McCallie storms past McMinn County

McCallie storms past McMinn County

August 30th, 2014 by Gene Henley in Sports - Preps

ATHENS, Tenn. - McCallie is not a member of District 5-AAA, but it is 2-0 against football teams that are.

And in dominating fashion.

The Division II-AA Blue Tornado raced out to a 49-6 halftime lead and settled on that as the final score Friday night against McMinn County. That was after a 44-0 dismantling of Cleveland last week.

McCallie had 272 yards on only 23 plays in the first half, while also using a fumble recovery for a touchdown and a blocked punt for another score.

Paul Silverblatt turned a screen pass into a 57-yard touchdown on the Tornado's first possession and scored on a 44-yard run in the second quarter.

"I'm just putting my head down and doing what I'm supposed to do," Silverblatt said. "When I get an opening, I just follow the offensive line -- it's all about them.

"We've had a couple of good tests, but we know we have a lot harder competition coming up."

After Silverblatt's first score, McMinn drove downfield behind the running of quarterback Corbin Powers. The senior had five carries for 33 yards on the drive, but the Cherokees had to settle for a 24-yard field goal by Liam O'Malley.

From that point on, it was all Tornado, who ran off 42 consecutive points. JaVaughn Craig had a 22-yard touchdown run with 15 seconds to go in the first quarter, Alex Trotter had scoring runs of 8 and 24 yards, Nygel Edmonds went 25 yards with the recovered fumble and Tanner Green covered 60 yards on the partially blocked punt.

"We were very inconsistent early," McCallie coach Ralph Potter said. "I thought we made some mistakes offensively, but fortunately we made enough plays to make up for it.

"Our guys know what's ahead of us with our schedule. We have speed, which helps, but I'd love to be able to control the football a little better and be more consistent."

McMinn (0-2) did have some success running the ball in both halves. D.J. Kimpson, who rushed for more than 200 yards in an overtime loss to McMinn Central last week, had another solid day rushing with 105 yards, but the Cherokees fumbled twice on McCallie's side of the field in the second half.

"I think things just snowballed on us," McMinn coach Bo Cagle said. "McCallie didn't physically wear us down; they just had more athletes and we had a hard time tackling in space.

"We have to be able to weather the storm."

Contact Gene Henley at ghenley@timesfreepress.com. Follow him at twitter.com/genehenleytfp.