If he had ordered a steak and baked potato for his pregame meal, Tyner football coach Wayne Turner probably would've gotten a burger and fries.
It's the way his night went.
His Rams fed the win column, but it didn't come in the fashion their coach had preached about and made clear he desired. It was as if his impassioned pregame speech went in one ear and out through 50-plus pairs.
In a 39-21 victory over visiting Central, the Rams threw two interceptions and fumbled twice. They were penalized six times -- twice in possession-altering situations -- for 60 yards. They got burned on big-play passes.
"For two weeks now we have slopped around, but we have got ourselves back in the [playoff/district championship] picture," Turner said. "We have got to get back on track for East Hamilton."
Tyner, which ends the regular season with three straight road games, plays at East Hamilton a week from today, and the District 6-AA title could be hanging in the balance.
The Rams got themselves in a pickle with a loss last week to Hixson, which plays at East Hamilton tonight.
If there were redeeming factors beyond winning and staying in the race, it was Turner's team's ability to rally from a 14-point deficit for a 21-all halftime tie and their scoring 32 unanswered points. They held the surprising Pounders scoreless over the last two quarters, finally breaking the deadlock with 18 fourth-quarter points.
"Central came in and really battled hard," Turner said. "You have to give them a lot of credit, but I'm proud of the way we played, especially in the fourth quarter.
Central surprised the Rams with a 95-yard touchdown pass from Dominique Dawson to TaQuan Johnson with 5:43 to go in the first. Tyner rallied, though, with a pass of its own, a 32-yarder from Willie Stewart to Sadik Spence.
The Pounders then went to the air again, this time 44 yards from Dawson to Traviunta Trammell, and their third touchdown came on a 23-yard pass from Dawson to Kevin McKenzie.
The Rams rallied to tie on a fourth-down 32-yard pass from Stewart to Spence and a 13-yard run by Kalen Hardley.
Following a scoreless third period in which each team missed a couple of scoring opportunities, Tyner took over. Spence, who also had an interception during the game -- in his own end zone -- caught a 32-yard pass from Stewart, Lamonte Solomon returned an interception 27 yards and Courtney Heard scored on an 11-yard run.
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 ...