published Saturday, August 31st, 2013

Stars' flurry tops Ooltewah's lead

There was a grumbling in the Ooltewah stands at halftime Friday night, moments after Siegel quarterback Dakota Crane had completed a Hail Mary touchdown pass to Denzel Harding to end the first half. The host Owls still led 33-24 after the extra point, but the feeling was that what seemed like a harmless play would come back to haunt them.

And they were right.

The Stars proceeded to run off 34 points in a 12 minute, 9-second span, turning a 17-point deficit into a 18-point lead on their way to a 58-47 victory Friday at James N. Monroe Stadium. Crane was the star, throwing for 274 yards and four touchdowns while running for 68 yards and two other scores.

A week ago, the Stars had watched Blackman score 24 straight points in the second quarter and pin them with a 42-21 loss. This time, they were the ones that went on a scoring spree.

"We knew from practices and scrimmages that we were capable of putting up points," Crane said. "This wasn't an individual performance. It took the whole team for us to make this comeback and get the win."

Ooltewah piled up 401 yards of total offense in the first half, led by 147 yards rushing from Desmond Pittman. Anthony Turner had three of his four touchdown catches in the first half -- including one on a double pass from Brody Binder to Edward Hayes, who hit a streaking Turner for a 69-yard score.

In the second half, though, it was all Siegel. They took the lead on an 18-yard touchdown run by Crane, then stretched that lead to 11 when Weston Hayes recovered a fumble resulting from a bad snap in the end zone.

The Stars finished with 464 yards of total offense.

"We were just trying to find a way to slow them down," Ooltewah coach Mac Bryan said. "We knew there'd be some punch/counterpunch tonight. They complete two Hail Marys -- what are the odds? -- and that plus turnovers are hard to overcome against a good team."

Ooltewah finished with 584 yards of total offense, with Binder throwing for 340 yards. Pittman finished with 222 yards rushing and a score, while Mike Williams had nine catches for 82 yards as well as a rushing touchdown. Turner had seven catches for 163 yards and four touchdowns receiving, while Demontes Earls had a 97-yard kickoff return for a touchdown in the fourth quarter.

"We fought our tails off tonight. I think our kids answered the bell," Siegel coach Greg Wyant said. "We had to make mental adjustments and do the little things, but I was pleased we fought all night."

Contact Gene Henley at ghenley@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6311. Follow him at twitter.com/genehenleytfp.

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