Howard, Baylor, Soddy Daisy Win Twice In Jamboree

Nine Shutouts Recorded As A Dozen Teams Battle At Finley Stadium

Saturday, August 12, 2017 - by John Hunt

All the preliminaries are in the book.  The pre-season scrimmages are a thing of the past and the final dress rehearsal is now over.

It’s time for the real action to begin as high school football in Tennessee approaches its first week of regular-season action.

A weekend of prep jamboree action ended Saturday night at Finley Stadium as a dozen local teams got a chance to play two, 20-minute quarters.

Three teams won both of their quarters, three others lost twice while four others went 1-1.  Red Bank went 1-0-1 while East Hamilton was 0-1-1 as these two teams played to a scoreless draw in the final round.

Howard, Baylor and Soddy Daisy all went 2-0 while Sale Creek, Walker Valley and Tyner were all 0-2.  Hixson, Central, Ooltewah and East Ridge all broke even at 1-1.

The Howard Hustlin’ Tigers may have been the most impressive team Saturday as these guys have made tremendous strides under second-year coach John Starr.

Howard began with a 26-0 win over Sale Creek while adding a 7-0 decision over Hixson.

Baylor posted a couple of shutouts with a 3-0 win over Central and a 7-0 verdict over Tyner.

Soddy Daisy also won with a pair of shutouts, the first coming at 14-0 against Walker Valley and the second a 7-0 decision against Tyner.

Other scores had Hixson beating Sale Creek 14-0 in the first action of the day while Central nipped Ooltewah by an 8-6 final in the closest contest.  The Owls bounced back to thump Walker Valley by a 20-3 final.  Red Bank was a 7-0 winner over East Ridge while East Ridge rebounded with a 7-0 win over East Hamilton.

Hixson handed first-year coach Gary Murray his first taste of victory with a shutout over Sale Creek.

Tay McDaniel put the Wildcats on the board with a 36-yard run on Hixson’s third play from scrimmage while an 11-yard pass from Jack Jullian to Tre Warthen with 2:25 to play accounted for the second TD.  Jackson Alexander booted both extra points.

“Our intensity was good, but there’s always room to improve,” said Murray, who was Hixson’s offensive coordinator a year ago.

“This was a confidence builder for our quarterback Jack Jullian, but we’re playing with a whole new group on the offensive line and they played well.  We were competitive and that’s really what I was looking for, but our defense is also special,” he added.

It didn’t take long for Howard to take charge against Sale Creek as Davontay Davis raced 42 yards for their first touchdown with just over two minutes elapsed.  Ellis Robinson then returned a fumble 25 yards on the next play and the difference was quickly 13-0.

Junior quarterback Marquez Williams added two more TDs later, the first on a 25-yard scamper while the second was a 79-yard run on a busted play on the last snap of the quarter.

Davis had the only score against Hixson, the touchdown coming on a blast from the 1 after Williams had connected with Shawn Jackson on a 43-yard pass play.  Davis gained two yards on the next play before punching it into the end zone.

“I don’t think we got the effort we were looking for, but we just wanted to come out here and hustle and try to communicate effectively.  That’s easy to do in practice when you’re standing right behind them, but it’s much harder in a real game,” said Starr afterward.

“We just have to suck it up as we need to learn how to play wide-open football for four quarters.  I felt like our defense played with a lot of enthusiasm, but we’ll go back to work on Monday as we get ready for Brainerd next Saturday,” Starr added.

Ooltewah had the first possession against Central, but Jerrod Bibbs caused a fumble on the second play and returned it to the Owl 5 to put the Purple Pounders in business.

Michael McGee scored on a keeper from that spot on Central’s first play while Jaheim Jones passed to Trey Owten for the two-point conversion.

Ooltewah countered with a 47-yard pass play from Kyrell Sanford to Andrew Manning, but the kick failed and nobody scored again.

Baylor’s Taylor Shahan booted a 20-yard field goal for the difference in the game against Central, but second-year coach Cortney Braswell was still feeling really good about what he saw from his Purple Pounders.

“I feel like we’re for real as we’ve come a really long way in a short period of time, but the Pounders are in the house,” Braswell told his team as they gathered in the end zone after the win against Ooltewah.

“We gave up the big play and can’t afford to do that, but the fact of the matter is that we don’t belong on the same field with Ooltewah.  This might not mean much to them, but it means everything to us.  Now we just have to find out how to win those games on Friday that really count,” he added.

While Shahan had the game-winning field goal for Baylor against Central, Brendon Harris had a 64-yard run for the only score against Tyner.  Weekley’s PAT made the final score 7-0.

Baylor coach Phil Massey was just trying to get through Saturday’s action without any further injuries.

“We’ve struggled with that so far and I’m sure our trainers will be working overtime this week,  but this was just a dress rehearsal.  We had too many missed tackles, but we just have to keep building on what we have and continue to get better,” he assessed.

“Now we have to shift gears and get ready for a really good Notre Dame team on Thursday,” the veteran coach concluded.

The Soddy Daisy Trojans looked good for the most part as Tony Wilson and Isaac Barnes had TDs against Walker Valley before Brandon Davis had the only touchdown against Tyner.

Folks on the Soddy Daisy sideline had a brief scare when running back Ty Boeck was slow to get up after a play, but coach Justin Barnes said it was a minor ankle sprain and that he would be fine.

“I thought we did some good things out here tonight and it was good for us to face a team like Tyner with such outstanding speed.  That’s something we can’t simulate in practice, but I felt like we played well in the defensive secondary and all did our jobs pretty well for the most part,” Barnes expressed afterward.

Calvin Jackson scored on a 10-yard run and Braulio Velazquez booted the extra point as Red Bank defeated East Ridge while Eric Bennett tossed a 65-yard TD pass to Kashawn Cosey in the Pioneers win over East Hamilton.  C.J. Bond had the extra point.

The first two regular-season games will also be played at Finley Stadium on Thursday with Baylor facing Notre Dame in the first game at 6 while Central and Walker Valley tangle in the second game.

A full schedule of games are set for Friday while Howard will travel to Brainerd for a Saturday night special.

(Email John Hunt at

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