Lake Clark knows how to make an entrance.
Clark attended middle school at East Hamilton, then transferred. He returned this year, and in Friday night's season opener, he quarterbacked the high school Hurricanes to a 33-13 triumph over rival Ooltewah. The win was East Hamilton's first over Ooltewah on its home turf.
"I've been around East Hamilton," said Clark, a junior who completed 11 of 21 passes for 192 yards and three touchdowns. "This is huge."
East Hamilton scored first, when Juan Bullard broke free on a third-and-12 play and rambled 65 yards for a touchdown with 5:41 left in the first quarter.
Ooltewah notched the next two scores. Jordan Green bulled in from 2 yards with 1:04 left in the opening period, and Garrett Rigsby's point-after gave the Owls a 7-6 lead. Then with 2:52 left in the first half, Ooltewah added to the margin when quarterback A.J. Robinson hit Nick Sullivan from 4 yards out, making it 13-6.
It took the Hurricanes a grand total of one snap to respond. From his own 40, Clark passed to Bullard for a 60-yard catch-and-run. The conversion try missed, though, leaving East Hamilton trailing 13-12.
Clark erased that deficit 37 seconds before halftime, when he hit Jeremiah Flemmons for a 27-yard touchdown pass. Clark took care of the 2-point conversion himself, and the Hurricanes took a 20-13 edge to halftime.
The second half was all Hurricanes. Clark connected with Kaunyae Burgans on a 34-yard touchdown pass with 6:19 left in the third quarter, and Ethan Hixson's extra point made it 27-13.
The final score came on the second play of the fourth quarter, when Flemmons, who got meaningful time at quarterback in the second half, hit paydirt from 6 yards out.
"Lake worked well in the offense and Jeremiah did a great job as well," East Hamilton coach Grant Reynolds said. "It's scary when you've got two quarterbacks who can make plays.
"I thought we played tonight with great heart and great passion. Our coaches put [our players] in good positions, and we did a good job making some adjustments to shut them down."
Contact Bob Gary at email@example.com.