yards just one week after they threw 39 passes in a loss. Fullback Jay Sims gained 142 yards on 27 carries and scored twice in the win. Beau Simmons -- one of the area's leading receivers -- ran 12 times for 40 yards and a touchdown.
He also caught five passes 118 yards and touchdown in addition to kicking a first-quarter field goal.
"I didn't even practice in the backfield all week," said Simmons, soaked in rain and sweat. "We were playing man-on-man football. We got a lot of power yardage."
Simmons' 5-yard touchdown gave the Chargers (1-2) a 30-21 lead with 4:22 to go. Then the skies opened up with a downpour. Zero unsportsmanlike penalties were called up to that point. The game produced five in the shower.
"It was a nice, friendly game; then a couple plays guys lost their heads," Sims said. "Our line, we owe it to them and they worked them up on the front. Then I did my job and got the ball down the field."
He scored from 4 yards out to pull CCS within 14-10. Sims scored again from 5 yards out in the third quarter following penalties that appeared to give the Chargers a fifth down: They should have had fourth-and-2 from the 5, but they were given third-and-7 from 10.
Either way, the game moved on. And it didn't go the way the Irish (2-1) would have liked.
Quarterback Josh Moore completed 5 of 11 attempts for 86 yards a touchdown to Matt Reilly. Tailback Shaqualm McCoy had a fine evening with 15 carries for 145 yards, including touchdown runs of 67 yards in the first quarter and 30 yards in the third.
"We played as hard as we could, but we couldn't pull it off in the end," McCoy said. "It got personal. CCS is one of our biggest rivals."
But the Irish earned only 13 first downs and punted five times, compared to 22 first downs and two punts for the Chargers.
"We never got in a rhythm offensively," Notre Dame coach Josh Sellers said. "It was a matter of trying to set something up, and we could never get to the point to set that up."
David Uchiyama is a sports writer at the Chattanooga Times Free Press who began his tenure here in May 2001. His primary beats are UTC athletics — specifically men’s basketball and athletic department administration — and golf, which includes coverage from the PGA Tour to youth events. He also covers other high school sports, outdoor adventures, and contributes to other sections of the newspaper when necessary. David grew up in Salinas, Calif., and began working ...