Walker Valley running back Alex King leaps over Soddy-Daisy defenders Harrison Huskey, left, and Jacob Jordan during their prep football game Friday, Oct. 9, 2015, at Soddy-Daisy High School in Soddy-Daisy, Tenn. (Photo by Doug Strickland /Times Free Press.)
Soddy-Daisy's football team scored 17 seconds into its Region 4-5A game with Walker Valley on Friday night. Nearly five hours later, the Trojans sealed the win.
Christian Bell erupted in the second half to lead the Trojans to a 41-34 victory at home.
Walker Valley controlled the first half, using big plays to take a 24-12 lead into the locker room.
The Mustangs scored on plays of 52, 43 and 21 yards for touchdowns and added a field goal. Two of their big plays followed a lengthy lightning delay that started a steady rain for the rest of the night.
"We could have tucked our tails, but that's not our guys," said Trojans coach Justin Barnes. "They take pride in fighting back."
Bell took over. He amassed 201 yards on 31 carries and scored three times, including the game-winning touchdown.
"(Justin) Cooke could still throw fine in the rain, but in the huddle he kept saying, 'Let's run the ball,'" Barnes said. "The running game just got going for us."
The Mustangs (3-4, 1-2) got four touchdowns from quarterback Kolten Gibson, three on passes to Bryce Nunnelly.
"We ran the ball and passed well in the first half," Walker Valley coach Glen Ryan said. "We just had a couple get away from us in the second half, but they played with a wet ball, too."
Gibson and Nunnelly's final connection was an 80-yard strike to knot the score at 34 immediately after a Trojans touchdown. However, Walker Valley could not answer Bell's 4-yard run with 1:23 to play.
"We didn't make the big plays when we needed to, and they did," Ryan said. "It's a tough game to lose, but it's part of it. We have to learn to make the plays in crunch time."
Tre Carter took the opening kickoff 90 yards for a score and added a 43-yard touchown run for the Trojans (5-2, 3-1).
Gibson finished with 214 yards passing, with 92 receiving yards for Nunnelly.
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