It might have taken a longer than he would have liked, but McCallie head coach Ralph Potter finally got one in the win column.
After coming up empty in their first two attempts this season, the Blue Tornado rolled to a 43-13 victory over visiting Tyner Academy on Friday at Spears Stadium.
“McCallie’s offensive and defensive lines in the first half controlled the line of scrimmage and dictated the tempo,” Rams head coach Wayne Turner said. “You’ve got to take you hats off to McCallie’s offensive and defensive fronts.”
Running back Chad Toliver racked up 144 yards and four touchdowns on 16 carries for the Blue Tornado (1-2), and the junior finished with 226 all-purpose yards. Senior Samir Usman, who had a 41-yard, first-quarter touchdown run, finished with 74 yards and a score.
But the running game wasn’t the only thing working for McCallie. Junior quarterback Nelson Johnston tossed his first career touchdown pass, hooking up with senior Eric Wolf for a 55-yard score.
McCallie outgained Tyner 340-146.
As lopsided as the final score was, though, McCallie’s margin of victory could have been even larger if not for the TSSAA’s mercy rule, which came into effect late in the first half. The Blue Tornado led 36-0 at the break, and increased its lead to 43-0 before Tyner (2-1) finally found the end zone.
Lamonte Soloman capped an 11-play drive for the Rams with a touchdown run with 5:22 remaining in the game, and Tyner converted the two-point conversion with a run up the middle by senior Tony Walton
“Execution is always important to us; just trying to get better every day,” Potter said. “We practice every day, and approach a game like we do a practice. We’re just trying to get a little better and make fewer mistakes.”
McCallie mistakes were in short supply, although the Rams did capitalize on one late in the game. Tyner senior Willie Stewart intercepted backup quarterback Tyler Payne’s option pitch, returning it for a touchdown for the game's final score.