published Saturday, August 17th, 2013

South Pittsburg Pirates race past Lookout Valley Yellow Jackets

COALMONT, Tenn. -- It didn't take long for South Pittsburg fans to find out how the football team would look after longtime head coach Vic Grider stepped down after the 2012 season and eventually was replaced by Tim Moore.

The estimated time was about 14 seconds.

That's how long it took sophomore Chase Blevins to find a gap and run 67 yards for a touchdown in the opening game of the Sequatchie Valley jamboree at Grundy County. In the varsity's only action of the evening, the Pirates defeated Lookout Valley 20-0.

South Pittsburg amassed 226 yards on only 16 plays in the 12-minute scrimmage, with Kitt Grider connecting with Anthony Sellers on a 27-yard touchdown pass and Darnez Fitzgerald scoring on a 6-yard run.

"We wanted to come up here, play well and represent our community in good fashion," Moore said. "We definitely wanted to get something out of tonight, not mess around and get some work done.

"We executed well tonight. The guys blocked well and got some different players some looks."

The Pirates dominated the skills competitions, with Corbin Fitzgerald winning for longest punt, Class A Mr. Football finalist Jajuan Lankford as the fastest back and Sam Nelson as the fastest lineman. The longest throw went to Bledsoe County lineman Tristan Dawson.

Chattanooga Christian earned a win and a split in its two quarters, defeating Grundy County 7-6 and tying Bledsoe 7-7. Grundy's host Yellow Jackets defeated Whitwell in the second quarter of action, but coach Nick Bryant wasn't too pleased by his team missing two of three extra-point attempts.

"Those will kill you," he said.

Still, the team was solid offensively, which was an improvement from earlier scrimmages.

"Things were clicking for us," Bryant said. "We were sharp on offense and moved the ball through the air pretty well."

Bledsoe County also showed promise in its passing game, with quarterback Connor Boynton clicking with Nathaniel Collins, Silas Mills and back Bradley Smith, who also had some solid runs.

Sequatchie County defeated Marion County 7-0 in the Indians' first game, as Dylan Harvey threw a 29-yard touchdown pass to Jackson Hamblen. Marion's Warriors came back to defeat Lookout Valley 6-0 later in the evening.

The Indians played Whitwell in the late game.

Contact Gene Henley at ghenley@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6311. Follow him at twitter.com/genehenleytfp.

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