McClellan powers Signal past Tyner

McClellan powers Signal past Tyner

August 31st, 2013 by Ward Gossett in Sports - Preps

Signal Mountain opened the 2012 season with back-to-back losses.

The Eagles weren't going to do it again.

With big James McClellan chugging, the Eagles kept plugging and overcame three lost fumbles in scoring territory for a 49-28 victory over visiting Tyner.

"James is a big ol' powerful back, and we run him a bunch," Signal coach Bill Price said after his club evened its record at 1-1.

McClellan, who picked up 155 yards on 32 carries in a two-point loss to East Hamilton last week, turned it up a notch against the Rams. The 6-foot-2, 260-pounder ran for 199 yards on 26 carries and scored once.

"He sets up our offense because people have to respect the middle, and, of course, the offensive line deserves a lot of credit," Price said.

The senior, even at 260 pounds, broke off a 70-yard run that was likely the difference in the game.

"That was probably the one that broke our back," Tyner coach Wayne Turner said. "We had just scored to make it 21-14 and had them backed up on a third-and-long and he breaks that 70-yard run. We knew coming in that he was a load, but you let him get started and he's a runaway truck, and their offensive line does a good job blocking for him."

Six players scored touchdowns for Signal, including a pair from junior runner Hunter Van Dyken, who finished with 74 yards on six carries. Also getting in on the scoring were other running backs Diamez Franklin and Skye Wilson, receiver John Ryan Wilson (30-yard pass from Jack Teter) and defensive back Chris Feemster (14-yard interception return).

Tyner, which rushed for 138 yards, unveiled Haasan Miller and a relatively strong passing game that accounted for 182 yards. Miller scored one and passed for two. Rodney Watson, on the receiving end of one of those scores, finished the night with 113 yards on six catches.

"We made a lot of mistakes -- just killed ourselves on offense. We played well defensively, but only at times," Turner said.

Price was glad to get the win, especially after his club lost three fumbles.

"Wasn't happy about that at all," he said. "But we're a week better than last week."

Contact Ward Gossett at or 423-886-4765. Follow him at Twitter/wardgossett.