McCallie head football coach Ralph Potter was excited about the prospects of the 2014 season last year.
Last February while attending a Glazier football clinic, I ran into Potter outside of a offensive meeting room and we started chatting about the upcoming 2013 season.
And although Potter said his 2013 team was young but talented, he pointed to the 2014 season as a year that the Blue Tornado could be special.
Fast forward to last Thursday night as McCallie played a very good Cleveland team to open the 2014 season.
Thanks to a very good effort on defense that held the potent Cleveland to just 125 yards of total offense including just 22 yards on the ground, the Blue Tornado dismantled Cleveland 44-0.
Led by senior running back Alex Trotter's 156 yards, they rolled up 482 yards of total offense.
McCallie defeated Cleveland 55-35 in week zero last year.
"They are the most athletic team in the Chattanooga area," Cleveland head football coach Ron Crawford said.
"Ralph does a good job of putting his decision makers in good position to make plays and that's a credit to him and his game plan."
Despite the offensive explosion, the most impressive thing about the Blue Tornado win was on defense.
"I think the biggest difference in this year and last year is defensively," Crawford said.
"This season they are extremely athletic on that side and if their defense holds up they could make a deep run."
Since coming back to Chattanooga three years ago to take the reins at McCallie for a second stint, after five years at Brentwood Academy, Potter is an underwhelming 9-14 at his alma mater.
A quick start would be good for the Blue Tornado but McCallie started the 2013 campaign 3-0 before losing seven straight games and finishing 4-8.
But is this the breakout year for the Blue Tornado?
McCallie wasn't the only impressive team over the opening weekend.
Other Impressive starts were:
Ridgeway 49, Olive Branch (MS) 34- Ridgeway's offense was very explosive as they rolled up 617 total yards as senior running back Earl Harrison ran for 233 yards and scored three touchdowns.
Roadrunner quarterback Braxton Conard passed for 280 yards on just eight completions (35 yards per completion) and three touchdowns as the Roadrunners avenged a 38-22 loss in 2013.
"It's a good win for our program," Ridgeway coach Duron Sutton said. "We just want to continue getting better and keep moving forward in a positive way."
Blackman 28, Oakland 21- It was fitting that the best two teams in district 7-AAA met on a Sunday with a national television audience playing at a place called the "Inferno" because with temperatures that soared near three digits it felt like Dante himself was in attendance.
With all the high profile commitments and there were four in the game including three for Oakland, a running back with a chip on his shoulder stole the show.
Blaze senior running back Charlie Davidson rushed for 135 yards and scored the game winning touchdown for Blackman.
Davidson was extremely key late as Blavkman leaned on him to gain key, tough yards as they continued to move the chains and kept the clock moving.
"Charlie had a huge game for us today," Blackman head coach Phillip Shadowens said. "He gained some real tough hard yards for us and he was a big key to help us get the win."
Oakland won the regular season game last year but Blackman has now won two straight in the series including the Quarterfinal playoff game last season.
WINNING STREAKS BROKEN
Liberty 21, Henry County 14- Devin Bush was a one man wrecking crew on Friday night as Liberty erased Henry County's 15 game winning streak.
Bush, a senior playmaker for the Crusaders not only scored all three Liberty touchdowns but did so in dramatic fashion.
Bush scored on runs of 84 and 65 to give the Crusaders a lead going into the fourth quarter over the defending class 5A state champions.
But Bush saved his best touchdown for last as he returned a Henry County punt 60 yards for the final margin.
The win for Liberty breaks a three game losing streak to Henry County as the last win for Liberty in the series was a 47-28 win back in 2010.
Macon County 27, Trousdale County 21, OT-Talk about the biggest win in a young coach's career.
Nathan Wilson was hired at Macon County last season after going 34-18 as the Macon County junior high football coach in six years.
Macon County limped to a 3-7 finish in 2013 but it was improvement from a 0-10 season in 2012.
The 2014 season got off to a huge start as the Tigers defeated the defending 2A state champions in Hartsville which is one of the best home field advantages in the state.
The loss for the Yellow Jackets broke a 14 game winning streak.
Tiger quarterback Seth Carlisle rushed for 107 yards and scored three touchdowns while running back Dale Turner ran for 118 yards for the first win over Trousdale since 2006.
"This is a great win for our program," Wilson said. "Being able to go into Trousdale County and come away with a victory is one thing, the way we did it is what means the most to our program."
"They have tremendous tradition and just came off an undefeated campaign that concluded with the 2A state championship."
Macon trailed 21-7 in the third quarter but Carlisle scored on runs of four and 16 yards as the game went into overtime.
Carlisle scored the game winner from 10 yards out after Trousdale missed a field goal on the opening drive of the overtime.
"Our team's ability to continue to believe in what we're doing, believe in each other, and find a way to give us a chance to win the game in overtime is a huge testament to the culture change we're developing within our program," Wilson said.
"It was a total team effort and our kids played their hearts out in a tough environment."
For Trousdale, Kyle Blackwell led the Yellow Jackets with 126 yards rushing and two touchdowns while Kenyan Harper rushed for 123 and scored on a 50 yard run before getting injured in the second quarter.
Harper didn't return after his injury and his status for Friday's game against Sycamore is uncertain.
LOSING STREAKS GONE
Five teams started their 2014 season with a win and broke a long losing streak with three schools (Clarksville Northwest, Pickett County and Waverly under first year coaches).
Losing Streak Reached- nine games
Defeated Clinton County (KY) 20-6 to break a nine game losing streak under first year coach Jeff Holt.
Last Win-2013 beat Clinton County (KY) 17-15
Last Winning Season- Never had one
The Vikings under the influence of first year coach Vernon Wright defeated Stewart County 27-13.
Losing Streak Reached- eight games
Last Win-2013, beating Todd County (KY) 40-19
Last Winning Season-7-4 in 2009
Spring Hill under second year coach Tom Turchetta beat Summit 32-0
Losing Streak Reached- eight games
Last Win-2013, beat Mt. Pleasant 26-12
Last Winning Season- 8-3 in 2009
The Eagles shut out Kingsbury losers of ten straight games 29-0.
Losing Streak Reached- eight games
Last Win-2013, beat Bolton 28-18
Last Winning Season-6-5 in 2011
The Tigers under first year head man Matt McConnell throttled Houston County 56-6
Losing Streak Reached- eight games
Last Win-2013 over Perry County 26-19
Last Winning Season- 7-4 in 2006
Longest Active Winning Streaks Going Into Week 1:
4. Union City-14
Longest Active Losing Streaks Going Into Week 1:
1. Fayette Ware-60
2. Memphis Northside-38
3. Whites Creek-16
4. Knoxville Halls-15
5. Hancock County-14
7. Coffee County-12
8. Sale Creek-11
13. Sullivan East-9
FLIPPING THE SCRIPT
10 schools that reversed their 2013 results by getting wins in their 2014 openers.
Milan 26, Lexington 19
2013 Result-Lexington 21-14
Bradley Central 21, Polk County 6
2013 Result-Polk County 29-27
Rockwood 14, Oneida 13
2013 Result-Oneida 13-12
Signal Mountain 28, East Hamilton 19
2013 Result-East Hamilton 14-12
Beech 26, Station Camp 14
2013 Result-Station Camp 42-39
Father Ryan 29, Nashville Overton 23
2013 Result-Nashville Overton 28-21
Hillsboro 41, Rossview 37
2013 Result-Rossview 28-14
St. George's 31, Trinity Christian 28
2013 Result-Trinity 41-38
Bell County (KY) 35, South Pittsburg 7
2013 Result-South Pittsburg 35-20
Page 24, Lipscomb Academy 10
2013 Result- Lipscomb Academy 60-42
ALCOA SEEING DOUBLE
Alcoa head coach Gary Rankin joked that he was drinking some hard alcohol when he was trying to make the Tornadoes 2014 schedule.
The dilemma came when a game on Alcoa's schedule was canceled leaving them with only nine games.
"I wanted 10 games so in order to get that we had to be a little creative,"
So Rankin puts some calls in and got a response from new Morristown East coach DeWayne Wells, so Rankin got creative with the schedule.
Last Thursday, Alcoa opened up with a 54-13 whipping of Rankin's alma mater Smith County.
Friday was an off day for the Tornadoes while they got up on Saturday and travelled to Morristown to take on East.
Alcoa ran their winning streak to 16 games as they easily dispatched of East 42-14 capping off a wild 72 hours with two wins as Alcoa gained 1,031 yards of total offense.
Up next for the Tornadoes will be Blount County rival and defending 6A champion Maryville on Friday.
IMPRESSIVE COACHING DEBUTS
Over 50 new head football coaches made their coaching debut in week zero.
Here are the five most impressive wins:
Thomas Osteen, Marshall County- Osteen was the Offensive Coordinator at Buckhorn (AL) last year after spending years at Giles County.
The Tigers overwhelmed a very good Shelbyville team 40-26 as Osteen picked up his first career coaching victory.
Scott Smith, Warren County- The longtime coach won a 1A state title at Ezell Harding back in 2001 and on Friday, he led the Pioneers to a 34-30 shoot out win over DeKalb County.
DeKalb beat Warren County 20-7 last season as the Pioneers struggled to a 1-9 year.
The last winning season for Warren County came back in 1983 when they went 10-2.
Chad Grabowski, Red Bank- The Mt. Dora (FL) has energized the Red Bank community and he has promised to "Restore The Roar" as the Lions have missed the 3A playoffs the last two seasons.
Nipping a good 2A school Boyd Buchanan 20-16 in the opener, gives Grabowski and his players confidence for the schedule ahead.
J.R. Kirby, Munford-Kirby's team used a good defensive stand in the fourth quarter to eek out a 10-7 defensive win over Covington.
Munford is trying to shake off a 2-8 season and Kirby wants to get the program back to it's winning ways, beating a solid program like Covington, gets them on their way.
Issac Shelby, Clarksville- Shelby is a third generation Clarksville High graduate that knows what is expected of the program.
The Wildcats have missed the 5A playoffs, the last two seasons which is a big no no in a program with high expectations.
Shelby did great things at nearby Northeast and expect the same standard at Clarksville and the 42-17 win over a solid Goodpasture team is a good start.
OUT OF STATE RATES
Seven new head coaches won their coaching debut in Tennessee after coaching out of state last season.
Ricky Ross, Marion County
2014 Opener- Grundy County 49-22
School Coached in 2013-Mary Persons (GA) Defensive Coordinator
Rob Spence, Chattanooga Christian
2014 Opener- Chattanooga Grace 62-0
School Coached in 2013-Quarterback Coach at Syracuse University
Jerry Cooper, Seymour
2014 Opener- Sullivan North 34-7
School Coached in 2013-Lima Central Catholic (OH) Head Coach
Jake Tyre, Cascade
2014 Opener- Watertown 34-7
School Coached in 2013-Wayne County (GA) Assistant Coach
Jonathan Quinn, Davidson Academy
2014 Opener- Ezell Harding 28-7
School Coached in 2013-Mid-America Nazarene University (MO) Head Coach
Fred Shambaugh, MTCS
2014 Opener- Cannon County 44-0
School Coached in 2013-Didn't coach last season, taught in California
R. C. Helton, Whitwell
2014 Opener- Mt. Juliet Christian 45-7
School Coached in 2013-Trevor Browne (AZ) Head coach
MORE SUCCESSFUL DEBUTS
Seven more coaches picked up wins in week zero.
Ryan Mallory, Chattanooga Central
Week 0 Opponent-Franklin County 14-10
Jeremy Austin, Moore County
Week 0 Opponent-Richland 38-6
Robin Jacobs, Brighton
Week 0 Opponent-Carver 38-6
Chris Parker, Halls
Week 0 Opponent-Fayette Academy 39-14
Kevin Locastro, Lausanne
Week 0 Opponent- Fayette Ware 48-14
Tony Ligenfelter, Sevier County
Week 0 Opponent- Bearden 35-0
Bronson Bradley, Mt. Pleasant
Week 0 Opponent- Eagleville 25-3
BIGGEST MARGINS IN WEEK 0
The Five biggest margin of victory in week zero
Fulton 83, Powell 3
Pigeon Forge 71, Cosby 0
Scott County 63, McCreary County (KY) 0
Chattanooga Christian 62, Chattanooga Grace 0
Melrose 62, MAHS 0
WEEK 1 MATCHUPS
The Best nine games in Week 1
Alcoa at Maryville
Science Hill at Elizabethton
Sullivan South at Tennessee High
Liberty Magnet at Brentwood Academy
Beech at Henry County
BGA at Father Ryan
Fairview at Camden
Huntingdon at Westview
Milan at Humboldt
T. K. Hill, RB, David Crockett-The Sophomore rushed for 222 yards and scored three touchdowns in a 26-20 win over Sullivan East.
Dylan Linder, RB, Livingston Academy- Rushed for 250 yards and scored twice on just 19 carries in a 34-7 win over Stone Memorial.
Ethan Jeffers, QB, Campbell County- Passed for 370 yards and six touchdowns in the first half alone in a 54-7 win over Cumberland Gap.
Josh Jackson, RB, Loudon- Rushed for 205 yards and scored twice in a 34-19 win over William Blount.
Zach Stewart, DL, Coalfield-The UT commitment showed his might on defense as he made 11 tackles three of which were sacks, forced two fumbles and had a fumble recovery in a 34-32 comeback win over Copper Basin.
Hunter Lane, DL, Gibbs-Made 11 tackles, two sacks and had two tackles for loss in a 16-13 win over Carter.
Jurieen Martin, RB, Bartlett-Rushed for 236 yards and scored four touchdowns in a 34-32 win over Wooddale.
Earl Harrison, RB, Ridgeway-Rushed for 234 yards and scored three times in a 49-34 win over Olive Branch (MS).
Matt Fox, RB, Anderson County-Rushed for 247 yards and scored three touchdowns in a 35-19 win over Clinton.
Josh Steele, QB, Union County-Passed for a career high 337 yards and three touchdowns on just 16 completions in a 24-8 win over Grainger.
Eli Turner, WR, Union County- Caught nine passes for 223 yards and three touchdowns in a 24-8 win over Grainger.
Matt Torbett, LB, Union County-Made 16 tackles, had one sack and forced a fumble in a 24-8 win over Grainger.
Markevious Williamson, DB, Haywood County-The defensive back had a night to remember as he intercepted four passes in a 41-2 win over Booker T. Washington.
Blake Christian, RB, Sullivan South-Rushed for 206 yards and scored twice on just nine carries in a 49-13 win over Cherokee.
Mario Williams, RB, Columbia-Rushed for 274 yards in a 12-8 win over Lawrence County.
Kyle Akin, QB, Trinity Christian-Passed for 309 yards and four touchdowns in a 31-27 loss to St. George's.
BY THE NUMBERS
-86- Total yardage gained by MLK Prep in a 56-0 loss to Trezevant.
34-Number of games that ended in a shut out in week zero.
126-0- The combined score for the last two years as Pigeon Forge has shut out Cosby.
617-Total yardage for Ridgeway in a 49-38 win over Olive Branch (MS).
1,031-Total yardage in Alcoa's two wins in three days over Smith County and Morristown East.
2004-Last time South Pittsburg lost their first season opener.
Contact Donovan at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter at Examine_Stew