M.J. Reynolds was getting antsy. The Gordon Central quarterback had been on the sidelines too long during the opening quarter and a half Friday night at Lakeview-Fort Oglethorpe, and he wanted the football.
LFO dominated the early going, but the visitors made two strong early defensive stands and Reynolds, once unleashed, passed for four touchdowns as Gordon Central earned a 28-6 Region 5-AAA win. In doing so, coach Chad Fisher's team became the first one in school history to start a season 5-0.
"We had the ball for maybe nine plays over the first 18 minutes, so it took us a while to get going," Fisher said after handing LFO its first loss after four wins. "I'm so proud of the guys. Holding them out of the end zone early was big. Getting to 5-0 gives us an opportunity to think about what might happen. LFO is a very good team, so the guys should be proud."
Reynolds, held to 95 yards in the first half, finished with 261 and three touchdowns while also leading the team in rushing with 62 yards and another score. He, like his coach, was proud of the rally.
"I wanted to be on the field, and once we started rolling we made some big plays," Reynolds said. "This is a great win, especially becoming the first team to be 5-0."
LFO ate up six minutes in the game's opening drive as senior tailback Pooh Harden and quarterback Trey Silmon ran hard behind the team's huge line. However, four penalties (a harbinger of things to come) helped stall the drive, and the hosts had to settle for a 28-yard Kyle Trego field goal.
A Gordon Central fumble early in the second period led to another long LFO drive, this one reaching the 6 and again stalling. Down now 6-0 late in the first half and managing to that point three first downs, Gordon Central finally managed to drive with 1:28 left in the half. Reynolds hit Bryan Brookshire for 42 yards on third-and-15 and two plays later hit Brookshire again for an 8-yard touchdown and a 7-6 halftime lead.
That momentum picked right up in the second half as he led the team to three touchdown drives in four possessions. His 10-yard scoring pass to Tyshaun Clemmons capped a 67-yard drive as the Gordon Central screen-passing game came to life.
Midway through the final quarter, after an interception of a Silmon fourth-down pass, Reynolds scrambled for a clinching 15-yard touchdown run and finished his big night with a 45-yard touchdown pass to D.J. Prather late in the game.
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 ...