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An aggressive, potent rushing attack paced Chattanooga Christian School in its first win of the football season, as the Chargers drubbed injury-plagued Whitwell 55-14 Friday night at David Stanton Field.

CCS fired from the opening whistle in the nonregion matchup, with JaMichael Baxter starting the engine. Baxter quickly burst to the outside on a sweep and raced 50 yards to the end zone on the first drive of the night.

The Chargers (1-2) scored again on a 3-yard run from Javoris Havis and a 59-yard pass from Sam Hall to Damarcus Hinton to take a 21-0 lead in the opening quarter.

"We needed it," CCS coach Mark Mariakis said. "Coming off two losses, we need to get on a roll, so we had a tough week of practice. It was like camp week, and the kids responded well with their attitude and effort. They came out wanting to do their jobs for the team."

Whitwell (0-3) held CCS to one fewer score in the second quarter but still struggled to contain the run while being unable to establish an offensive rhythm of its own. Constantly starting drives deep in their own territory didn't do the Tigers any favors, either.

The Chargers tacked on two more touchdown runs, one each from Hall and Baxter to hit the locker room with a 35-0 halftime lead.

"Our line came off the ball well," Mariakis said. "That's a good-sized line we went up against. Our guys established a good line of scrimmage, and our running backs ran hard. We had a lot of yards after contact."

Whitwell was able to get on the board on the first play of the second half as Cole Burns turned on the afterburners on an 84-yard reception from Thomas Ridge. CCS immediately responded with Roderick Young's 69-yard run on the next offensive play to make it 42-7 with 10:13 left in the third quarter.

Burns scored again for the Tigers on a 35-yard scamper in the final period, but it was sandwiched between two more scores for the Chargers, thanks to runs by Jayden Beck and Preston Powell.

Class 1A's Whitwell hosts 3A's Signal Mountain next week. CCS is off before opening its Division II-AA East Region schedule Sept. 20 at Boyd Buchanan.

Contact Idris Garcia at sports@timesfreepress.com.

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