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September 24, 2011
What happened in Chattanooga on Friday evening should make every high school coach, fan and player rise for a standing ovation.
That is unless you were one of the many in a traffic jam Friday on Highway 27 north of the Tennessee River in Chattanooga.
The traffic was so congested with players, fans and officials trying to reach the McCallie and Baylor match-up at Heywood Stadium off Signal Mountain Boulevard that the game had to be delayed.
In addition, the Cleveland Blue Raiders and Red Bank Lions were playing at nearby Red Bank, and defending 1A state champion South Pittsburg was on the road to play 2A state champion Signal Mountain.
The McCallie team bus was actually caught in the traffic.
Blue Tornadoes coach Bubba Simmons told the Chattanooga Times Free Press, "It's a good thing they sent an escort (Chattanooga Police), or who knows when we would have gotten there."
This time the traffic jam wasn't TDOT paving on Friday afternoon, a crash at the I-24 and I-59 split, a pileup on the Missionary Ridge cut, a U.S. President in town, a holiday, an evacuation route for a hurricane or Jimmy Buffet playing at the Riverbend Festival.
It was high school football-crazed fans heading out to three games of interest.
That's just great!
Athletic directors will likely call their neighboring schools in the future when it's time to make football schedules.
Moreover, before you think too much and suggest staggering game times all three started at different times.
The overflow of people heading to the annual "Battle of the Button-downs at Baylor was expected.
This game is now a larger social event in the Scenic City than The Cotton Ball. On the other hand, was that the Kudzu Ball?
Here's hoping that more teams will have so many fans coming to the games that more traffic jams occur.
Did anybody expect Greeneville to dispatch Alcoa 42-6, Cleveland to crush Red Bank 41-6, Signal Mountain to hammer South Pittsburg 65-36, Ensworth to cruise past BGA 33-7 or MUS to destroy previously undefeated Memphis East 41-0?
Memphis East star Brian Kimbrow entered the game Friday night at Memphis University School as the leading rusher in the nation according to MaxPreps with 1,494 yards through four games.
The MUS defense stopped the Mustangs 41-0, limited Kimbrow to 38 yards on 16 carries, and made him fumble once.
Kimbrow managed a 13-yard run for his best of the evening as the Owls allowed only 96 yards total offense and seven first downs.
MUS has lost to two powerful Mississippi teams and defending D-II state champion Ensworth.
However, against Memphis public schools the Owls are 3-0 with a 49-0 win over Kingsbury, 38-0 victory over Memphis Central and the win over Memphis East.
Rushing to victory
Coach Caine Ballard's Greene Devils muscled up on Alcoa 42-14 in a battle of defending state champions at Burley Stadium in Greeneville on Friday.
Greeneville (4A) showed an impressive rushing attack with 359 or 388 total yards for the game coming on the ground.
Greene Devils quarterback Tanner Stewart had 180 yards rushing and three touchdowns.
Pass-oriented Signal Mountain went to the ground on Friday to turn back South Pittsburg 65-36.
In another game that featured the South Pittsburg (1A) and Signal Mountain (2A) teams that both won state championships in 2010, the host Eagles rolled up 351 yards rushing.
Zack Bowman had had 151 yards on 12 carries when he wasn't making 11 tackles on defense.
Tim McClendon set a school record with five touchdowns and also added 80 yards rushing. In addition, the Eagles' do-everything back Andrew Price had 72 yards on 15 attempts.
My New SEC
The musical chairs going on with college football conferences is sad. Nevertheless, change is here and if that's the way of the future here's a dream Southeastern Conference line-up that probably won't ever happen.
East: Tennessee, Georgia, South Carolina, Florida, Kentucky, Vanderbilt, Clemson and Florida State.
West: Alabama, Auburn, LSU, Mississippi, Mississippi State, Arkansas, Texas AM and Texas.
FINALLY: One Tennessee high school football coach who asked not to be identified has another name for the No Child Left Behind Act that allows a player to transfer to another school if his school doesn't meet academic standards required by the act. "We just call it no tailback left behind," the coach said.