The Ooltewah Owls used a combination of highly charged lightning and crushing thunder to strike Soddy-Daisy from the ranks of the area's unbeaten high school football teams Friday night.
Ooltewah won 58-14 on the Trojans' home field.
Owls senior quarterback Brody Binder lit up the sky with an electrifying five touchdowns and 312 passing yards, while senior running back Desmond Pittman provided the ground-shaking power in rushing for 130 yards and two touchdowns.
In the District 5-AAA opener for both teams, Ooltewah (2-1) gained control by midway through the first quarter, riding Binder's arm for a 14-0 lead on two scoring drives of 70-plus yards that took a total of 4:32 of game time. Binder hit Mike Williams on a 29-yard strike before finding Edward Hayes on a 21-yard scoring pass.
"We've been a pretty explosive offense all year, and I thought Brody had a heck of a night in moving the ball downfield," Owls coach Mac Bryan said. "Of course, Desmond ran the ball hard. Even with them packing seven guys in the box, he's hard to handle.
"We did a pretty good job of moving the offense. We snapped it 51 times in the first half, and that's moving it pretty good," added Bryan,whose team finished with 477 yards on 66 total plays. "I thought they did a good job of trying to take Desmond away. But we have some good team speed and Brody had a heck of a night."
Soddy-Daisy, which had shown great resilience in its first 2-0 start in nearly a decade, responded with a touchdown on the next possession, with Levi Thorton hauling down a 10-yard TD pass from junior quarterback Hunter Maynor.
Binder, who was afforded tremendous protection from the Owls front line, used only 55 seconds of game time to push the lead to 21-6, engineering a 72-yard drive that ended with his 25-yard scoring pass to Anthony Turner. Less than two minutes later, Pittman cashed in a fumbled punt exchange deep in Trojans territory, rushing to the end zone from 18 yards out.
"They came in here 2-0 and it was a district game. We wanted to come out strong," Binder said after finishing 22-for-24 passing. "Our line was great. I can't say enough about the time they gave me."
Binder hit Hayes for a 23-yard score with 38 seconds left in the first half to put an exclamation point on what had been a thoroughly dominating performance. The only area where the Owls had some difficulty was the rare occasion when they were forced to punt. Soddy-Daisy tallied a safety when Austin Goins ran the Owls punter out of the end zone with just under six minutes left in the half.
The highlight reel on Binder's night was closed out when he hit Turner on a 56-yard bomb to push the Owls' advantage to 40 with 5:30 left in the third quarter.
"It was a district win and big win for us," Pittman said. "They had seven guys in the box. The air game really opened things up for us. It really helped to provide me with my two touchdowns."
Maynor, who finished with 149 yards on 16-for-26 passing, hit Tre Carter with a 8-yard scoring pass with 8:53 left in the game. But Ooltewah closed out the scoring on Demontes Earls' 45-yard run with 38 seconds left in the game.
"Not much of a game of the week, was it," Trojans coach Justin Barnes said. "We knew they were very explosive. Mac and his staff do a great job. They have their program where we want to be."
Contact Greg Thompson at email@example.com or 423-757-6293.