Eagles Fly High Over Bulldogs For “Ridge to River” Win
Spring City, TN — Rhea Middle School won 28-16 over county rival Spring City to bring home the “Ridge to River” title for 2018. Spring City has won the first two “Ridge to River Classic” games of the series. This was a very competitive game that was one score affair until late. This was also a game of big plays and some key turnovers that determined the winner.
Eagles received the opening kickoff and a fumble on second play from scrimmage at their own 19 yard line. Bulldogs were unable to take advantage of the turnover and turned the ball over on downs at the Eagle 19 yard line. On the second play of the drive, quarterback Caleb Martin heaved the ball downfield to no 18, Andrew Massengill to the 45 yard line of the Bulldogs. The Eagle drive stopped on the 27 yard line when Trent Edwards and Tyler Neal.
Bulldogs next drive though resulted in punt which put Eagles in business on their own 46 yard line with 7:44 left in second quarter. After Mayberry picked up first down on run, he was on the receiving end of a 29 yard touchdown pass from Caleb Martin for the initial score of the game with 5:46 left in first half. Two point conversion was no good.
Bulldogs then put themselves in trouble with a fumble on kickoff return at the Bulldogs 18 yard line. Eagles struct quickly with 18 yard touchdown pass from Caleb Martin. Martin hit Massengill for the score. Braydon Brown(21) added the two point conversion.
Braden Edwards had nice return on short kickoff back to the Eagle 31 yard line. Houston and Alloway helped power the Bulldogs down to the 14 yard line. On 4th and 14 play it was Jaxon Reed with the short pass to Kade Houston to get Bulldogs on the board with 1:17 left in the half. Bulldogs scored the two point conversion on Caleb O’Dell run after Eagles original stop of Bulldogs was negated by penalty. Eagles moved the ball but ran out of time as clock ran out to signal halftime.
Bulldogs received the kickoff to start second half at their won 30 yard line. After first two running plays were stuffed by Eagle defense, Bulldogs went to the air and Eagles were ready as Lane Robinson picked the ball off around the 43 and followed a convoy of blockers into the end zone for the touchdown and a 20-8 lead for the Eagles. Bulldogs stuffed the conversion attempt to leave score at 20-8 with 6:24 left in third.
Wilson brought back the short kickoff to the 46 yard line of the Bulldogs. Kade Houston had a couple of nice runs to move the ball down to the 37. Bulldogs moved the ball inside the twenty and Laton Alloway picked up a first down for the Bulldogs at the 14 and then it was Alloway with the 9 yard touchdown run to pull Spring City within 20-14 with 41 seconds remaining in the third quarter. Alloway tacked on two point conversion for 16th point and it was anyone’s game at this point.
Rhea Middle setup shop at their 39 after the kick. Mayberry and Davis had good runs and Eagles moved ball across midfield. Davis had another good run to move the ball down to the 38 yard line of Spring City. Braydon Brown then ran for another first down, moving ball down to 32 yard line. Bulldogs defense stiffened forcing a fourth and one play, but Eagles were successful to setup shop at Bulldog 23 yard line. Briley Mayberry had nice run with a couple of nice moved to move the ball down inside the ten yard line before Robinson put the ball into the end zone to push the lead to 26-16. Davis tacked on conversion to move score to 28-16 with 4:15 left in the game and Bulldogs in a pressure situation as they were down by two scores.
Kade Houston energized the crowd with a very nice reverse field kickoff return from the Bulldog 27 yard line back to Eagle 37 yard line. Bulldogs stalled at the 29 yard line and Briley Mayberry had big tackle in the backfield to give Eagles ball in turn-over on downs with 2:13 left in game. Rhea Middle moved the ball down the the Bulldog 39 yard line before the final tick on the clock and had secured the win and possession of the “Ridge to River” trophy. The win also gave the Rhea Middle School team an unbeaten 6-0 record to finish the season.
After the game, Bulldog head coach Anthony Loden said, “I knew it was going to be tough. The have a real good football team this year. I am proud of our bunch for hanging in there and battling. I am very very pleased with our bunch. We had a couple of breaks that went against us. Never know what would happened if we didn’t have those.”
About the upcoming post season Loden said, “We still got a lot of football left to play. We host first round of playoffs against Oliver Springs. They have new head coach and run something a little different than they used to. The winner goes to Oneida the next week.”
“We started out playing a lot of young players. Couple of first time players, who had never played before. Could not be more proud of the whole group overall. They exceeded all expectations.”
Rhea Middle head coach Craig Moser said, “The boys did everything we asked them to do all season. They listened to what we said. We ran same stuff we have been doing and it worked tonight.”
“They have a real good football team. We had a harder time stopping them than we did anybody. The turnover in the second half was a big play. We tried to lock in on our keys and do the best we could.”
“We returned one starter on offense and one on defense. They just went to work and kept getting better. They just kept getting better all season.”