Even the East Ridge fire department couldn't put out a red-hot Red Bank offense on Friday night.
AD Crutcher was an integral part of a season-best offensive performance for the Lions, who scored on their first eight possessions in a 51-6 Region 3-4A victory at East Ridge.
The junior running back was a nightmare for the Pioneers who were tasked with trying to tackle him. Crutcher scored on runs of 14, 17, 34 and 51 yards. On the latter, he met heavy traffic on one sideline only to sprint back to midfield and speed past defenders to the end zone.
"We really cranked it up at practice this week and moved to more of a fast-tempo offense. I really liked playing in it and ran the ball hard and with passion," said Crutcher, who rushed for 137 yards on 10 carries. "This team is still one to be feared. We are still a dangerous team who can keep up the standard we have the last three to four years if we just keep working and all fight together."
Red Bank's high-octane offense gained 347 yards (274 rushing, 73 passing) on its first 28 plays, scoring all of its points by the 9:37 mark of the third quarter.
With a tough stretch ahead to close the regular season, which includes Fayetteville and East Hamilton over the next two weeks, the results on Friday night were a huge boost for the Lions (4-3, 3-1) who are showing they yet again can be one of the area's toughest offenses to stop.
"I am proud of our kids and coaching staff for making adjustments to help us play faster," Red Bank coach Chris Brown said. "Every time we stepped on the field, we were focused and ready. AD really had a great night and was running with power. A week of great preparation paid off."
Red Bank was sparked right out of the gate by a 50-yard punt return by Josh Blackmon, who set up first-and-goal for his team's first snap. After Crutcher's opening score, East Ridge had its lone answer of the night.
The Pioneers marched 80 yards on seven plays, highlighted by a 45 yard catch by Caldon Harris, who wrestled the deep pass from Jalen Ellis away from a defensive back. Trevion Campbell plunged into the end zone on the next play. However, Josh Blackmon continued his special teams prowess as he blocked the PAT to keep Red Bank in front.
The Lions rolled the rest of the way.
Senior Reco Trimble stood out by accounting for 89 yards on four touches while also making big returns on special teams. Trimble, who has received offers from several Southeastern Conference programs, also had an interception to help set up Red Bank's third score.
Freshman Daune Morris rushed for two scores, and quarterback Joseph Blackmon totaled 103 yards and rushed for a touchdown.
Delmontae Gustus and Kobe Smith each had big tackles for loss just before Trimble's interception, and Morris played strong at linebacker throughout the game.
Jalen Ellis rushed for 60 yards and threw for 89 yards for the Pioneers (1-6, 1-3).