Alex Crowe kicked a 23-yard field with 10 seconds left to give Ooltewah a 31-28 win over East Hamilton in high school football Friday night.
The winning drive started at the Owls' 9-yard line with 2:59 left in the game. The key play was a throwback screen from Brody Binder to Alex Doss that covered 19 yards on third-and-9.
Crowe made a 29-yard field goal, but a dead-ball encroachment penalty on East Hamilton forced him to do it again, and the senior was pure on the second try, too.
"The second time, I got to get my breath, which helped me," Crowe said.
Ooltewah jumped to a 21-7 lead over the Hurricanes, who had thumped Signal Mountain in impressive fashion in last week's opener. The Hurricanes had a chance to cut into the Owls' edge before halftime but failed on a pass attempt on fourth-and-4 from the Ooltewah 5 when Adam Hubert deflected Hunter Moore's throw in the end zone.
Unfazed by the empty red-zone trip before the half, East Hamilton outscored Ooltewah 14-0 in the third quarter. Logan Jackson's 4-yard run cut the Ooltewah lead in half, and Moore's 9-yard strike to Hunter Parker tied the game.
Ooltewah reclaimed the lead on Binder's 2-yard scramble with 8:43 left in the game.
East Hamilton tied it less than two minutes later when Jackson broke free for a 47-yard score.
After setting the school rushing record with 185 yards in last week's win over Signal, Jackson outdid himself against the Owls. The powerful senior ran for 249 yards on 23 carries and scored twice against the Owls.
The Owls' T.J. Davis tried to answer Jackson, going for 130 yards on 10 carries, including a 62-yard touchdown on his first carry of the game. Ooltewah defender Craig Thompson added a 36-yard interception return for a score.
But Ooltewah coach Shannon Williams said the key was Binder's 154-yard performance on 8-of-18 passing that included an 84-yard throw-and-catch scoring play to Andrew Ware.
"We take an NFL-approach to offense," Williams said. "We run, run, then look for one-on-one situations with guys on the outside. They have to win out there and we did that a couple of times tonight."
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.