Because of an incident that happened during half time of the game against Silverdale Baptist Academy, Coach Nick Bryant was suspended for all activities for September 16-20, including practice and last Friday’s game at Signal Mountain.
According to the parent of one player, Coach Bryant kicked a garbage can as he entered the locker room at halftime and the garbage can struck a player in the face but did not injure him.
“No players were injured and there was no intent by any coach to injure a player,” said Director of Schools Jody Hargis. “The suspension isn’t over just one incident. There were several issues we felt we need to discuss with Coach Bryant, but this last incident let us know we needed to nip it right now. I know he’s young and there’s a lot of frustration with the team right now and morale is low. But coach Bryant has to understand he has to follow our code of conduct because we expect our coaches to lead by example. We hold our coaches to a higher standard.”
And in the wake of his four-day suspension from Friday night’s away game against Signal Mountain, Head Coach Nick Bryant had insult added to injury as the Eagles outscored the Yellow Jackets 63-7 in this season’s “Battle of the Mountains.”
“They are big and physical,” Coach Jason Evans said, calling the shots for Grundy Friday night in the absence of Bryant. “They attacked us, but we didn’t do enough attacking of them. We had some positive plays on a good game plan but it wasn’t enough.”
Within five minutes of play, the No. 3 TSSAA Power Ranked 4A team had already pieced together two scoring drives and gone up on the Jackets 14-0. A 70-yard run and 39-yard passing touchdown put Grundy in the two-score hole before a 42-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Jack Teter to receiver Lee Nagle with 1:49 left in the first quarter gave the Eagles a 21-0 lead.
Grundy found its way onto the scoreboard just before the half on a 10-yard pass from quarterback Houston Mainord to receiver Schylar Burgess with 7:03 on the clock.
Aside from the touchdown toss in the second, Grundy was held scoreless for three quarters and managed just 152 yards of total offense. Seventeen rushing attempts were stuffed for 45 yards while Mainord was the Jackets’ bright spot with 107 yards in the air. Mainord was 12/24 on passing attempts, finding Logan Meeks, Trevor Hampton and Burgess each three times for 75 yards. Jesse Goodman caught two passes for 27 yards while running back Michael Nolan was the target of an out-pass for five yards.
Nolan led the Jackets with 22 rushing yards on nine attempts. Goodman and Burgess each saw carries for Grundy with Goodman breaking away for a 22-yard gain on his single attempt. Grundy special teams had Logan Meeks return five kicks for 102 yards and kicker Kevin Stewart was 1-1 in extra point attempts.
The rest of the night belonged to Signal Mountain. The Eagles scored three times in the second with two of those scores coming with less than a minute to go on one possession after a Grundy interception was returned 20 yards for an Eagles touchdown.
A Signal Mountain touchdown in the third led to the mercy rule running a continuous clock, and another score in the third and touchdown in the fourth put the game out of hand.
The Eagles rushed for 414 yards and six touchdowns while the passing game was 8/9 for 140 yards and two touchdowns. Signal Mountain gained 12 first downs in the first half and three in the second while Grundy was held to nine the entire game.
“Signal Mountain runs an up-tempo offense and we missed a lot of tackles,” Evans said. “We were misaligned a lot. They had the play called and the ball off the ground very quickly. They are the first team to show us a hurry-up offense and they ran it well.”
Greg McDaniel led the defense with seven tackles, including two for a loss, while Burgess ranked second with six. Terrance Bramhall, Steven Baskins and Goodman each ended the night with five tackles each. Baskins recorded one tackle for a loss.
Grundy returns to the mountain Friday at 7:00 p.m. for a match up against South Pittsburg. The Pirates are 4-1 this season with its only loss coming 29-6 to Hixson. The No. 1 ranked 1A Pirates have claimed wins over Bell County (KY), Sale Creek, Sequatchie County and Whitwell.
“We get Coach Bryant back this week and we have to treat this like any other loss,” Evans said. “We have to look at what we did wrong and tweak things. We have to find a win. We gave Signal Mountain some cheap turnovers but we’ve improved. Our line blocked well and they gave us some time to make some plays. If we keep doing that and have less missed tackles, we’ll be fine.”
Grundy hosts back-to-back home games with its October 4 meeting with Chattanooga Christian. The 7:00 p.m. district match up also serves as Homecoming 2013 for the Yellow Jackets. Pick up a copy of the Grundy County Herald next week for its annual Homecoming edition.