Head coach Barry Loyal and the Chattanooga Christian School football team couldn’t have asked for a better Friday night.
Not only did the Chargers secure their first 2-0 start in the program’s short history, throttling visiting Lookout Valley 48-6, they did so on opening night at David Stanton Field — the school’s brand new football and soccer stadium.
“It was unbelievably special,” said Loyal, CCS’s first and only varsity football coach. “The foundation was laid a long time ago — really even before I got here ... It was huge. It was a huge night for the community, and to get a win on top of it was just icing on the cake.”
Added senior Jonathan Farlett, “We said from the beginning that there was a different vibe with this group, and there is. There’s a brotherhood here that we enjoy, and all the guys came out — all the alumni that we’ve played with and followed in their footsteps. It’s just awesome.”
It was an exciting and a memorable night. The game itself, not so much.
Other than a tight first quarter — the Chargers, who never trailed in the contest, held a 7-6 advantage after one — the game was extremely one-sided. CCS (2-0) piled up 48 points and 345 yards of total offense, while the Yellowjackets managed less than 70 yards, committed eight penalties for 45 yards and fumbled four times in the lopsided defeat.
Lookout Valley (0-2), which failed to register a single first down in the game’s first two quarters, scored its only points in the opening period on quarterback Evan Walker’s 1-yard touchdown run, which was set up by junior Adrian McGhee’s 89-yard kickoff return to the CCS's 5-yard line.
After that it was all Chargers.
Quarterbacks Jared Miller and Zach Mercer combined to complete 15 of their 18 pass attempts for 185 yards and three touchdowns, while running back Dameyne Toney racked up 120 yards and a pair of scores on 17 carries.
“We did some good things,” Loyal said. “Defensively we flew around, and we got better up front offensively — there’s no doubt about that. We’ve got some things we need to improve on, but it’s the second game of the year.”
The Chargers extended their lead to 42-6 on Miller’s 13-yard touchdown pass to Clark Marshall midway through the third quarter, bringing into effect the TSSAA’s “mercy rule."
CCS’s final score of the evening came from its defense with just under 12 minutes to play, as linebacker Sam Ibach forced and recovered a fumble before returning it all the way for a score.
The Chargers, who defeated Lookout Valley 20-13 a week ago, kick off their District 7-AA slate at Notre Dame next week with a chance of matching their 2012 win total. The Fighting Irish, who captured a 21-9 win over East Ridge on Friday, will be the toughest test yet for CCS. The players and coaches definitely feel a victory is within reach, though.
“We have momentum that we’ve never had,” Farlett said. "That’s huge for us. Going into a district game next week, that will help a lot. We still have a lot to build on, but it definitely gives us the confidence we need.”
Added Loyal, “They’ve got a great football team. Coach [Charles] Fant does a great job with those guys, and they’ll be jacked up to play. They’ve played two quality opponents and our kids are looking forward to it.”
Michael Murphy covers UTC athletics for Nooga.com. Follow him on Twitter @MichaelNooga.
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