Football teams from Knoxville apparently have a hard time defending the run this season.
Four days after Georgia Tech rushed for 535 yards in a double-overtime loss to the University of Tennessee, McCallie School ran for 491 yards in a 49-22 victory over visiting Knoxville Webb atop Pete Potter Field at Spears Stadium.
"We just took advantage of their defense," said Blue Tornado sophomore quarterback Deangelo Hardy, who scored four touchdowns and ran for a team-high 233 yards. "They couldn't take away everybody. That was our game plan."
Indeed, while Hardy put up the biggest numbers, his were only slightly superior to those of running back Xavier Brooks, who finished with 180 yards rushing and three touchdowns. Throw in 78 yards from Rico Dozier and it's easy to see how hard it is to slow down, much less halt, McCallie's offense.
"We didn't make enough plays," said veteran Webb coach David Meske, whose team did pile up 196 rushing yards itself and gained 288 total thanks to 151 yards and a touchdown from J. Jefferson and 92 passing yards and another score from Hunter Green.
Yet the outcome was only marginally in doubt by halftime, when the Blue Tornado led 35-15 and Hardy and Brooks had 133 rushing yards apiece.
"That's what we're going to have to do to win," said McCallie coach Ralph Potter, whose 3-1 team hosts powerful Ensworth next Friday. "We let it get away last week (at Montgomery Bell Academy). We were a little better tonight."
Knoxville Webb briefly made a game of it in the final half when Morgan Ernst capped a 86-yard drive with a 6-yard run to pull the visitors within 35-22.
But two more Hardy scoring runs ended any doubt and sent a notice to all future McCallie foes that its running attack can overwhelm you.
"D-Lo just did a great job of running the offense all night," said Potter, whose team was 5-of-10 on third-down conversions while holding Webb to 1-of-8 in that category. "He's got great instincts and great speed."
So do Brooks and Dozier.
"We prepped hard all week," Brooks said. "We made lots of mistakes last week. Just wanted to come out and execute."
Yet Brooks also said: "We didn't run it perfect."
Neither did Georgia Tech. But unlike the Yellow Jackets, the Blue Tornado ran it perfect enough often enough to record a victory.
Contact Mark Wiedmer at firstname.lastname@example.org.