Walker Valley (5-5) got a 97-yard kick return from Gabe Cartwright in the first quarter that cut Ooltewah's lead to 14-7. From there, the Owls (7-3) took control, scoring 35 second quarter points and routing Walker Valley 56-7 in the regular season closer.
"I want them to remember that," said a disappointed Ryan of the one-sided ending. "I want them to know what that feels like, so when they come to practice they remember those things. When they feel like, ‘I don't know if I really want to give it my all today,’ they remember that. Lessons learned, good and bad. They have to walk off this field, take those lessons with them and carry them over to the next week."
Walker Valley will have at least one more week to take the lessons learned from Friday's loss to heart. Ryan will have six days to get the Mustangs ready to play in Round 1 of the playoffs on the road against Lenoir City Friday.
Six different Owls found the end zone for Ooltewah led by Desmond Pittman, who blistered the Mustangs' defense for 183 yards on 27 carries. Jon Hill also scored twice for Ooltewah.
Justin Ware and Mills led Walker Valley on the ground. Ware rushed 14 times for 79 yards, surpassing the 1,000-yard mark for the season. Mills carried the ball 15 times for the Mustangs, picking up 73 yards.
"We couldn't get anything going offensively. The defense played at times, but Ooltewah found some areas on our defensive right on the short side of the field, and they kept going to it when they needed it and made the plays. As it went on, the defense became very porous and (we were) inept on offense," said Ryan. "We just didn't get it done on either side of the ball."
The postseason gives the Mustangs another week to mature and become the type of football team Ryan is working hard to build at Walker Valley.
The Mustangs' coach pointed out his team will have to tighten up on both sides of the ball to have a chance to advance in the playoffs.
"It's hard to win football games when you can't score points and you can't stop them. It was just not a good job by us, and a great job by them," he said. "We've just got to learn from this and we've got to get better. We are a work in progress and every day we've got to learn lessons from what we do. There are a lot of lessons to be learned from tonight."
Ooltewah 14 35 7 0 — 56
Walker Valley 7 0 0 0 — 7
O — Desmond Pittman 9 run, (Lazio Tosser kick), 7:32
O — Jon Hill 8 run (Tosser kick), 5:22
WV — Gabe Cartwright 97 kickoff return (Brad Hoffner kick), 5:06
O — Mike Williams 14 pass from Brody Binder (Tosser kick), 9:24
O — T.J. Davis 1 run (Tosser kick), 7:41
O — Michael Ruebusch 18 interception return (Tosser kick), 6:41
O — Davis 50 run (Tosser kick), 3:58
O — Hill 41 run (Tosser kick), 3:58
O — Pittman 1 run (Tosser kick), 2:15
Team stats O WV
First downs 16 11
Rushes-yards 46-352 36-116
Passing yards 14 21
Total yards 366 137
Comp-Att-Int 1-4-0 1-11-1
Punts -Ave. 3-34.0 4-29.2
Fumbles-Lost 0-0 3-2
Penalties 8-50 4-27
Rushing: Pittman 27-183, Hill 7-83, Davis 8-74 (O); Justin Ware 14-79, Reggie Mills 15073 (WV)
Passing: Brody Binder 1-4-0, 14 (O); Garrett Wallace 1-10-1 (WV).
Receiving: Dustin Swafford 1-21 (WV).
Records: Ooltewah 7-3; Walker Valley 5-5.