CHATTANOOGA – McCallie’s Alex Trotter returned the opening kickoff 90 yards for a touchdown against Battle Ground Academy.
BGA, in the words of coach Roc Batten, never retaliated in a 41-6 Division II-AA loss to the Blue Tornado on Friday.
“We never responded at any point,” Batten said. “That’s disappointing. This is the first time I’ve seen it handed to us like this.”
McCallie’s offense churned out huge plays, including three touchdowns of at least 35 yards, and finished with 337 yards on 32.
The Blue Tornado defense stifled BGA workhorse Keenan Bass and thus the entire Wildcats offense. He earned 45 yards on 29 carries and was dropped behind the line of scrimmage seven times.
“We had to stop the run, and we did a good job except for a couple runs,” said linebacker Alex Trotter, who helped BGA go only 4-of-18 on third and fourth downs. “We played pretty good defense.”
McCallie’s offense wasn’t bad, either.
Trotter carried five times for 135 yards and a 96-yard touchdown that forced a running clock in the fourth quarter. He took the handoff and started around the right side of the line. A BGA defender knocked him off-balance in the end zone. Trotter regrouped and sprinted the length of the field.
“In my head, I’m like ‘I can’t get this safety,'” Trotter said. “It’s a good win coming off a loss last week [to Baylor].”
Fullback Chad Toliver earned 102 yards on five carries, including an 87-yard touchdown run late in the second quarter. Samir Usman added 57 yards on eight carries, including a 35-yard touchdown in the first quarter. McCallie (3-3, 2-2) averaged 10.5 yards per snap against the Wildcats.
The Tornado could have owned a larger lead than 20-6 at halftime if not for a Usman fumble, a muffed punt and giving BGA two first downs via defensive penalty. A roughing-the-passer flag negated an interception that would have given McCallie possession in BGA territory.
But BGA could have been closer at the break instead. The Wildcats had the ball for more than 18 of the 24 minutes but couldn’t get Bass free much beyond the line of scrimmage.
McCallie shored its mistakes in the second half (other than a second-team fumble) with its defense continuing to stuff Bass and its offense scoring on three of five possessions — a total of 15 plays.
“I think we played pretty good football other than a couple of glaring mistakes,” McCallie coach Ralph Potter said, referring to three turnovers and two critical penalties. “We’re a tired football team, and all we’ve asked is for them to improve every week.”