Opposing teams were dropping defenders off by the handful, respecting Chattanooga Christian quarterback Levi Corbett's passing arm much more than the Chargers' running game.
"We have consistently seen guys dropping eight [in coverage]," CCS coach Barry Loyal said.
It was getting old, so Loyal decided it was time that opponents learn to respect the his team's running game despite a very young offensive line.
Instead of throwing as often, Corbett ran, and ran some more, finishing the night of CCS' first win with 158 rushing yards and three touchdowns. He also threw just enough, completing 11 passes for another 121 yards and two more scores as the Chargers upended Sequatchie County 32-27.
For his efforts in CCS winning its first game of the year, Corbett earned Times Free Press Player of the Week honors.
"They were leaving just five guys in the box so we had to try at run the ball," CCS coach Barry Loyal said. "We had done a decent job at that but hadn't been able to get it in the end zone, and then we had also had some fumbles."
Corbett and Jay Simms combined for almost 300 yards, overshadowing Sequatchie runner Blake Cates' 241-yard effort.
"With Levi running, and Jay also had a good night, it made it a little easier," Loyal said.
Twenty of Corbett's 22 rushing attempts were by design, but it was almost an out-of-the-box decision because of Corbett's well-established passing prowess.
"Levi's a big kid, a hair taller than 6-1 and about 170 to 180 pounds. He can run a little bit," Loyal said. "Of course just because you can run it's still hard if you don't have the guys working in front of you. We're playing three sophomores up there and they're learning on the fly."
They contributed to the best rushing night of Corbett's career.
"We just did things a little differently and were taking what was given," Loyal said.
It was out of character for Corbett.
"We just haven't asked him to do it that often. We had some [scoring] opportunities against Notre Dame but then we put it on the ground," Loyal said. "This may be one of the most complete games he's ever had. He's one of the toughest kids on the team although very few people see that. He stands in the pocket week after week and takes his shots. He isn't going down without a fight. He may be the most mentally tough kid on the team, and physically he's gotten bigger and stronger."
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 ...