The six players, half of whom wrapped up football careers at Bradley Central and the other half at Cleveland High last fall, helped Team Tennessee claim a 45-7 victory over Georgia in a gridiron All-Star Game played at Boyd-Buchanan School in Chattanooga.
Former Blue Raider lineman Robert McMahan was on the field for all 75 offensive plays, while former Bear receiver Dee Crisp caught a pair of passes, including the game’s first touchdown. The Tennessee offense put the most points on the scoreboard in the 11-year history of the “Stump on Sports” event.
The Volunteer State defense, which included former Bradley standouts Eduardo Trevino and Jordan Timmons, as well as Cleveland stars Darius Pillow and Tre’Var Moore, forced a trio of turnovers, gave up just one first down and 61 total yards.
“I thought our guys played really well, especially considering the heat and not having much practice time together,” commented Raider assistant coach Brad Benefield, who helped coach the Tennessee defense. “To come out in June, when you’re not in game shape, and dominate the way we did was amazing,” he added.
“Tre’Var (Moore) played his heart out. He’s a bit undersized against the bigger offensive linemen, but he stuck right with them and made some good plays,” he assessed. “Darius (Pillow) played great on defense. Got a big sack and came up with the takeaway to set up a score.”
“It was great working with the Bradley guys. (Eduardo) Trevino is a great competitor and has a great work ethic. Timmons is going to do well on the next level,” Coach Benefield remarked. “To be around those kids, instead of having them on the other sideline, was a lot of fun.”
He also praised the guys on the other side fo the ball. “(Robert) McMahan played every offensive play. We only had six offensive linemen. He stayed out there the whole time, which is tough enough to do in the fall, much less in this heat.” McMahan said he is planning to try to walk on for East Tennessee State University’s new football program.
“I worked with the defense, so I didn’t get to work with (Dee) Crisp, but he is a tremendous talent and fun to watch,” the Cleveland coach related.
Crisp, who has signed to play for Tusculum College, caught the first Tennessee pass on the night, an 11-yarder from Brainerd’s Sam Caffey, on the second play from scrimmage.
After a scoreless opening quarter, Crisp got the host team on the scoreboard first when he fought off a defender and snagged a pass from Boyd-Buchanan quarterback Jim Cardwell just inside the pylon at the front right corner of the end zone for a 6-yard touchdown to cap the five-play, 39-yard drive.
The local trio of Pillow, Moore and Timmons set up the scoring drive by teaming up to stop a Georgia ball carrier a yard shy of a first down on a fourth-and-3 play. Pillow and Timmons had also combined for a tackle-for-loss two plays before the key stop.
Pillow and Trevino teamed up to stop Georgia ball carriers behind the line of scrimmage on back-to-back plays just before the teams went to the locker rooms tied 7-all at the half.
After the intermission, Tennessee’s offense exploded, scoring on all six second half possessions, while the defense held the boys from south of the border to just two net yards and caused a trio of turnovers, all of which led to touchdowns.
Pillow, who is still trying to work out the details to play at the next level, led the Orange defense with 10 total hits from his outside linebacker position, including a solo sack, plus he picked off a Georgia pass.
Trevino, who hopes to walk on at UTC, and Timmons, a linebacker who has signed to play for Lindsey Wilson in Kentucky, were in on eight tackles apiece. Three of Trevino’s stops were behind the line of scrimmage as he played defensive end rather than his normal linebacker position.
Moore, a defensive tackle who is heading to play for North Carolina Wesleyan, got in on a half dozen tackles, plus forced a fumble that was recovered by a teammate.
That turnover led to a 31-yard touchdown run by Ooltewah’s Mike Mike Williams on a reverse play on which Crisp threw the key block to spring him free.
While the Tennessee offense completed just five passes for 35 yards, two of which went to Crisp for 17, it rushed for 407 yards and had seven different players put points on the scoreboard.
Hixson’s Isaiah Robinson was named the game’s MVP with 103 rushing yards, just three shy of the event’s record, while Denzel Boyd of McMinn Central was the Tennessee Player of the Game with nine carries for 90 yards, including a 49-yard jaunt and a touchdown.
Along with booting a 36-yard field goal, East Ridge kicker Tad Whitaker set a new All-Star record for the most extra points with six, breaking the old mark of five set by Polk County’s Mike Hammonds in 2008. Tennessee holds an 8-3 advantage in the annual contests.
Georgia All-Stars 0 7 0 0 — 7
Tennessee All-Stars 0 7 10 28 — 45
Tenn. — Dee Crisp 6-yard pass from Jim Cardwell (Tad Whitaker kick), 10:29
Ga. — Noah Cooper 1-yd run (Jonathan Sanchez kick), 6:36
Tenn. — Whitaker 36-yard field goal, 9:19
Tenn. — Mike Mike Williams 31-yard run (Whitaker kick), 7:42
Tenn. — Sam Caffey 6-yard run (Whitaker kick), 11:55
Tenn. — Terry Tiller 9-yard run (Whitaker kick), 4:51
Tenn. — Denzel Boyd 10-yard run (Whitaker kick), 4:09
Tenn. — Terrance Brooks 5-yard run (Whitaker kick), :48
First downs 1 20
Rushes-yards 20-25 47-392
Passing yards 36 35
Total yards 61 427
Comp-Att-Int 9-17-1 5-15-0
Fumbles-Lost 2-2 1-1
Penalties 8-48 12-120