MBA falls as McCallie three-peats in Division II-Class AAA title game

McCallie held MBA to its lowest offensive output of the season Thursday, defeating the Big Red 28-7 in the BlueCross Bowl Division II-Class AAA championship game at Chattanooga’s Finley Stadium. The Blue Tornado completed a 13-0 season in winning their third consecutive state title.

MBA’s Rhett Hayles turns the corner against the McCallie defense in Thursday’s Division II-Class AAA BlueCross Bowl championship game. (Scott Burton/615 Preps)

How it went down: McCallie scored a touchdown in every quarter and forced MBA to play catch-up in the second half, as the Blue Tornado defensive front was relentless in pursuing Big Red quarterback Marcel Reed. MBA trailed 14-7 at halftime but could not get much going offensively in the second half. MBA’s Harrison Jackson was carted off the field after a tackle with less than four minutes to play.

Key numbers: MBA was 1-of-7 on third-down conversions in the contest and 0-for-3 on fourth-down tries … McCallie converted both of its fourth-down conversions … Although McCallie’s defense only sacked Marcel Reed once, the Blue Tornado defense finished with eight tackles for a loss.

Turning point: Early in the third quarter, MBA appeared to have the stop it needed to regain some momentum, but a roughing-the-punter penalty gave McCallie an automatic first down. It turned the possession into what ultimately became a 10-play, 58-yard drive that put the Blue Tornado up 21-7.

Key performers: McCallie quarterback William Riddle was named the game’s Most Valuable Player after completing 10-of-15 passes for 172 yards and two touchdowns … Xavier Gaillardetz was Riddle’s favorite target with five receptions for 117 yards and a touchdown … Tario Price ran for 114 yards and a score for McCallie … Reed threw for 133 yards and rushed for 56 more for the Big Red.

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