published Monday, August 20th, 2012

Hurricanes' 55 not Gatewood's top total

Ted Gatewood of East Hamilton High School watches his team play.
Ted Gatewood of East Hamilton High School watches his team play.
Photo by Alex Washburn.

That 55 points his East Hamilton team scored Friday night is the second-highest production for a Ted Gatewood-coached team.

Gatewood, in his fourth season at East Hamilton and coming off the Hurricanes' first district championship, was the coach at Ooltewah from 1997 to 2004. His 2001 Owls team, which made it to the state semifinals, posted a 57-14 victory over Central.

Friday's loss did not represent the most points Signal Mountain has given up. The Eagles, also in their fourth year, lost 72-35 at Blackman last season. They also have been on the opposite side, scoring 50 or more points 11 times in the 36 games the school has played.

It is possible, if not probable, that these two will play again at some point in November (the playoffs).

Both Gatewood and Signal coach Bill Price have veteran staffs and East Hamilton is a team with an array of experienced talent. Signal Mountain is pretty much a talented but young team hoping to improve weekly and grow up enough to make a postseason run.

It should be interesting this week to see how East Hamilton reacts with neighbor Ooltewah coming to call. The Owls put up a 32-0 shutout of Brainerd last week. Signal Mountain tackles another District 6-AA bully at Tyner, which figures to be especially tough for teams to run on.

• Is Copper Basin back? The Cougars got off to a rousing start with a 41-8 win over Whitwell Friday, thanks in part to quarterback Dylan Boggs, who had touchdown runs of 67 and 4 yards and touchdown passes of 71 and 16 yards.

Copper Basin went three games deep into the 2010 playoffs but faltered with a 3-7 record last season.

The Cougars are at home this week, hoping to avenge a 45-31 loss last year to Sunbright.

• It got overlooked somewhat by East Hamilton's big win and Bradley Central runner Logan Fetzner rushing for 235 yards, but how about Marion County? Mac McCurry's Warriors handed him his first win in Jasper by nipping rival Grundy County.

Marion went 1-9 last year, but the Warriors are only four seasons removed from an 11-3 record under Troy Boeck, who now is an assistant at Signal Mountain. For all the talk, Marion has had winning seasons in six of the past 10 seasons.

Keep an eye on Blake Zeman.

• Another one to watch is at Polk County. Fullback Zach Miller is big -- some might call him beefy -- and while he may not win many 100-yard dashes next spring, the kid is athletic. And he is a bruising runner who showed against Bradley that he is capable of carrying defenders down the field.

• It was good to see that Baylor running back George Porter is back and hitting on all cylinders after being hobbled most of last year with a leg injury. He is a likable youngster and definitely has the burners. However, before opposing coaches start zeroing in on the junior, they should note that the Red Raiders have a talented and versatile rotation of backfield candidates.

And those two big quarterbacks -- Michael O'Connell and Nick Tiano -- are only going to get better. For those who didn't know it, both are at least 6-foot-4 and 215 pounds with rocket-propelling arms.

One has to figure the Red Raiders will have a stiff home test Friday against Bradley Central, which has a flashy runner (Fetzner) and a veteran quarterback (Bryce Copeland).

The scouting report on the Red Raiders' offensive line is that they're not as big as last year but they could be a tad quicker. The OL coach at Baylor, by the way, is former Red Bank head coach Tim Daniels, the ex-Tennessee Vol who took the Lions to numerous playoff games.

• A game to consider seeing Friday is Soddy-Daisy at Red Bank, which originally was scheduled for Thursday.

The Trojans will be looking to redeem themselves after a lopsided loss to Baylor, and the game will be the first at Red Bank for E.K. Slaughter, who coached Soddy-Daisy for a year before moving to Cleveland.

This will be the coming-out party for Lions quarterback Hagen Wilkey, who last year in this game, single-handedly carried Red Bank to a victory.

• The second coming of Ralph Potter will take place when McCallie travels to Athens to play McMinn County.

The veteran coach is back at McCallie after spending the last several seasons coaching Brentwood Academy.

• Not sure just how good that offense at Notre Dame is under first-year coach Charles Fant, but I can guarantee that upcoming opponents will spend a few extra minutes each day on their special teams. The Irish scored three special-teams TDs in a win over Grace Academy last week.

Don't think, though, that Grace will be everybody's pushover this year. Sure, the Golden Eagles lost 52-13 but they also had two 100-yard rushers in Will Slack and Josh Smith and rolled up 402 yards of offense.

• Congrats to Walker Valley and first-year coach Glen Ryan. The Mustangs ended a 16-game losing streak with a 14-10 win over East Ridge.

They'll play at Hixson, another team with a new coach (Jason Fitzgerald) Friday night. Hixson was idle last week when many teams opened the season. Fitzgerald has generated a lot of interest within the community in the 2012 edition of Wildcats.

• Boyd-Buchanan used a team effort in its shutout win at Chattanooga Christian, and for those who have questioned Buccaneers quarterback Jim Cardwell's arm, please note that the junior threw a TD pass and finished with 56 yards in the 41-0 rout.

The Bucs' win overshadowed a fine passing performance by CCS senior quarterback Levi Corbett, who completed 21 of 33 passes (and no interceptions) for 226 yards.

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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