Alcoa’s Wall torches Loudon for three scores
By Will Estep | (email@example.com)
In Alcoa’s first district game of the season, the team known more for their running game, saw its quarterback, Peyton Wall, put on a show passing the ball.
Wall threw for 228 yards on 14-of-18 passing for three touchdowns as Alcoa throttled Loudon 31-0 on Friday night at Alcoa.
“It went about like we wanted it to,” Alcoa coach Gary Rankin said. “We didn’t really want to get into a slugfest, we just got out of one Sunday. We were planning on throwing it a little bit and not trying to go toe-to-toe with them. Our kids were still beat up a little bit.”
Alcoa (2-1, 1-0 D4-AA) rested their starters midway through the second half after they got up 31-0 on a Loudon team that was on eight days of rest. That didn’t matter as Alcoa passed all over them for their first district win. The Tornadoes led 21-0 at the half and after a Malik Love 70-yard punt return, the Tornadoes increased their lead to 28-0 with 7:20 left in the third quarter.
With the way the Alcoa defense was playing, the game was already in the bag for the Tornadoes. Alcoa gave up only 74 yards in the contest, and the Redskins were only able to muster 18 on the ground. Rankin was glad to see his team get their first shutout of the season, especially after Loudon (0-2, 0-1 D4-AA) returned a fumble back to the Alcoa six yard line late in the second half.
“It was good,” Rankin said. “We had a fumble down there and we had our second bunch in there at the end and they kept them out, so that was big. We always like to get a shutout if we could. The defense was flying around, and some of the seconds got in there and flew around.”
The game was the first Friday-night contest for Alcoa this season and while they only put up seven points in the first quarter, they did start off quickly in the opening frame.
Wall hooked up with Jordan Ferguson and Kenny Dean for three combined touchdowns in the first half. The Tornadoes, who were coming off of a 42-24 loss to Maryville on Sunday, scored quickly as Peyton Wall hit Ferguson on a 76-yard touchdown pass on the Tornadoes first drive of the game to cap off a 97-yard drive.
“It was real nice,” Wall said. “I have been waiting for it. I hope we pass it around a lot more. I think we will. I think we are getting into it.”
Wall made it a three-possession game with only 15 seconds remaining in the first half when he found Ferguson for a 24-yard touchdown pass to that put Alcoa up 21-0 after an Austin Wallace PAT. Wallace later booted a 27-yard field goal that gave Alcoa their final points of the game.
Alcoa looked as if they might open up district play with only one touchdown in the first half, but that changed quickly when the Tornadoes drove it 71 yards in 7 plays and scored on a Wall touchdown pass to Kenny Dean from 33 yards out with 4:20 left in the first half.
“Tonight gave me a lot more confidence than I had before,” Wall said.
Dean finished with 83 yards on four catches, while Ferguson racked up 100 yards, both of his catches going for touchdowns.
“We got some receivers,” Rankin said. “Overall, I don’t have a clue on what we were throwing the ball, but it looked pretty good.”
Wall’s only blemish of the contest came late in the first half when he threw a pass that was tipped by one of his receivers and Loudon returned to the Alcoa 42-yard line. They then threw an interception of their own that eventually led to Wall’s third touchdown pass of the night.
Alcoa returns next week to play at home against Austin-East. Loudon plays next Friday at home against McMinn Central.