East Hamilton's Hurricanes ran when they wanted to, ran when they needed to and basically ran wild Friday night.
Spearheaded by Logan Jackson's 207 rushing yards, East Hamilton ultimately ran past visiting Tyner 37-6 in their District 6-AA high school football game.
The victory puts the Hurricanes (7-1) at 5-0 in the district standings with a road trip to Red Bank (4-4, 4-1) and the district title in the balance next week.
"Our most important focus is the next football game," East Hamilton coach Ted Gatewood said. "If something is hanging with that, so be it. We're not going to talk about it. Our goal is to improve from week to week."
Jackson gave an indication of things to come with a 13-yard run on the first play. The possession ended with a 29-yard field goal by Cameron Carter.
After the Hurricanes held the Rams to a three-and-out with a short punt, Jackson ran 35 yards for a touchdown on the first play of his team's next possession. Hunter Moore's sneak on fourth down from the 1 at the two-minute mark of the second quarter and Carter's ensuing extra point made it 17-0 at halftime. That 26-yard drive was set up by one of two East Hamilton interceptions in the first half, this one by Tre Herndon.
"We do some stupid things sometimes that hurt ourselves," Tyner coach Wayne Turner said. "We're not that good of a football team to recover from those kinds of things against good people."
The Rams did come out to start the second half with a 12-play, 80-yard drive capped by Joseph Sturkey's 4-yard scoring run that cut the defecit to 11. But the 'Canes answered with a 58-yard scoring march on 10 straight running plays, the last Jackson's blast in from the 2.
"We talked about how we've got to make plays and we've got to answer adversity," Gatewood said. "That was some adversity and we had to work to overcome it."
Gatewood credited East Hamilton's offensive linemen for offering helpful feedback when he held talks with them between series. Jackson's 29th and final carry was a 6-yard touchdown run, right after fullback Dallas Hammond had a key 32-yard carry on second-and-14, and Matt Milita capped the scoring with a 67-yard touchdown run.
"They get after you," Turner said. "They play the game the way it's supposed to be played. They don't let up. They keep the pressure on you."
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.