Blount Press Row

Deuce Busts Loose

Healthier Tyson more than enough in Tornado rout of Lancaster

Alcoa’s Jaquez Tyson stiff-arms a Lancaster Christian defender on his way to the end zone on Friday. Photos by Jolanda Jansma

By Stefan Cooper
Editor
Blount Press Row

Faster than a speeding bullet.

John Riley McLaughlin makes the grab on a Lancaster ball carrier.

More powerful than a locomotive.

Able to leap tall defenses like it’s nothing.

In reality, Jaquez Tyson didn’t run the ball a whole lot Friday, but the Alcoa back sure looked super in a brief appearance in a 42-8 Tornado dismantling of Lancaster Christian at Goddard Field.

Tyson carried three times in the opening minutes, two of them going for scores. The opener was a real dazzler, the All-State junior bobbing and weaving on a 22-yard sprint to the end zone off right guard.

“Tyson finally looked like he’s healthy again,” Alcoa coach Gary Rankin said.

With a stretch run that includes defending state champion Christian Academy of Knoxville, Memphis Maplewood and Knoxville Catholic visiting Goddard Field the next three weeks, it couldn’t have come at a better time.

“We’ve got three really good football teams coming up,” Rankin said.

Home for the first time since Aug. 30 and the Maryville game, the Tornadoes (6-1) ran wild on the Knights, blowing it open to lead, 35-0, at the half.

Alcoa's Dillan Cannida (45) and Yohana Koko put the heat on Knight's quarterback Matt Williams.Peyton Wall hit Malik Love from 34 yards for one score, bullish fullback Brody Hess running 15 yards to make it 21-0 Tornadoes with three minutes yet to play in the opening quarter. With 11 minutes to play in the half, Tyson tore through the right side to score from 27 yards, the gap opening to 28-0 Tornadoes.

Hess had a hand in boosting the advantage to 35-0 when the junior running back/linebacker blocked a Lancaster punt at the nine-minute mark. Jared Henderson scooped and scored from 20 yards for the points.

The Knights rode the passing arm of quarterback Matt Williams 58 yards to first-and-goal at the Alcoa 7 with four minutes remaining in the half. Lancaster’s best possession the first two quarters was brought to a half with a Dustin Clabough interception three plays later.

Reserves saw the bulk of play in the opening half. Among the night’s more memorable displays was a stirring, 55-yard dash by backup quarterback Mitchell McClurg up the Lancaster sideline, setting up the Hess score. Wall ran 54 yards through the Knights as a table setter for the Love touchdown only one possession earlier.

Two quarterbacks, two carries, 100-plus yards. Not a bad average.

Mitchell McClurg hits the burners on another big gain for the Tornadoes.

The depth issue came full to bear on Lancaster when play resumed, Rankin substituting liberally. Devin Devine punched in from a couple yards to open the Alcoa lead to 42-0 with three minutes to play in the third. The Knights (5-1) didn’t fold up, though.

“They showed why they’ve beaten some people,” Rankin said.

Williams – 18-of-35, 225 yards — continued to fire away effectively, and, with three minutes to play, found Keith Moody on a 6-yard scoring strike to erase the shutout.

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