The annual cross-county rivalry matchup between the Trion Bulldogs and the Chattooga Indians was hosted this year at Chattooga High School’s Little Big Horn stadium and, for two quarters of play, the packed stands were treated to football at its best.
The Bulldogs were rumored underdogs going into the game with Chattooga returning some key senior starters including the highly touted Foster twins, Isaac & Isaiah. The quarterback/running back tandem put up some eye-popping stats last season and, along with a handful of other Indians, has attracted attention from universities across the country. But the Bulldogs were not intimidated on the Indians home turf and Trion’s Jarrett Pierce, Jake Wells, Tanner Railey and Logan Blevins demonstrated that they were more than ready for Friday night lights.
Trion won the coin toss and took the opening kickoff from junior kicker, C.J. Martin, to set up shop at their own 30. A long methodical drive followed with a steady dose of Blevins and Pierce pounding the ball and quarterback, Jarrett Gill, mixing things up with a short pass to Wells. While the drive stalled inside the Indian’s 5 yard line, the Bulldogs established a physical run game that Coach Justin Brown called “very impressive.” The possession left the Indians with less than 3 minutes in the first quarter and terrible field position.
The Indian’s first drive started deep in their own territory and they were forced to punt after the entire Bulldog defense stacked to box to slow the Foster attack. Isaac Foster took on punt duties this season and his first 30 yard punt put the Dogs at midfield where Gill and company kept the Indians guessing with a deceptive inside reverse and well-timed short passes. This second drive ended in a score as Jake Wells walked into the end zone and put the Bulldogs on top 7-0 early in the second quarter. While the first quarter ended scoreless, the second quarter saw some successful adjustments being made on both sidelines.
The Indians responded with a scoring drive of their own as the Foster brothers, along with Cam Perry and Tyler Griffin, put the Bulldogs on the defensive. Unable to guess where the strike was coming, the Indians struck pay dirt with Isaiah Foster going in from 3 yards out. The 8-play, 75 yard drive was well-executed with a big 37 yard run from Isaac Foster keeping Chattooga’s momentum rolling.
While both teams were forced to punt on their next possession, the Bulldogs did a good job controlling field position and scored a second time with Jarrett Pierce on a 4 yard run. The PAT was good again and, with less than 3 minutes remaining in the half, Trion was up 14-7. Chattooga kicked in their up tempo package and mixed in some great passes to Isaac Foster & Cam Perry. Nine plays and 67 yards brought the Indians to the Bulldog 1 yard line with less than 30 seconds on the clock. While the defense was looking for #2 to get the carry, Isaiah Foster was not to be denied and powered in for the score. Coach Hammon remarked on his decision to go for 2, “…there was no decision. I never play for a tie. We play to win.”
While Isaac Foster’s pass sailed just above his receiver’s finger tips, the call was approved of by the fans and players alike. The Bulldogs took a victory formation snap to end the “game” portion of the scrimmage with a 14-13 Trion win. Both teams had positive things to take away and several items on their to-do list. Coach Hammon felt that he hadn’t pushed his leaders to be more physical in practice and took responsibility for addressing that immediately. Trion’s Coach Brown was impressed with his leaders who stepped up and by the play of several younger Bulldogs whose performance will be relied on throughout the season.
Isaac Foster 14, picked up 61 yards rushing on 6 carries while going 6 of 7 through the air for 64 yards and no picks. Isaiah Foster added 27 yards on 7 carries and 2 touchdowns while catching 2 passes for 20 yards. Cam Perry had 12 yards on 2 carries and another 26 yards on 2 receptions.
Trion’s Jarrett Pierce picked up 54 yards on 5 carries and 1 touchdown and 21 yards on 2 receptions. Tanner Railey rushed for 32 yards on 4 carries and Logan Blevins went 32 yards on 7 carries. Jake Wells picked up 4 yards on 3 carries including a touchdown and had a 15 yard reception. Quarterback Jarrett Gill picked up 13 yards on his 3 carries and went 3 for 3 in the air for 36 yards.
Watch the entire four quarters here:
8 First Downs 9
4 Rushing First Downs 7
3 Passing First Downs 2
1 Penalty First Downs 0
17- 95 Attempts – Yards Rushing 24 – 139
64 Passing Yards 46
159 Total Offense 185
7-6-0 Passing (Attemps-Comp-Int) 6-4-0
3-20 Penalties-yards 5-33
2-61-30.5 Punting (punts-yards-Avg.) 1-35-35
2-31 Kickoff Returns-Yards 2-49
1-0 Fumbles-Lost 1-1