It may not come as a surprise that a talent like Cleveland quarterback Chad Voytik registered 273 yards of total offense in a high school football game, although it may surprise some that most of those yards came on the ground.
Voytik, who has committed to play for the University of Pittsburgh, ran for a career-high 156 yards Friday and accounted for five of the Blue Raiders' six touchdowns in a 41-6 whipping of previously unbeaten and host Red Bank.
Voytik, motivated by having seen Cleveland get outscored 83-13 by the Lions the last two seasons, had touchdown runs of 44 and 2 yards and the Blue Raiders went to halftime leading 14-0. He capped a 69-yard scoring march after the second-half kickoff with a 9-yard scramble, then threw 12 yards to D.J. Jones with 3:32 left in the third quarter for a 28-0 lead.
"I remember coming over here as a sophomore," Voytik said. "I was out of the game because of a shoulder injury from the previous game against McMinn County. A lot of our studs were out that game, too, and we got beat 52-6. Last year my finger injury occurred against Red Bank. It was homecoming and we lost bad again. You really don't forget that."
Voytik's last touchdown was his most spectacular, hurdling a diving defensive back around the 17-yard line, then tightroping the sideline on the way to a 21-yard touchdown with 6:11 to play.
Even though Voytik said he hasn't had many 100-yard rushing games, Cleveland coach E.K. Slaughter said he doesn't know how running could be an underrated part of his quarterback's game.
"He's averaging 7 yards a carry for the year," Slaughter said. "He's made some great runs and he made some good runs tonight."
Voytik's averaged 13 yards on each of his 12 carries Friday and was 10-of-19 passing for 117 yards.
"I thought Chad had a breakout game," Slaughter said. "Things finally started clicking around him."
Slaughter said some things have changed offensively from the beginning of the year, most notably incorporating a fullback.
"We used to do a lot more spread, with four wides," Voytik said of the Blue Raiders' offense early in the season that included more receivers. "Now we're under center a lot more. It's more of a pro style, but we'll mix in some spread."
It worked well enough for Cleveland (3-3) to produce 385 yards of offense. Meanwhile, the defense limited Red Bank (4-1) to 140.
Not to leave out special teams, the Blue Raiders' other touchdown was a 71-yard return by Jones with the kickoff after the Lions scored, and Jonathan Terero stopped a fake punt for no gain on a fourth-and-1.
Red Bank's touchdown came on a sneak by Niquia McDuffie with 1:23 remaining in the third quarter. Then the Lions had to kick off from their 25 because of a penalty.
Kelley Smiddie is a sports writer who has worked at the Times Free Press for 12 years. He covers high school sports and softball. Kelley’s hometown is Chattanooga, and he graduated from Brainerd High School and graduated Chattanooga State and UTC. Contact Kelley at 423-757-6653 or firstname.lastname@example.org.