Alcoa's Road To Murfreesboro

Spring Hill at Spring Hill W, 21-0

Columbia Daily Herald sportswriter Justin Lamb delivered the lead of the season when he wrote: “Alcoa was good. The rain was better.” Punishing thunderstorms in the midstate area forced the Tornado opener to be called at halftime. Eighty yards passing a touchdown from quarterback Randall Cobb and 98 yards rushing and a pair of scores from Jaron Toney were more than enough for Alcoa to leave the winner.

Maryville Home L, 42-14

Troy Hodge’s first-quarter touchdown gave the Tornadoes a 7-0 lead. Cobb pulled Alcoa even at 14-14 in the second quarter. Maryville then took the lead just before the half and never looked back. Rebel quarterback Brent Burnette passed for 313 yards and a touchdown in the Rebel win, along the way setting up rushing scores from backs Cody McCoy and Thomas Shuler.

White House Home W, 41-6

Toney touched the ball three in the first half. Each went for a touchdown, of 8, 58 and 39 yards. Cobb added 122 yards and a touchdown on six carries in a game Alcoa starters saw limited play after halftime. Hodge added 72 yards and two touchdowns, with the Tornado defense limiting White House to 98 total yards.

B.T. Washington Home W, 49-12

Hodge returned the opening kickoff 43 yards, and the Tornadoes stuck with the theme, continually giving the offense a short field with which to work. Cobb, twice, and Hodge both scampered in for short rushing scores. Cobb connected aerial strikes of 71 and 38 yards to Tyler Robinson and Sam Thompson, respectively. Alcoa finished with nearly 200 yards both rushing and passing.

Wartburg Home W, 49-6

The Bulldogs didn’t win a game all season, and Tornadoes were way too good. Cobb passed for 152 yards and three touchdowns in a brief appearance. Robinson had a pair of scoring catches, Micah Dando the third. Freshmen Taharin Tyson and Darryl Warren both had rushing touchdowns. Wartburg recorded six first downs.

Oliver Springs Home W, 49-7

Thompson runs 31 yards on a reverse on the first play from scrimmage. Hodge then bolts 43 yards through the Bobcat defense for the touchdown. Alcoa really put it to the Bobcats from there. Hodge finished with 114 yards and three touchdowns on seven carries. Cobb added scoring passes of 27 and 46 yards to Dando and Thompson. Toney carried six times for 91 yards and a score.

CAK Home W, 38-21

A 98-yard flea-flicker from Cobb to Thompson put the Tornadoes well ahead, 28-0, early in the second half. A balanced night from Hodge and Cobb running and passing did the rest. Hodge rushed for 124 yards and four touchdowns on 13 carries, including a 75-yard, turf-scorching burst to opening the scoring. Cobb was 5-of-6 for 121 yards. Thompson’s grab was his only reception of the night.

Sweetwater at Sweetwater W, 42-15

The Tornadoes were really starting to cook by this point in the season. Cobb accounted for 192 total yards, 95 of it on the ground, as Alcoa ruined senior night for the Wildcats. Thompson added a 70-yard scoring catch from Cobb. Hodge added 85 yards rushing, Tyson 59, as the Tornadoes rolled up 285 yards on the ground.

Rockwood at Rockwood W, 48-7

The Tornadoes ripped the Tigers for 350 yards rushing, paced by 113 yards and three touchdowns from Hodge. Cobb was 4-of-4 passing for 89 yards and a touchdown pass to Robinson as Alcoa ran off the game’s first 48 points.

Loudon at Loudon W, 42-6

Alcoa was fierce right from the start. Eight offensive plays produced an early 21-0 lead, and the Redskins were never in it from there. Cobb threw only seven passes, completing six of them for 140 yards and three touchdowns as the Tornadoes claimed the Region 2-2A crown. The future Mr. Football Cobb carried four times for another 106 yards, including a 73-yard scoring run. Thompson finished with 111 yards on four catches, the junior star taking one 50 yards to the end zone. Cobb’s efforts pushed Alcoa to 294 yards rushing.

Sweetwater Home W, 49-0

Three weeks later, the Tornadoes were that much better. Hodge found the end zone for three scores as Alcoa shutout the Wildcats behind 250 yards rushing. Cobb was an efficient 8-of-9 through the air with a 44-yard scoring pass to Robinson.

CAK Home W, 56-21

Some “encouraging” words from Cobb at halftime turned this one into a rout. Leading 28-21 at the half, the Tornadoes got a 28-yard scoring run from Cobb less than a minute into the third quarter. Cobb would go on to finish with 160 yards and three touchdowns on 7-of-9 passing, adding 149 yards and two additional scores on five carries.

Gatlinburg-Pittman Home W, 59-36

It wasn’t 91-7, but Alcoa was still too much. The Highlanders fared far better than they did on their previous playoff visit to Goddard Field, but it was of little consequence. The Tornadoes took a 7-0 lead on a Hodge 37-yard run early in the rematch, and the Highlanders never really saw Alcoa again.

Donelson Christian Home W, 38-0

The Wildcats didn’t cross their own 34-yard line until the fourth quarter. Cobb had 139 yards rushing on 13 carries. Thompson pulled in his fifth touchdown grab in the last two games — on six catches — as Alcoa’s seniors were honored with an impromptu ceremony in the closing seconds. With just under two minutes remaining, head coach Gary Rankin took a timeout and sent the Tornado seniors to the middle of the field, where they received a standing ovation by the home crowd.

Goodpasture Murfreesboro W, 35-3

In a year Alcoa was supposed to have less, the Tornadoes won by more. A year after routing the Cougars, 31-3, in the Class 2A championship game, Alcoa rode big performances from Cobb and Robinson to win by an even bigger margin. Cobb carried 18 times for 127 yards and two touchdowns, adding a 14-yard scoring pass to Robinson, in being named BlueCross Bowl Offensive Most Valuable Player. Hodge added 74 yards and two touchdowns on 14 carries. Robinson had six solo tackles from his defensive end position, including three tackles for loss, in being selected the game’s defensive most valuable player. Sophomore Deontra Herbert led Alcoa tacklers with nine solo stops.

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