published Monday, August 26th, 2013

Gossett Blog: An exciting opening week; Colquette gets 250th

What a way to open the high school football season.

A 90-point game on Thursday, a three-overtime game and a nip-and-tuck battle between two likely powers and an 84-point finale Saturday and two of the three days dotted with lightning and rain and crossed with thunder.

McCallie outlasted Cleveland 55-35 on Thursday, East Hamilton blocked a field goal in the final 30 seconds to preserve a 14-7 victory and Ringgold outlasted Dalton in a three-overtime thriller and Boyd-Buchanan kicked a field goal on the game's last play to survive a shootout (43-41) with Red Bank.

N It probably went unnoticed because of all the offense, but McCallie didn't punt a single time in its victory over Cleveland. The Blue Tornado put up 599 yards of offense, according to Gene Henley's stats, 388 of that coming from JaVaughn Craig, the sophomore making his first start at quarterback.

The teams combined for more than 1,000 yards of offense.

Don't you think that both McCallie coach Ralph Potter and Cleveland coach Ron Crawford will concentrate on defense this week? Ditto for Boyd-Buchanan's Grant Reynolds and Red Bank's E.K. Slaughter.

  • Cleveland quarterback Austin Herink, a member of the Times Free Press Dynamite Dozen, was just 17 yards shy of the single-game passing record for area schools, throwing for 478. The record is 495 by Bradley Central's Brent Copeland in 1996.

Speaking of quarterbacks, Jim Cardwell is again going to be a thorn in the side of Boyd-Buchanan opponents. He had 317 yards of offense with five TDs in the Bucs' win over Red Bank. Without him, it wouldn't have been much of a contest.

Ditto for Red Bank rookie quarterback Michael Robinson, who rushed for 217 yards and passed for another 79.

  • Notre Dame players and supporters are praying for good news today from doctors after quarterback Alex Darras went down with a knee injury in their season-opening loss at Knox Catholic. The guess here is that versatile receiver/running back Kareem Orr will spend a lot of time taking snaps in practice this week although backup quarterback Clay Heltzel is OK

after also going down against Catholic. Irish coach Charles Fant said Heltzel and lineman Joe Dossett will be ready to play despite sitting out last week's second half.

The Irish will open their home season Friday against East Ridge.

  • As he would desire, Ken Colquette secured his 250th career coaching victory Friday. His record now stands at 250-81 with a win percentage of .755.

Colquette, best remembered for his phenomenal run at Marion County that included state championships in 1992, 1994 and 1995, is in his first year at Sequatchie County. The Indians went on the road to open the season and defeated Community 40-3 in a monsoon. They had a 1-4 record in their last five openers going into Friday's game.

I believe the next closest for career wins in the Chattanooga area, at least among active coaches, is Tyner's Wayne Turner at 190-44, and then Signal's Bill Price at 169-100.

  • For those who didn't notice, it appears that referees are keeping a closer eye on the chop block along the line of scrimmage. Personally saw it called three times.

Along the rules lines, the leave-for-one-play rule when a player's helmet comes off is apparently still in effect for high schools. A similar rule has pretty much been written off in college ball.

  • For the first time since it began varsity competition in 2009 Chattanooga Christian won a season opener, beating Grace Baptist Friday night.

The longest streak for season-opening wins for Tennessee teams in the Chattanooga area is 13 for Baylor. Ooltewah has won 11 straight followed by South Pittsburg with nine, McMinn County with seven and Boyd-Buchanan with six.

  • A couple of players you might want to see before the year is out: Boyd-Buchanan running back/linebacker Austin Jackson and Red Bank defensive end Courtney Stamper.

Jackson is the son of former Brainerd coach Stanley Jackson and is on a talent track that should make him the more famous of the two. Stamper is raw talent that will only get better the more he plays. Both will attract college recruiters before they're through.

Contact Ward Gossett at wgossett@timesfreepress.com or 423-886-4765. Follow him at Twitter/WardGossett*

about Ward Gossett...

Ward Gossett is an assistant sports editor and writer for the Times Free Press. Ward has a long history in Chattanooga journalism. He actually wrote a bylined story for the Chattanooga News-Free Press as a third-grader. He Began working part-time there in 1968 and was hired full time in 1970. Ward now covers high school athletics, primarily football, wrestling and baseball and University of Tennessee at Chattanooga wrestling. Over a 40-year career, he has covered ...

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