MURFREESBORO – Siegel had no answer for Ooltewah’s Kelvin Leon.
The senior quarterback came off the bench to throw for a pair of touchdowns and run for another to spark the Owls’ 24-20 comeback win over the Stars Friday night.
“It’s a big win,” said Ooltewah coach Mac Bryan. “Murfreesboro has got great football as a whole. I think it’s been a long time since our district has come up here and won a game.”
The loss was especially tough for Siegel, which finds itself 0-2 for the first time since 2006.
“It’s a long season and nobody in this camp is where they want to be right now,” said Siegel coach Greg Wyant. “It’s going to take a lot of persistence to fight through adversity.”
Ooltewah (2-0), which snapped a three-game losing streak to Siegel trailed 13-3 at the half, but Leon made sure it wouldn’t stay that way.
After entering the game on the second drive of the third quarter, Leon engineered a 57-yard scoring drive capped by his 12-yard touchdown pass to Rashun Freeman to cut the Owls’ deficit to 13-10.
As the Stars’ offensive struggles in the second half continued, Ooltewah took its first lead of the game as Leon’s 7-yard run capped an 11-play, 80-yard drive that gave the Owls a 17-13 lead with 7:08 left to play.
Siegel answered back driving 80 yards in 10 plays with Andrew Knox taking a screen pass from Jordan Middleton 20 yards for a touchdown as the Stars regained the lead at 20-17 with 4:57 remaining.
However, Leon once again rose to the occasion as he avoided a sack before connecting with a wide-open Edward Montgomery for a 60-yard touchdown as the Owls went back ahead 24-20 with 4:06 left to play. Leon finished 8-of-14 passing for 135 yards and two touchdowns.
“I was very pleased,” Bryan said. “He did a great job and I thought he made some nice throws.”
Siegel drove into Ooltewah territory on both of its final possessions in the fourth quarter, but were unable to score. The final of the Stars’ drives ended when Montgomery intercepted a pass from Middleton with 34 seconds left to play to seal the Owls’ win.
“Our youth and inexperience showed up tonight,” Wyant said. “But our kids fought and I’m proud of that.”
Despite being outgained in the first half, the Stars built a 13-3 advantage behind a 2-yard touchdown run from Knox and field goals of 26 and 41 yards from Jacob Smith. The second of Smith’s field goals came with just 13 seconds left in the second quarter.
Ooltewah’s lone points in the first half came on a 38-yard field from Laslo Toser in the second quarter.