CHATTANOOGA — Team Georgia seems to be on a run of bad luck when it comes to scoring.
But Saturday’s 10th annual Stump on Sports Tennessee-Georgia All-Star Football Classic had the emotions of a fall Friday night.
In a game featuring recent graduates from southeastern Tennessee and northwestern Georgia, Tennessee won 10-7 thanks to a last-second field goal at McCallie School’s Spears Stadium. When the game ended, many players from the two teams engaged in a shoving match that had to be broken up by coaches and officials.
The Volunteer State won last year’s Classic 7-3, the same advantage it now holds in the series thanks to the latest win.
Tennessee’s Cameron Carter, of East Hamilton, made a 41-yard field goal to break a 7-7 tie with just eight seconds remaining in the game. On the last play, Georgia quarterback D.J. Reynolds, of Gordon Central, threw a Hail Mary to Adairsville’s Hiram Velez that was broken up by a defender. That’s when the shoving match began and most players from each side joined in for a big scuffle.
“It was just the emotions getting to them,” said North Murray coach David Gann, who led the Peach State in Saturday’s contest.
Among local schools, Southeast Whitfield had the most players participating in the game, with four. The Raiders sported running back/linebacker Easton Ridley, center Jared Davis, defensive end Jayro Perez and wide receiver/defensive back Kevin Torres. North Murray’s representatives were safety Tino Hernandez, kicker Izzy Hernandez and defensive end David Martin. Dalton had wideout Brandon Painter, while Northwest Whitfield had linebacker Jarrod Farmer.
Tino Hernandez and Torres each recorded two tackles, while Martin had one. Ridley caught two passes for 26 yards.
Perez had the best game among locals, making six tackles, including one for a loss.
“I felt like I played all right,” Perez said. “It was a great experience.”
Tennessee held a 7-0 halftime lead when Lookout Valley’s Jamal Jones, named Tennessee’s Player of the Game, scored on a 41-yard run to begin the second quarter. He finished with 106 yards rushing, a new series record.
Georgia didn’t score until Ridgeland running back Darrell Bridges, Georgia’s Player of the Game, threw a 66-yard halfback pass to Dade County’s Travis Nunley to tie the game with 1:52 left in the third period. Izzy Hernandez, who missed nine of his 10 senior-season games with a knee injury, made the extra point.
“This is my first game since getting hurt,” Hernandez said. “It was awesome to make that kick, a big relief.”
Gann, who was part of the previous three all-star contests as an assistant, was the Georgia head coach for the first time. Prior to becoming North Murray’s head coach last year, he worked as an assistant the past five years for Robert Akins at Ringgold. Tennessee’s coach, Grant Reynolds, who is head coach at Chattanooga’s Boyd-Buchanan, also worked as an assistant for Akins when both were at Boyd-Buchanan. Reynolds coached Tennessee in this game in 2010, a 17-0 win for his side.
Georgia’s last victory was a 31-21 win in 2011.
Both Gann and Reynolds gave the same reason for the all-star game’s offensive struggles.
“You’ve got a lot of athletes on the defensive side,” Gann said. “It’s hard to line up on offense and do the little things you need to get done in four days.”
Said Reynolds, “You’ve got really good defense and it’s tough to get an offense going in a week’s time.”
Lookout Valley quarterback Van Scribner won the Classic’s Most Valuable Player award after picking up 63 all-purpose yards for Tennessee.
In addition to the football game, the Tennessee-Georgia All-Star Classic series features games for girls and boys basketball (6 and 8 p.m. on Tuesday at Notre Dame High School in Chattanooga); girls and boys soccer (1:30 and 3:30 p.m. on Saturday at Finley Stadium in Chattanooga); baseball (6 p.m. on June 17 at Ridgeland High School in Rossville); and softball (6 p.m. on June 19 at Frost Stadium in Chattanooga).
Stump Martin, the Classics’ creator, was a reporter for the Chattanooga News-Free Press and Chattanooga Times Free Press for 19 years and also was on ESPN Radio’s 105.1 The Zone in Chattanooga, managing editor of Friday Night Football Live Tennessee and co-owner of Tennessee’s high school Rivals.com website, TNVarsity.com. Martin has hosted “Stump on Sports Late Nite,” a live sports television show for nearly 30 years.
CHATTANOOGA — Team Georgia seems to be on a run of bad luck when it comes to scoring.
- Dalton High School Catamounts
Todd leaving DHS swim after 16 years
Throughout his 17 years with the Carpet Capital Aquatic Club and his 16 years with the Dalton High and Dalton Middle School swim programs, Charles Todd has received looks and offers from other areas.
But with his youngest child Chase still in school and his wife playing a major role in the Whitfield County Division of Family and Children Services, Todd wasn’t looking to make a move.
Bringing in the best
When high school football coaches look for events to take their teams to during the summer, they are looking for three things — top competition, organization and hospitality.
For The Daily Citizen’s Southeastern 7-on-7 Championship, the Dalton community and local business leaders take care of the latter. The tournament officials work tirelessly to provide the organization. And the two combined assure the top competition will show up.
Cushman’s gamble is paying off
Wil Cushman never had to worry about establishing his high school’s swimming and diving program. Dalton already had a full roster and championship history.
His first two years at Birmingham Southern University, though, have been all about making sure the beginning wasn’t the end.
In the lineup again
When Northwest Whitfield repeated as the Georgia High School Association Class 4A softball state champion last fall, that appeared to be the last time the majority of the Lady Bruins’ senior class would be teammates on the diamond.
Now, thanks to the Stump on Sports All-Star Softball Classic, five of those six seniors will reunite to play together one more time.
Junior golf: Hicks able to hang for final round
Despite giving up a few strokes from Monday’s opening round of 4-over-par 76, Dalton’s Landon Hicks was the only local competitor to advance to the third round of the Georgia Junior Championships.
All-Area Spring Female Team: Salinas hoping things keep getting better and better with age
Isabel Salinas’ freshman season for Southeast Whitfield High School’s track and field team wasn’t up to her standards, and she really isn’t sure why it ended up that way in 2013. It could have been her injuries. It could have been not being in proper shape.
One thing Salinas, nicknamed “Izzy” by friends and coaches, does know is that her sophomore year went a lot better.
All-Area Baseball Team and Player of the Year
As a freshman at Northwest Whitfield High School, Seth Pierce came out of nowhere and was as dominant a pitcher as the area had. Finishing his “rookie” season with the Bruins, the left-handed Pierce led the area with nine victories — he also had one save — and showed overpowering dominance with a 9-3 record and 89 strikeouts in 73 1/3 innings. He finished his first season on the hill in Tunnel Hill with a 1.71 ERA while allowing 61 hits and 23 walks. Those numbers were also recorded against competition in a higher classification as the Bruins were playing Class 4A ball when the state had just five classifications. His performance earned him honors as 2012 The Daily Citizen All-Area Baseball Player of the Year.
Carlile gets a chance to grind
As Dylan Carlile saw more and more of his peers receiving offers from college wrestling programs, he became nervous.
The Dalton High School grappler had nothing to worry about, because when the time came, he had his choice.
Dalton girls finish second in Class 4A
In the Class 4A girls state golf tournament last year, the Dalton High School team finished third at Nob North Golf Course. Monday, playing in the state championship at Waynesboro Country Club, the Lady Catamounts finished second by just two strokes.
“There is just one more place left to win,” Dalton coach Nancy Hallsworth said. “They have the time ahead of them to do it.”
Nelson keeps a tight line
Multiple high school athletes from the area sign scholarships each year for baseball, basketball, football, softball, volleyball and many other sports.
Bass fishing scholarships? There aren’t many of those.
- More Dalton High School Catamounts Headlines
- Todd leaving DHS swim after 16 years