As milestone victories go, this one was anticlimactic. But that was just fine with McCallie football coach Ralph Potter.
In earning the 150th win in his career, Potter's Blue Tornado had the outcome decided before halftime, scoring all of its points in the first half in a 41-6 whipping of visiting McMinn County.
As they exited the field, several McCallie players congratulated Potter, who shrugged off any praise.
"There are no individual successes in this game," Potter said. "That's the great thing about football: It's a team game, and I've been blessed to have a lot of good coaches and players around me for my careeer."
The Blue Tornado wasted no time in taking command and putting to rest the memory of last year's loss at McMinn. After just 10 offensive snaps, McCallie led 21-0 and answered the Cherokees' lone touchdown with three more of its own to close out the first half and begin the second with the running clock.
Once halftime rolled around, the Blue Tornado had scored 96 points in their first six quarters of the season. Neither team's starters played much in a scoreless second half.
"We wanted to come out and take it right to them," Blue Tornado senior fullback and linebacker Andrew Busby said. "As seniors, we know we have a young team, so we try to set the example for how to come out and take control early in a game.
"We all remembered going up there and losing to them last year, so we wanted to make sure we got out early."
On the second play of the game, Busby broke through a hole in the middle of the line and raced 55 yards for a touchdown. McCallie took advantage of a short field on its next two scoring drives, as a 13-yard punt and a fumbled pitch gave the Blue Tornado the ball at the Cherokees' 40 and 27.
McCallie needed just four plays to reach the end zone on its second possession, capped by sophomore quarterback JaVaughn Craig's weaving 27-yard TD run. Craig finished the next drive with a 1-yard run and wound up with seven carries for 74 yards and also threw for 87 yards, including a 62-yard TD to C.J. Fritz.
"I thought we did some pretty good things out there, but we had way too many busted assignments and just things we have to get better at and correct," Potter said. "It's a process. We're young and we're going to get better, but right now we have to find the consistency we need to get there."
Contact Stephen Hargis at email@example.com or 423-757-6293.
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 ...