Brainerd, Boyd-Buchanan Among Jamboree Winners

McCallie, Notre Dame Also Impressive While Signal Mountain Shows Promise

Friday, August 11, 2017 - by John Hunt
Brainerd's Xiyeer Lattimore (3) heads up the middle as he tries for yardage against Chattanooga Christian in Friday night's jamboree action. Gaines Tallent  (13) of the Chargers defends on the play. The teams played to a scoreless draw in their quarter of action.
Brainerd's Xiyeer Lattimore (3) heads up the middle as he tries for yardage against Chattanooga Christian in Friday night's jamboree action. Gaines Tallent (13) of the Chargers defends on the play. The teams played to a scoreless draw in their quarter of action.
- photo by Dennis Norwood

After months and months of waiting and wishing it would hurry up and get here, the 2017 high school football season has finally arrived.

Seven local teams gathered at Finley Stadium Friday night for seven, 20-minute “quarters” as they all played with a running clock.

Brainerd, McCallie, Notre Dame and Boyd-Buchanan were all “winners” while the other three ended in ties.

Brainerd opened play with a 7-0 win over Boyd-Buchanan before Chattanooga Christian and Grace battled to a 7-7 draw.  The Bucs then prevailed over the Golden Eagles by a 7-0 score before CCS and Brainerd played to a scoreless draw.

McCallie looked impressive in a 14-0 decision over Notre Dame while the Fighting Irish came right back with a 13-0 win over Signal Mountain.  Then in the final segment, McCallie scored late to force a 7-7 tie against Signal Mountain.

Action continues Saturday with another dozen similar “games” and play begins at 4 p.m. with Sale Creek and Hixson.  Saturday’s complete schedule will be posted at the end of this story.

Jamborees really don’t count for much, but it gives teams a chance to play under the lights in game conditions and it allows them to hit someone other than a teammate.  A lot of second and third teamers also see action just to see how they will react in a game setting and all coaches are always happy when they finish the evening with no major injuries.

The Brainerd Panthers are looking for respectability again after being down the past few seasons and they got off to a great start with a 7-0 win over Boyd-Buchanan.

A lost fumble ended Brainerd’s opening drive, but a sack by Renus Evans on fourth-and-7 game the Panthers possession again at the 39.

Quarterback Tim Burrage rolled to his right and found a wide-open Joseph Norwood in the flat.  The Panthers had the lead after Norwood raced 61 yards for the TD and the Buccaneers were never able to recover.

Eli Morris did complete a 19-yard pass to Miguel Medina as the Bucs moved from the 24 down to the 5 in the final minute, but the clock expired before the Bucs were able to score.

“It feels good.  We made a lot of mistakes, but I’m glad that we came out and competed.  We have a lot of holes to fill, but I think we’re headed in the right direction,” said Ward after that first quarter ended.

Junior quarterback Cade Tinsley scored on a 57-yard keeper with about six minutes gone and Wesley Blandon’s PAT gave Grace a 7-0 lead over CCS, but the Chargers came back and tied it with Dee Hinton scored from the 3 to conclude a seven-play, 70-yard drive. 

Roderick Young’s 36-yard scamper off left tackle was the big play for the Chargers and the score was tied following Ian Gaines’ kick.

Jimmy Green had an interception on the final play for the Golden Eagles.

Medina’s 19-yard run with 7:05 left provided the margin of victory as Boyd-Buchanan rallied for a 7-0 win over Grace.  Eli Terrell added the point-after kick.

Brainerd and CCS then played to a scoreless draw as neither team was able to generate any offense.

Brainerd’s Ward again liked what he saw, but he saw plenty of spots where improvement needs to be made.

“We have to get better up front and we’re still trying to settle in at quarterback as we’re still not sure who the starter will be.   Our defense has carried us so far and we have to rely on that for right now, but we’re going to learn from our mistakes,” Ward promised.

McCallie then took the field and looked really impressive in a 14-0 win over Notre Dame.

Sophomore quarterback DeAngelo Hardy got the Blue Tornado on the board with a 46-yard keepr on McCallie’s first drive and he later added another TD on a 13-yard scamper with just over two minutes to play.  Alec Earp booted both extra points.

Notre Dame proved they have some really good players, but they just never found their way into the end zone.

“That was alright,” said McCallie coach Ralph Potter afterward.

“I was pleased, but not satisfied.  We have a bunch of younger guys in their this year and we have to be patient with them, but we did some good things tonight.  DeAngelo Hardy has a good arm, but he’s going to make his money with his legs,” the veteran coach added.

Notre Dame came right back to post a 13-0 win over Signal Mountain and Irish coach Charles Fant liked what he saw.

“We wanted to play well against McCallie and we did, but we got a little winded against them.  It’s hard to come right back and play well, but we did against Signal Mountain as we have a bunch of resilient kids.

“Landon Allen is our starting quarterback, but T.J. McGhee is right on his heels.  Both of these guys have really strong arms and we’ve moved to an Air Raid offense this year as we’ll throw it a lot.  We have a chance to have a pretty good team,” Fant added.

The senior McGhee scored on a keeper from the 1 while sophomore Dallas Brown added a second TD in the final minute on a run from the 2.

The Eagles weren’t able to generate much offense against Notre Dame, but they came back strong against McCallie and scored their only touchdown on their first possession.

Quarterback Tom Vatter hooked up with Travion Williams on a 59-yard pass play across the middle with Scott Payne’s kick making it 7-0.

McCallie had a three-and-out in its first possession, but they came back strong the second time.

Following a Signal Mountain punt that was downed on the 13, sophomore DeDarrius Mason raced 83 yards before finally being dragged down at the Eagle 4.

Zack McAteer then scored on the next play with 1:55 left as Earp’s PAT tied it.

Signal Mountain coach Josh Roberts felt pretty good, despite not having a win to build on.

“All of those Friday nights from now on is what matters to us, but we have 10 games to get better,” Roberts told his squad in a post-game chat.

“I saw a lot of good stuff tonight, but we need to play as a team more.  We’ve been waiting seven months for today to get here and I’m pretty sure we’ll get there, but we were pressing a little early and that hurt us.

“We played two really good teams tonight and I liked the way we competed.  These guys really like each other and are willing to do the work to make things better.  We aren’t just trying to rebuild a team, but a program that’s done great things in the past,” he added.

Here is Saturday’s complete schedule:

4 – Sale Creek vs. Hixson

4:30 – Howard vs. Sale Creek

5 – Howard vs. Hixson

5:30 – Central vs. Ooltewah

6 – Walker Valley vs. Ooltewah

6:30 – Central vs. Baylor

7 – Soddy Daisy vs. Walker Valley

7:30 -- Tyner vs. Baylor

8 – Tyner vs. Soddy Daisy

8:30 – Red Bank vs. East Ridge

9 – East Hamilton vs. East Ridge

9:30 – East Hamilton vs. Red Bank

(Email John Hunt at


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