published Friday, July 22nd, 2011

Area's top 10 prep single-game performances

The best single-game performances in Chattanooga-area prep football history, as ranked by the Times Free Press sports staff:

1. Blake Foster, Ooltewah (Sept. 13, 2002): The senior rushed 24 times for a city-record 359 yards and five touchdowns in a 49-14 win over Central. His scoring runs covered 63, 53, 32, 32 and 19 yards. At the time it ranked second in state history for most yards rushing in a regular-season game. The 5-foot-10, 175-pound Foster had 209 yards on 12 carries with three TDs in the first quarter and 302 and four TDs at halftime, helping the Owls overcome a 14-0 deficit.

2. Jimmy Wigfall, South Pittsburg (1969): In the regular-season finale, the senior tailback accounted for 346 total yards to outduel Marion County's Eddie Brown and help the Pirates rally from 14 points down for a 28-22 win. Only the winner of the game would qualify for the playoffs, and the Pirates used that was the springboard to their first state championship. Wigfall rushed for 192 of his team's 224 yards with scoring runs of 95 and 5 yards, and he completed 7 of 11 passes for 154 and TDs of 68 and 22 yards. He also ran for a two-point conversion and threw for another and made a game-saving tackle, catching Brown at the 5-yard line after a 75-yard run.

3. Bobby Hoppe (Central, 1953): In the ninth game of the season, the top-ranked Purple Pounders hosted second-ranked Isaac Litton of Nashville. Hoppe ran 22 times for 312 yards and four touchdowns -- covering 87, 62, 18 and 2 yards -- in Central's 34-13 victory. That led to the Purple Pounders being named state champions.

4. Keppy Baucom, McCallie (Oct. 6, 2001): With the Blue Tornado playing their first game as the state's top-ranked team in Division II, taking on rival Baylor, the senior linebacker had 23 tackles, blocked a punt and recovered it for a touchdown. He also recovered a fumble that led to another TD in McCallie's 44-14 win.

5. Charles White, East Ridge (Oct. 19, 2001): The senior ran 30 times for 299 yards and four TDs to lead the Pioneers to a 40-38 win over Red Bank and another touted running back, Gerald Riggs. White's TDs covered 52, 17, 16 and 6 yards, and the last one, with 3:22 remaining, was the game-winner. That secured the Pioneers' first region championship, and White eventually broke the city's single-season rushing record with 1,964 yards.

6. Eric Westmoreland, Marion County (Sept. 22, 1995): The Mr. Football award winner proved his worth by contributing in all three phases. He rushed 14 times for 147 yards and three touchdowns, including the winning 38-yard score late in the third quarter, and returned a punt 74 yards for a TD. He added 11 tackles, including a key fourth-down stop of Soddy-Daisy's Jarvis Smith at the Warriors' 30-yard line in top-ranked Marion's 26-20 nonregion win over the state-ranked Trojans.

7. Rodney Ballard, East Ridge (1983): In the second game of the season, the 6-foot, 185-pounder rushed for 324 yards on 15 carries in a 50-14 rout at Cumberland County. Ballard had first-half touchdown runs of 65, 23, 7 and 79 yards and added an 83-yard kickoff return for a second-half score. A month later, he ran for 271 yards on 20 carries, all in the first half of a 39-14 win at McMinn County.

8. Matt Peardon, Boyd-Buchanan (Nov. 28, 2003): Despite frigid temperatures, a light snow falling and a pulled hamstring that had limited him in practice, the Buccaneers' workhorse ran for a school-record 330 yards and four touchdowns on 26 carries. The junior scored on runs of 51, 37, 22 and 9 yards in a semifinal win over Christian Academy of Knoxville.

9. Willie Idlette, Baylor (Oct. 28, 2000): The Red Raiders' quarterback rushed for 332 yards and six touchdowns, covering 69, 1, 42, 5, 29 and 57 yards in a 45-23 win at Christian Brothers. Idlette accounted for all but 65 yards of Baylor's total offense and all but one score -- a field goal.

10. Da'Rick Rogers, Calhoun (Dec. 4, 2009): The senior continued his remarkable playoff pace by catching 10 passes for 218 yards with three touchdowns and blocking a punt to set up another score in a 49-41 semifinal win over Lovett. His TDs covered 44, 28 and 45 yards, and that performance came on the heels of back-to-back four-TD playoff games.

Five other amazing area performances:

Dominique Cook, Northwest Whitfield (Sept. 9, 2000): The Bruins' senior linebacker scored touchdowns on a 63-yard interception return and a 25-yard fumble return and made 17 tackles, including two for loss.

Seth Skogen, Tennessee Temple (Sept. 24, 2005): He had 10 catches for 311 yards and five TDs in a win over Oakdale. His catches, yardage and touchdowns were all Chattanooga-area records.

Gerald Riggs, Red Bank (Sept. 10, 1999): The sophomore rushed for a school-record 321 yards on 30 carries with three TDs and returned a kickoff 80 yards for a touchdown in a win over Hixson.

Patrick Flanagan, Ooltewah (Oct. 23, 1999): He ran for 332 yards and four TDs and also threw for a score in a 34-26 comeback win over Brainerd.

Ryan Sharpe, Rhea County (Oct. 16, 1998): He completed 23 of 29 passes for 378 yards and five TDs with no interceptions in a win over East Ridge.

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