STAR: Alex Doss, Ooltewah, touchdown reception, interception and blocked punt.
Though he had just seen his team defeat Brainerd 32-0, Ooltewah football coach Shannon Williams was hardly pleased.
Also the team's offensive coordinator, Williams was not happy with a slew of penalties and just 242 yards of total offense. If he was upset with the offense's output, he was downright livid that his team had two players ejected.
"We had a couple of personal fouls and ejections there, and I'm a little upset at the way we handled things," Williams said. "That's embarrassing. We had too many penalties and we showed how green we are.
"We had several guys playing for the first time, and they didn't handle the moment very well."
As if catching himself, Williams found something to smile about in his defense, which limited the undermanned Panthers to 87 total yards and forced three turnovers.
"Defensively we played great from start to finish," he said. "To get a shutout in the first game is great. To play that bad offensively and to have that many mistakes says a lot about the defense."
The linchpin of that defense was senior linebacker Alex Doss, whose blocked punt late in the first quarter led to the game's first points on a 5-yard pass from first-year starting quarterback Brody Binder to Colin Self. It was the first of several adventures for the Brainerd punt team, which also had three bad snaps, one leading to a safety early in the second quarter.
The second bad snap led to a 2-yard punt and set up a brief 31-yard Ooltewah drive, culminating with Binder's 13-yard pass to Doss for a 18-0 lead with 35 seconds left in the half. The Owls put together their best drive of the night to make it 25-0 midway through the third quarter, with bullish running backs Desmond Pittman and T.J. Davis doing most of the damage.
Davis scored from 5 yards out.
Doss added an interception.
"I liked our intensity on both sides of the ball, but the defense had a really nice night," he said. "We made some mistakes, but our effort made up for it. The blocked punt was a big early play, and it got us going. We still need to work on our assignments. We missed a bunch, and that's something we have to fix."
Senior Phillip McClain led a balanced Ooltewah running game with 66 yards, with Pittman adding 60 and Davis contributing 53.