McCallie 14, Soddy-Daisy 0
CHATTANOOGA (WRCB) -- Ralph Potter looked right at home pacing the Finley Stadium sidelines, and his quarterback looked equally as comfortable out on its field.
Nelson Johnston ran for a score and threw for another as McCallie beat Soddy-Daisy 14-0 in the opening quarter of the Chattanooga Area Kickoff Classic Jamboree Friday night. The scrimmage marked Potter's return to the Blue Tornado bench after five seasons at Brentwood Academy.
Johnston showed great command of the offense, as well as a fair amount of toughness, in his debut under center. He's replacing three-year starter Trent Lusk, who graduated last year.
"There definitely were (a few nerves) because Trent was such a great leader last year," Johnston said. "There's some big shoes to fill, especially with Coach Potter coming back in, but I thought we looked great as a team."
Johnston scored on a 7-yard run on McCallie's first drive, then hit C.J. Fritz on a 17-yard strike in the flat for the second score. In between the touchdowns, running back Chad Tolliver ripped off a rough-and-tumble 20-yard run.
Johnston also showed off his ability to stay on his feet after contact, though he took a few more hits than Potter would like.
"He ran the option well, managed the team well and ran the team well. He was also trying to prove his toughness, which he did. Now he needs to learn to make a move," Potter said with a laugh. "I like that he's tough, but I don't want him out there seeking out contact."
Bradley Central 7, Red Bank 6
Bradley Central's Bryce Copeland and Red Bank's Hagan Wilkey both looked impressive under center, but it was Copeland's Bears who got the final laugh with a 7-6 win over Wilkey's Lions in the second quarter of Friday night's jamboree.
Copeland scrambled for a 10-yard score on the Bears' first drive, reversing his field on a roll-out before getting a devestating block from receiver Cal Pickel near the goal line.
Wilkey led the Lions right back down with an answer. He lofted a pass down the sideline for high-jumper Chris Tucker on a 30-yard gain, then capped the march with a four-yard touchdown run.
However, Wilkey's pass fell short on a two-point conversion attempt for the final margin of defeat.
The scrimmage marked the return of E.K. Slaughter to the Red Bank sidelines. The former Lions' offensive coordinator made head coaching stops at Soddy-Daisy and Cleveland before taking over for Tim Daniels this year.
His past with the Lions, as well as a recently-established rivalry with the Bears while at Cleveland made the jamboree an interesting night.
"There was a lot of familiarity tonight because I'm familiar with Red Bank, I'm familiar with the Bears. There were a couple of different dejavu moments," Slaughter said. "But it was enjoyable. It's a privilege to be on these sidelines. It's a great town with a great tradition and great kids.
"I've never felt more at home than I do right now."
Rhea County 6, Tyner Academy 0
Tyner's Ram Train had trouble gaining traction in the rain, but Krischan Goins got a good enough grip on a throw to Demitrius Patterson for the lone touchdown in Rhea County's 6-0 win over the Rams in quarter three.
The skies opened up into an absolute downpour as soon as the scrimmage started, slowing down both offenses.
Jeremy Moffett picked off Tyner's trick-play attempt on a half-back pass, setting up Goins' 25-yard strike to Patterson.
Signal Mountain 21, Central 0
Reese Phillips hit Chris Abernathy for a 70-yard touchdown on the first play from scrimmage to set the tone for Signal Mountain's 21-0 rout of Central in the jamboree's fourth quarter of the night.
Phillips, who is verbally committed to play for Kentucky in the SEC, threw for nearly 200 yards despite a mere 20-minute, running clock quarter. He later hit C.J. Johnson on a short touchdown pass in the closing minute.
Senior wing back Robert Turner also added a 14-yard touchdown run for the Eagles, who will visit North Georgia power Ridgeland in a full scrimmage Saturday night at 7 p.m. ET.
Baylor 0, McMinn County 0
Lightning cut short the night's final quarter between Baylor and McMinn County, though neither team mustered much before final whistle.
The game ended in a scoreless tie.
Former Walker Valley star Kelvin Wells made his debut at tailback for the Cherokees, rushing for 34 yards on three carries. Wells ripped off a 20-yard run up the middle on McMinn County's opening drive, but Red Raiders' linebacker Colton Jumper blew up a fourth-and-short play a few moments later to end the threat.
Baylor rotated two quarterbacks in three series, using Canadian transfer Michael O'Connor and Nick Tiano. The duo combined to complete just 2-of-6 passes for 41 yards. O'Connor overthrew star receiver Reggie Upshaw in the end zone on fourth and long for the Red Raiders' closest scoring chance.
Twelve more teams will be on the Finley Stadium turf Saturday night for part two of the 14th annual Chattanooga jamboree.
Eight teams will be in action at Marion County High School in Jasper for the 50th edition of the Sequatchie Valley Jamboree. The event was originally scheduled for Friday night, but was postponed because of inclement weather and wet field conditions.