CHATSWORTH, Ga. - The Ringgold Tigers needed work on their passing game, coach Robert Akins knew, despite the Tigers' gaudy 5-1 record starting the 2013 season.
With a vulnerable North Murray defense providing little opposition, the Tigers finally got the kinks out of their passing game while still rushing for 390 yards in a 49-27 victory Friday in beautiful Mountaineer Stadium.
Tigers quarterback Slade Dale did not complete a pass until the second quarter but wound up throwing for 165 yards and two touchdowns. He also ran for 111 yards with a scoring run of 58.
The Ringgold offense was a four-headed monster Friday, as Kile Sholl rushed for 171 yards with an 85-yard score, D.L. Goins scored the first touchdown and had his first 100-yard game and wideout Christian Plott caught four Dale bombs for 139 yards and a touchdown.
"Hats off to the offensive line," Akins said. "They all did their jobs, and we played very well offensively. We had to because they kept coming back.
"Glad to see our passing game click. I wish we'd seen it sooner," Akins added. "But tonight, we got some vertical stretches that we haven't been getting, and against some pretty good defensive backs."
Akins was not happy with his younger players, who contributed heavily to North Murray's four second-half touchdowns with mistakes on both sides of the ball. But the Hinton McConkey-led Mountaineers are going to be returning eight players on offense next year.
Ringgold left nothing to question after a big 21-point second quarter that was largely Dale. After running for 58 yards and a score to make it 14-3, he completed his next drive with a 6-yard screen pass to usual linebacker Dakota Baer and then closed out the half with a beautiful 29-yard streak pass to Plott in the back corner of the end zone.
Sholl's two touchdowns offset North Murray's two scores in the third quarter, and Ethan Dalton closed out the night's scoring for Ringgold with a 3-yard run with 7:36 to play.
McConkey, who passed for 199 yards for the Mountaineers, had touchdown passes of 47 yards to Darius Towns and 12 yards to Payton Swilling in the closing minutes.
The two teams combined for well over 900 yards of offense, 555 of it belonging to the Tigers. Now 4-0 in Region 5-AAA play, the Tigers play Coahulla Creek on the road next week.
Contact David Jenkins at firstname.lastname@example.org or 423-757-6293.