East Hamilton earned itself two days out next week. The Hurricanes rebounded from a "sloppy" first half for a 41-12 victory over winless Brainerd.
"I feel good to get out of here with a win," coach Ted Gatewood said. "We got sloppy, but a lot of it was their getting after us and making us sloppy."
He was fortunate, though, compared to Brainerd. The Panthers turned in their best offensive performance of the year with 320 yards -- which left East Hamilton defensive coordinator Steve Garland seething -- but they also got flagged for an astounding 187 yards. The 21 penalties included six personal fouls.
The game hedged on East Hamilton running back Logan Jackson, and the senior responded with his fourth straight 100-yard showing. He ran for 168 yards -- 107 in the 20-0 first half -- and scored a season-high four touchdowns.
He did, however, find the going tough.
"They're an athletic team with a lot of speed and a whole lot of athletic players," Jackson said of the 0-4 Panthers. "You get through the line and there are four-five guys waiting on you."
His season totals at the halfway mark of the regular season stand at 889 yards and 13 scores, and East Hamilton is 4-1 and 2-0 in District 6-AA.
"We were sloppy on both sides of the ball in the first half, but I thought we did a much better job with our assignments in the second half," Jackson said.
The Hurricanes, known for their discipline in addition to the size and talent of their offensive line, were penalized nine times for 77 yards with one personal foul.
"At halftime we talked about doing what we do. We didn't change anything," Gatewood said.
The Hurricanes had just four first-half possessions and scored on three, the biggest flaw coming on a point-after kick that was blocked by the Panthers' Sam Caffey.
They had back-to-back 67-yard scoring drives, the first capped by Jackson's 8-yard run and the second culminating with a 1-yard plunge by quarterback Hunter Moore. They made it 20-0 with 0:58 left in the first half after a Brainerd penalty just prior to a field-goal attempt left them with fourth-and-2 inside the Panthers' 10. They got the first down and Jackson scored from 7 yards out.
Brainerd took the opening drive of the second half 80 yards and got on the board on a 25-yard run by Christopher Davis.
East Hamilton answered on back-to-back possessions, on 6- and 14-yard runs by Jackson, the last coming with 1:46 left in the third period and boosting the Hurricanes' advantage to 34-6.
Brainerd scored on a reverse pass from Ashante McGruder to quarterback Caffey before East Hamilton ended the scoring on a 2-yard run by Matt Milita.
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 ...