› Hixson 14, Sale Creek 0
› Howard 26, Sale Creek 0
› Howard 7, Hixson 0
› Central 8, Ooltewah 6
› Ooltewah 20, Walker Valley 3
› Baylor 3, Central 0
› Soddy-Daisy 14, Walker Valley 0
› Baylor 7, Tyner 0
› Soddy-Daisy 7, Tyner 0
› Red Bank 7, East Ridge 0
› East Ridge 7, East Hamilton 0
› East Hamilton 0, Red Bank 0
If there are any swelled heads among Howard's football Hustlin' Tigers, there better be some ice to bring the swelling down before school's out Monday.
If not, the swelled heads will be gone before practice is done, if not before they hit the field. Second-year coach John Starr all but guaranteed it after his team won twice Saturday at Finley Stadium.
The Tigers, as they should have, put on a show against Class 1A Sale Creek in their opening quarter of the Best of Preps Kickoff Classic jamboree. They followed it up, though, with a 7-0 victory over Hixson, a Region 2-4A opponent they'll see later this year.
As for his team going 2-0, the feisty Starr exclaimed, "I'm not going to mention it, and they better not, either!
"We didn't get much effort and we must develop that mental toughness to finish what we start. If I was looking to see what level we could play at, I'd be disappointed," he said. "I definitely wouldn't call them wins. There wasn't enough hustle to finish. Sure, maybe we gained some confidence, but I hope the guys come to practice with the realization we still have work to do."
Baylor and Soddy-Daisy also went 2-0 despite using junior varsities for one of their two quarters.
- Howard: In a 26-0 win over Sale Creek, quarterback Marquez Williams scored on runs of 25 and 80 yards, and Davontay Davis, a sophomore who looks like he will be a power back before the year is out, added a 43-yard touchdown run. Ellis Robinson returned a fumble 26 yards.
Davis scored the Tigers' touchdown against Hixson on a 1-yard run set up by a 43-yard pass play from Williams to fellow senior Shawn Jackson.
- Baylor: With the wrap-up of camp and looking at a short week of practice, the Red Raiders outlasted Central JV players on a short Taylor Shahan field goal.
They then beat Tyner 7-0 on a 35-yard run by Brendon Harris, the University of Tennessee commitment who probably won't come off the field once Baylor opens the season Thursday against Notre Dame. Harris, recruited as a defensive back, will power the run game but also will be returning kicks and punts.
- Soddy-Daisy: Like many of his counterparts, Trojans coach Justin Barnes elected to play many of his backups against Walker Valley.
Freshman quarterback Isaac Barnes, his nephew, got one of the scores, but the coach said it had been decided that junior Gavin Chambers will be his team's starter. Although his heart jumped into his throat with senior running back/linebacker Ty Boeck tweaked an ankle (later judged to be minor), the coach was most pleased with a 51-yard run against Tyner from Brandon Davis.
- Central: In what had to be considered an upset, the Purple Pounders knocked off Ooltewah 8-6. Central's TD, a 5-yard run by quarterback Michael McGhee, followed a Jaren Wilcoxson fumble recovery. McGhee then completed a two-point conversion. Tracy Odom intercepted a pass.
"If the scoreboard's on, I think it's a win," Pounders coach Cortney Braswell said.
Central, honoring a pregame agreement, played its JV against Baylor and lost 3-0.
- Ooltewah: The Owls' offensive highlight in their loss to Central was Andrew Manning's 47-yard TD reception from Kyrell Sanford. They looked like a different team in the 20-3 win over Walker Valley, starting with Sincere Quinn running 70 yards for a touchdown on Ooltewah's first play.
Jaylin Rogers had a 37-yard interception return for a touchdown and had a sack for a 5-yard loss on the Mustangs' first play afterward. Sanford added a 22-yard TD pass to Cam Chambers, and Tylan Cargle's two carries went for 43 and 36 yards.
The loss to Central was like a slap in the face to the Owls.
"I told them they were flat," coach Mac Bryan said afterward. "And there's no way you can overcome two turnovers in a 20-minute quarter with a running clock."
- Tyner: Some of the coaches congregated in the end zone — some of their teams having played and some waiting to compete — joked that the Rams must be playing despite the absence of longtime coach Wayne Turner.
"He can't be over there (on the sideline). They're throwing the ball all over the field," one of the coaches said with a laugh.
Turner, as has become his style, wasn't showing anything other than the notion that his offense is perfectly capable of putting the ball up if his Ram-Train running isn't up to snuff. The Rams are picked to win Region 3-2A and weren't put off by the losses to Baylor or to Soddy-Daisy.
- Walker Valley: It was simply a dress rehearsal for the Mustangs — get on the bus with all the equipment, get on the road, go play and go home.
Coach Glen Ryan was interested in two things: getting his new players used to the travel facets of the game and avoiding injuries to anyone, including quarterback Kolten Gibson.
It was obvious that Gibson is still getting used to the new receivers and that the Mustangs are still shoring up their defense.
- Red Bank: The Lions defeated East Ridge 7-0. The touchdown came on quarterback Calvin Jackson's 11-yard keeper up the middle.
Red Bank's defense was a force in both periods. The Lions had a sack and five tackles for lost yardage against the Pioneers and added two tackles for loss in a scoreless tie with East Hamilton.
- Hixson: The Wildcats got a 36-yard touchdown run from Tay McDaniel and a 10-yard scoring pass from Jack Julian to Tre Warthen in a 14-0 victory over Sale Creek. The offense mostly sputtered in the loss to Howard.
- Sale Creek: The Panthers struggled offensively in their losses against larger schools Hixson and Howard. One bright spot defensively was lineman Mason Henry, who against Hixson had a sack for an 8-yard loss, a tackle in the backfield for a 2-yard loss and a downfield tackle on a 13-yard pass play.
- East Ridge: The Pioneers bounced back after losing to Red Bank, although the only highlight offensively in their 7-0 win over East Hamilton was Cameron Sanders' 63-yard bomb to Kashawn Cosey for a touchdown on the second play of the period.
- East Hamilton: The Hurricanes struggled mightily on offense. In six possessions in their two 20-minute running-clock periods they were held without a first down. Their longest play covered 7 yards.