In a first-ever football meeting between Signal Mountain and Red Bank, Signal's Eagles literally ran away with the neighborhood bragging rights Friday night on Tom Weathers Field.
With 484 rushing yards, the visitors stayed close to the ground on offense and added two touchdowns on defense in their 63-0 pounding of the Lions.
"We looked at this game as a rivalry, and I knew I had to make big plays and give it all I had," said Signal Mountain's Diamez Franklin, who rushed for 157 yards and scored on runs of 50, 53 and 54 yards.
"I've got some friends on the other side. We shook hands before the game and then it was a battle," added Franklin, who also blocked a punt that teammate Cale Shelton recovered for a 14-0 margin seven minutes into the game.
"This was the first time Signal Mountain and Red Bank have played ,and it was a big deal for us," said Signal coach Bill Price, who is a Red Bank alum and spent several years coaching at his alma mater. "I thought the defense played really well, especially in the first half."
Half of the points scored by the Eagles (3-1) in the first half were courtesy of their defense. Chris Feemster took an interception 61 yards for a touchdown near the end of the first quarter, and Chris Moore scored on a 22-yard interception return with 1:44 remaining before halftime.
With the Red Bank defense keying on 260-pound Eagles running back James McClellan, Signal Mountain called on the speed of Franklin to open the second half with his scoring runs on consecutive touches.
Franklin capped off his night with his final TD run in the fourth quarter before giving way to a pair of freshman backs. Skye Wilson scored on a 62-yard run and Garrett Hensley closed out the night with a 39-yard scoring jaunt.
"We were able to get some freshmen in the game toward the end, and they did a good job," Price said.
Quarterback Malik Davis led the Lions (1-3) with 138 rushing yards.
"They are a good team and we need to put this one in the rear-view mirror," Red Bank coach E.K. Slaughter said. "I believe this team is going to do great things, and I believe this team is going to compete for a district championship. That starts next week, and that's all that matters. We are 1-0 in the district.
"This game stinks and we would like to beat a rival, but we are going to rip the rear-view mirror off and move forward."
Contact Greg Thompson at firstname.lastname@example.org or 423-757-6293.