The old-school coach in him wouldn't allow Kevin McElhaney to glow too much following his football team's impressive showing Friday night.
A season-opening 25-6 win at Silverdale Baptist was enough, however, for the Gordon Lee head man to see just how far his team has come since last season's 6-2 win over the Seahawks. The Trojans dominated on the scoreboard and in the stat book, outgaining the hosts 311 yards to 39.
Speedy running backs Klay Durham and Adam Vandiver combined for 206 of Gordon Lee's 254 rushing yards, each averaging more than 10 yards per carry.
"Early in the first half we executed well offensively," said McElhaney, whose team was set back by 109 yards in penalties and several kicking-game miscues. "They threw us a wrinkle with a defensive front change and that caused us a few problems, but we adjusted and got back on track.
"Klay and Adam are definitely backs that can hit home runs, and they always run hard. Of course, the offensive line, where we had a lot of new guys, did a great job. We're an older group and we should be ahead of last year. Right now we're about where we thought we would be. "
Vandiver (105 yards on six carries) ripped off gains of 23 and 21 yards on consecutive plays on Gordon Lee's second drive, with Durham scoring from 2 yards out. The ensuing kickoff was short and eluded the Silverdale return team, Gordon Lee's Conard Broom recovering at the 34.
Two plays later Vandiver broke free on a counter play, received a good block from receiver Andrew Johnson and scored standing up. The Trojans increased the lead to 19 midway through the second quarter when Durham scored on a 64-yard run.
A swarming Gordon Lee defense led by Corey Jewell, Randall Smith, Tanner Sexton, Durham and Bryce Bailey produced eight plays of zero or negative yards in the dominating half.
"We stressed all week on defense that we wanted a shutout, and though we didn't get it, we played well together," said Durham, who added 101 yards on nine rushes. "Offensively we executed fine, but penalties killed us. Overall, 25-to-7 looks pretty good to me."
Any thoughts of a Seahawks comeback was quelled when the Trojans took the second-half kickoff 60 yards on 15 plays, with quarterback Ryan Chastain sneaking in from the 1. Silverdale scored its touchdown following a shanked Gordon Lee punt, quarterback Spencer Mossburg running it in from the 2.
Lindsey Young is a sports writer at the Chattanooga Times Free Press who started work at the Chattanooga News-Free Press 24 years ago. He covers the Northwest Georgia prep beat and NASCAR. Lindsey’s hometown is Ringgold, Ga., and he graduated from Lakeview-Fort Oglethorpe High School. He received an associate’s degree from Dalton Junior College (now Dalton State) and a bachelor’s degree in communications from UTC. He has won several writing awards, including two Tennessee Sports ...