If Friday night was a dress rehearsal for the Baylor football team, then coach Phil Massey has a lot to look forward to this season.
Quarterback Nick Tiano was sharp, and the Red Raiders won 7-3 over Cleveland in the fifth quarter of the Best of Preps jamboree at Finley Stadium. The Mississippi State signee was 3-for-4 passing, including a 40-yard touchdown throw to junior Gage Upshaw on the game's first possession.
Cleveland responded with a 15-play drive that culminated in a 35-yard field goal by Brandon Romero. Both teams played their starters in the first possession before turning it over to reserves.
"We came out of it injury free," Massey said. "We saw some good stuff out there. Nick looked good, and on defense we didn't want to give up any big plays and didn't."
In his first game action, Cleveland senior quarterback Austin Massey completed passes to Skylar Davis and Eric Goodwin, and running back T.J. Parker had some tough runs for the Blue Raiders.
• McMinn County 7, Red Bank 0: Cherokees senior QB Corbin Powers fired a 58-yard touchdown pass to Shymez Brabson on the team's third possession with 1:51 to go for the game's only points.
Red Bank's Caleb Tate had completions of 33 yards to Malik Davis and 13 to Ben Brown in an attempt to rally, but the Lions ran out of time. They looked good on both sides of the ball, however.* Tyner 14, Silverdale 0: The Rams were said to be less quick than Wayne Turner-coached teams of the past, but they used a pair of big plays to put the Seahawks away in the jamboree's opening quarter. Senior fullback Jaylen Grimes brok a 51-yard run outside right tackle, and Emmanuel Moss hooked up with Keiontaie Halfacre on a 53-yard score.
"We'll go probably three-deep among the running backs all year, rotating them a series apart," Turner said. "That's just the way I've always done it. Our guys do a great job running for us -- give us what we need, although they may not be among the area leaders at the end of the week."
• Boyd-Buchanan 13, Sale Creek 0: The Buccaneers looked sharp against a vastly improved Panthers team, which is in its second year of varsity football. Four-year starting quarterback Jim Cardwell's replacement for the Bucs, junior Cooper Hodge, finished off a 45-yard scoring run with a savage stiff-arm near the 5-yard line. They also got a 4-yard TD run from junior E.J. Matthews.
"E.J. has been with us since kindergarten, but he's been playing behind guys like [graduated] Chase Reed," Boyd-Buchanan coach Grant Reynolds said. "Cooper is a big, strong physical kid that reads the option well for us. He's progressing well. If we can keep everybody healthy, I think we could be a decent football team."
• Bradley Central 13, Howard 0: The Bears are still figuring out if they'll be a run- or pass-dominated offense and got a TD from each approach. D.J. Moyse scored on a 4-yard run and Cole Copeland threw a 35-yard scoring pass to Tyler Carpenter.
"We're going to do whatever it takes to move the football," Bradley coach Damon Floyd said. "I wish I could tell you. In our spread offense, we'll look at the defense and take it from there, but we have to get better at running the football. At times we look like we can, and then there are times when we look like we can't run it. We still have a long way to go before next week."
Bradley sophomore Trevon Hill made the night's most spectacular play, grabbing a pass while lying on his back.
"I don't know how much he'll contribute this year, but he's going to be a guy to watch in years to come. We're expecting big things from him," Floyd said of the 6-foot-4, 185-pounder.
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 ...