The Signal Mountain Eagles earned their wings Friday night. Or at least they certainly winged it.
With the host Tyner Rams geared for Signal Mountain's vaunted ground attack, the Eagles went to the air early and then unleashed the hounds late in dominating the Rams 35-0 last night on Tyner's Wayne Turner Field.
Eagles quarterback Jack Teter was 7-of-10 for 135 passing yards with two touchdown tosses in the first half as Signal Mountain cruised to a 21-0 lead at the break. And once Tyner adjusted to the Eagles' passing, they went back to steady and reliable once again, finishing with 220 yards on the ground, including Nathan Johnson scores covering 15 and 44 yards to salt it away.
Defensively, Signal Mountain (2-0) was relentless in holding Tyner to 98 total yards with eight sacks.
"We've been working a lot on our passing game in practice. We know we are a dominant running game, but if we can pass like that, we are going to be a lot better football team," said Teter, the senior quarterback who finished 9-for-15 for 153 yards.
Added Signal coach Bill Price: "We did what we had to do. But I'm really proud of the defensive effort. Tyner is going to be OK. They played hard, and I know Coach [Wayne] Turner will get them going."
The Eagles took their opening drive 74 yards with Teter finding John Ryan Wilson all alone on a 24-yard toss and catch. Hunter VanDyken made a 9-yard TD catch from Teter to open the second quarte, and Skye Wilson added a 2-yard run for score for the 21-point halftime lead.
"We did a poor job of tackling and wrapping up. I thought we hit them, but then we didn't finish it off," Turner said. "Their hurry-up offense got our guys out of position on several plays, and that was a lack of effort on our part."
Tyner (0-1) did have an impressive drive to open the second half, but a dropped pass in the end zone and back-to-back sacks killed the lone scoring chance. From there, the Eagles turned to Signal Mountain football. Johnson's first score came on a fourth-and-5 when everyone expected pass only to see the diminutive scatback take it home from 15 yards out. He finished with 71 rushing yards in the second half (six carries for 76 yards for the game).
Linebacker Chris Moore had 14 tackles for the Eagles while William Franklin led the sack brigade with a pair and Chris Feemster had a sack and helped on another. Feemster also had an interception.
Tyner never has shied away from strong competition, and this was the Rams' 25th loss in the last 13 years against a higher classified team. The Rams have lost only 37 total games in that span.
Tyner must rebound in a hurry against Hixson next Friday, while Signal Mountain will try to move to 3-0 against Bledsoe County.
Contact James Beach at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Jim Tanner has worked as assistant sports editor at the Times Free Press since late 2006. He started at the Times Free Press in 2001 and worked as a news copy/design editor from 2001 through 2006. In addition to working as a night and weekend editor producing local and national sports coverage for print and online readers, Jim occasionally writes local sports and outdoors stories. Jim grew up in Ringgold, Ga., and is a graduate ...