RINGGOLD, Ga. -- Kameno Watson went into Saturday night's annual Stump on Sports Tennessee-Georgia all-star football game thinking it was going to be a lot of fun.
A few hard hits later, the ex-Red Bank star knew this was no party, though the speedy receiver did provide the favors. His 22-yard touchdown catch from McCallie's Trent Lusk with 5:37 remaining lifted the recent Tennessee high school graduates to a 7-3 win over their Georgia counterparts.
"I always thought it was all fun and games, but if they want a rivalry, I guess they got one," said Watson, who had four receptions for 37 yards. "A couple of plays before the touchdown we ran that same play and noticed the safety was playing over the top, so we had a shot for a big play."
Georgia took a 3-0 lead two plays into the final quarter on Heritage's Dustin Lewis' 34-yard field goal. The scoring drive was set up by Sonoraville's Austin Sollicito's interception, just one of several big defensive plays as the total offense did not top 300 combined yards. The Georgia team, in fact, racked up more penalty yards (116) than offensive yards.
Though Tennessee came out on top on the scoreboard, the real winner Saturday was the Ringgold community. The game was the first contested on the rebuilt Don Patterson Field after the April 2011 tornado caused mass destruction on the Ringgold campus.
"No doubt, to be under the lights here with these fans playing football on this field again ... I'm ecstatic," Georgia coach Robert Akins of Ringgold said. "It was really exciting also for the seniors from Ringgold to get to play at least one game here on the new turf."
Desmond Harris, one of those seniors, echoed his coach's thoughts.
"It's awesome," the defensive back said. "It's a nice field and I can't wait to come back and watch the other guys play on it. After the year we had, it's nice to come back and see it completed."
Lindsey Young is a sports writer at the Chattanooga Times Free Press who started work at the Chattanooga News-Free Press 24 years ago. He covers the Northwest Georgia prep beat and NASCAR. Lindsey’s hometown is Ringgold, Ga., and he graduated from Lakeview-Fort Oglethorpe High School. He received an associate’s degree from Dalton Junior College (now Dalton State) and a bachelor’s degree in communications from UTC. He has won several writing awards, including two Tennessee Sports ...