Some of the top college football programs in the country have been recruiting Montgomery Bell Academy running back Ty Chandler.
He proved his worthiness in MBA's 33-27 overtime victory at McCallie on Friday night. The top-ranked Big Red defeated the Blue Tornado for the third straight time, including the quarterfinals of the Division II-AA playoffs last fall.
Chandler rushed 41 times for 270 yards and scored four touchdowns, including the tying score late in regulation and the winning score in overtime.
"He's never rushed it that many times," MBA coach Marty Euverard said. "He wanted it. He kept telling the backups to stay on the sideline."
McCallie (2-3, 0-1) had a chance to win the game in the final minute when MBA faced fourth-and-1 from the 7-yard line. Following its last timeout, Chandler earned the yardage. He scored two plays later, and an extra point tied the game with 31 seconds left.
"I thought about going for two, but I wanted a timeout," Euverard said. "We had a play up our sleeve, but we needed to talk about it so I went for one."
McCallie had the ball first in overtime. But Charles West intercepted Robert Riddle's pass into the end zone, giving MBA a chance to win with its defense on the sideline.
Riddle, who split time at quarterback last week with JaVaughn Craig, took 60 of McCallie's 63 snaps. Craig had the other three and made several game-saving tackles in the secondary.
"Robert has been playing really well," McCallie coach Ralph Potter said. "He fits better right now. We're transitioning JaVaughn into a receiver, and he's exceptional in the secondary."
Riddle completed 21 of 30 passes for 309 yards and rushed five times for 19 yards and a touchdown. McCallie receiver Rico Dozier caught nine passes for 144 yards, and Ty Hall caught six for 88 yards. Maxim Yeoh led the Tornado runners with 50 yards on seven carries and a touchdown. Shawn McColley rushed 13 times for 42 yards and two touchdowns.
"This loss hurts super bad," McColley said. "We practiced real hard to beat these guys."
Riddle guided the Blue Tornado on an eight-play, 80 yard drive to open the game. He capped the drive with a 1-yard run behind the right side of the line.
MBA needed 63 seconds to score behind the strength of Chandler, who is ranked by one recruiting service as a top-10 running back in his class.
Chandler scored from 31 yards out to tie the game less than four minutes into the game. He also was carrying the ball when he collided with McCallie junior Blaine Pritchett, who required immediate medical attention as he lay on the turf. Trainers called for a stretcher, but several minutes later he stood up, walked off the field and sat down in a golf cart.
A first half that lasted 94 minutes also suffered several technical difficulties with the Spears Stadium clock and confusion on several calls by the officials, including one on a two-point attempt by McCallie.
In between the delays, Chandler scored on a 3-yard run. McCallie pulled within 14-13 on a 4-yard run by Maxim Yeoh following a 52-yard Riddle-to-Dozier connection.
McColley gave McCallie a 19-14 lead on a 3-yard run 4:12 before halftime.
Chandler continued to play a big role in the Big Red's offense in the second half, but MBA took a 20-19 lead on a Chapman Malone 7-yard reception from Glenn Coleman.
The Blue Tornado took a 27-20 lead following McColley's second rushing touchdown of the night and a two-point pass from Riddle to Tynelius Hall.
The Big Red continued riding Chandler down for the game-tying touchdown.
And then the winner in overtime.
Contact David Uchiyama at firstname.lastname@example.org or 423-757-6484. Follow him at twitter.com/UchiyamaCTFP