For the first time this season, the Signal Mountain football team failed to score in the second half, and Eagles coach Bill Price took it in stride.
"We wanted to get here, secure the win and get out with everybody healthy," he said after a 58-14 victory at Chattanooga Christian in which the Eagles (6-0) led 58-7 at halftime. "We got a few nicked up and lost one for next week, but we pretty much did what we needed to do."
They also pretty much did what they wanted to do, rolling up a 37-7 lead in the first quarter.
"It was a little hard to focus in practice because we were coming off a big win [over South Pittsburg] last week," Eagles quarterback Hogan Whitmire said. "We tried to keep our heads right. We were a little sluggish early, but we picked it back up."
Whitmire turned in game-like numbers although he was held out in the third and fourth quarters. The senior completed six of eight passes for 256 yards and four touchdowns. The two incompletions were drops.
"It was a pretty good night, but last week was a pretty good game, too," Whitmire said. "The big thing for us was that everybody played and everybody came out pretty healthy."
Signal Mountain was simply overwhelming. The Eagles scored on their first seven possessions with Whitmire passing to Jon Patton, the team's leading receiver, for two scores. Will Queen and Reese Phillips also caught TD tosses.
Patton boosted his point total to 48 by returning an interception 65 yards.
The Eagles went up 14-0 less than four minutes into the game on back-to-back 60-yard pass hookups with Patton and Queen, and the Chargers' highlight play of the night - a 71-yard pass from Jared Swafford to Beau Simmons - cut the Signal lead in half.
"We had a corner[back] fall down," Price said later.
From there it was 44 consecutive points for the Eagles, who finished with 445 yards of total offense (398 in the first half). The onslaught included a safety when the CCS punter kicked the ball through the end zone and scoring runs by Gervell Morgan (19 yards), Zach Bowman (32) and freshman James McClellan (1).
The second Chargers score, a 37-yard pass from Swafford to Max Steurmer, came against Signal's second team, which played the entire second half.
"We have some work to do. We were a little ragged at times," Price said, referring to the final two quarters.
The echoes of the final horn had barely died down before he started on next Friday's District 6-A home game against Marion County.
"District championship; 7-0; home-field advantage," Price told the team. "That's what we're playing for next week."
Contact Ward Gossett at firstname.lastname@example.org or 423-886-4765.