Jacob York scored two touchdowns and Rhea County got off to a solid start in Mark Pemberton's debut as head coach by defeating Ooltewah 14-7 in the Best of Preps Football Jamboree at Finley Stadium on Saturday.
The Golden Eagles used their wing-T attack to throw off the Owls, with York scoring on runs of 37 and 24 yards. Prior to the first touchdown, Austin Dotson and Demetrius Patterson hooked up on a long touchdown pass that was called back because of a penalty.
"We came in expecting to compete," Pemberton said. "The guys had a good camp and have progressed every week. Tonight doesn't mean much, but it is a confidence builder. Our M.O. is to control the football, but what we do depends on what the defense gives us.
"I think we're headed in the right direction."
On the Owls' scoring possession, they converted a fourth-down around midfield, and Desmond Pittman rumbled in from 8 yards out.
• Hixson 27, Grace Academy 0: The Wildcats wasted no time imposing dominance, as Isaiah Robinson sprinted through a hole off right tackle and outran the defense down the sideline for a 70-yard touchdown on the first play. After Grace lost a fumble on its first play, Hixson needed just two plays to find the end zone again, this time Preston Wilkey connecting with Austin Gilkey for a short scoring pass.
Gilkey added a 3-yard scoring run to cap Hixson's third drive, which was highlighted by a 50-yard run by Marshall Cooper.
• Walker Valley 14, Howard 0: The Mustangs picked up eight first downs and held the Hustlin' Tigers without one. The touchdowns were 13- and 2-yard runs by Preston Wilkey, and he had a 24-yard scoring run on the final play of the 20-minute period called back by a penalty.
Wilkey and Chandler Hunt each had two runs of more than 10 yards for Walker Valley, and Tanner Dillard and Colton Morrow had one apiece. Howard quarterback Terrance Brooks had a 50-yard run called back because of a penalty.
• East Hamilton 0, Notre Dame 0: A quarter between two of the city's best offenses turned in to a kicking contest as both teams wound up punting after each of their three series. Notre Dame did have a 27-yard run by junior Kareem Orr, but failed to follow up with another first down.
• McMinn County 13, Red Bank 0: The Cherokees' first three plays were a 25-yard run by Trevor Crisp, a 15-yard run by Dre Sanders and a 19-yard run by Corbin Powers. Two plays later, Sanders scored from the 2.
Crisp tacked on a second touchdown, scoring off right tackle from the 1 on the final play from scrimmage. McMinn County's Hunter Davis and Red Bank's Courtney Stallworth had fumble recoveries on consecutive plays late in the period.
• East Ridge 0, Soddy-Daisy 0: In the final quarter of the jamboree, penalties and defense ruled, as the two teams combined for 71 yards of offense with 30 of those coming on a scramble by East Ridge quarterback Jojo Tillery on the final play. Trojans quarterback Hunter Maynor had a solid night in the pocket, but both he and Tillery had potential long pass plays marred by drops.
Stephen has covered local sports in the tri-state area for more than 24 years, having been with the Times Free Press since its inception, and has been an assistant sports editor since 2005. Stephen is among the most decorated writers in the TFP’s newsroom, winning numerous state, regional and national writing awards, including seven in 2013 and a combined 12 in the last two years. He was named one of the top 10 sports writers ...