CHATTANOOGA, TN (WRCB)-- The 2014 prep football season kicked off Thursday night at Finley Stadium with an oppressive heat that would prove stifling for Cleveland, as McCallie breezed through the Blue Raider defense early and often in a convincing 44-0 win.
Javaughn Craig capped McCallie's opening drive with a touchdown pass to a wide open Tyler Payne for a quick 7-0 McCallie lead.
The Blue Tornado's next touchdown was an 84 touchdown run by Craig keeping the quarterback option and dashing down the sideline for the score, but the missed extra point kept it 13-0.
McCallie would make it a 15-0 nothing affair by tacking Blue Raider running back T.J. Parker in the end zone for the safety.
Nearing the half, McCallie's Alex Trotter proved too elusive, taking what looked like a tackle at the line of scrimmage, bouncing the play out and taking it to the end zone for a 22-0 halftime lead.
Blue Tornado Head Coach Ralph Potter played back-up quarterback Rob Riddle in the third quarter, as he engineered two scoring drives, one on the quarterback keeper. "Cleveland is going to have a good season, they just got to get healthy ," said Potter afterward. " The injury bug has bit them but they'll be OK."
Blue Radier Head Coach Ron Crawford did want to talk about the injury bug after the game, but relented. "You never want to use injuries as an excuse, but its thinned us out," said Crawford. "Having to play so many players on both sides of the ball took it toll. It's been a mild fall and we get out here these last two days in this extreme heat and obviously, we wilted."
"I thought we played pretty well," said Potter of his team. " I was really impressed by our defense, we did a really good job there."
McCallie heads to Athens next Friday for McMinn County as Cleveland hosts Cookeville.