An offseason of work and a summer of sweat became the first Friday night of the 2013 high school football season. Did it matter that the games were still practice and the scores will be little more than an after-thought when the season begins in Tennessee next week? Of course not.
Friday night at Finley Stadium, teams, coaches and players got to hit someone else. They got to celebrate and hear the buzz of the crowd. It did not count, of course, but that was only in the standings.
It was the first step in the march toward possible state championship dreams for the 10 area teams that played miniscrimmages before the excited crowds of the Best of Preps Jamboree. Practice? Hardly.
Whether it was more ceremonial than consequential, it was still the start of the season. The start of high school football season, that is. And that's as good a reason as any to have a celebration.
After a scoreless first period between Brainerd and Silverdale, Cleveland scored twice, incluing a 79-yard connection between college prospects Austin Herink and D.J. Jones, in shutting out Boyd-Buchanan. Herink looked sharp throughout the period, throwing for nearly 200 yards and Jones also added an interception on defense.
McCallie edged Signal Mountain 7-0 and Bradley Central took advantage of two Tyner interceptions to claim a 7-0 win. Brett Standifer connected with Dee Crisp on a 19-yard score and Baylor Terrell picked off both Rams passes.
In the nightcap, Baylor's Nick Tiano continued to take control of the offense in a 14-0 win over Franklin County. Tiano hit Gage Upshaw on a 30-yard pass, then capped the scoring drive with a 14-yard screen pass to George Porter, who added a four-yard TD run later.
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