McCallie Looks Flawless in Beating MUS 44-0 to Claim Second Straight State Title


McCallie drilled MUS 44-0 in the Division II AAA state championship game on Thursday night in Cookeville. McCallie’s defense limited the Owls to 97 yards of total offense, and they recorded five interceptions. Big Blue’s offense was able to take advantage of the great field position as well.

Eric Rivers threw a 29 yard touchdown pass to Emile Bellerose to make it 7-0 in the first quarter. Start of the second quarter, and Rivers raced 26-yards for a touchdownto make it 14-0.

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Following a McCallie interception, B.J. Harris ripped off a 37 yard touchdown to make it 21-0. MUS tried to score right before halftime. They had a fourth and goal from the McCallie three, and John David Tessman got an interception to end the scoring threat going into the locker room.

Rivers scored on a 7 yard run to extend the lead to 28-0 in the third quarter. McCallie’s defense joined the scoring party moments later as Matthew Puckett and Carson Gentle combined on a quarterback sack in the end zone. The safety made it 30-0.

Then with under seven minutes to go in the third quarter, we got the highlight play of the night. Eric Rivers was going down running the option when he pitched it at the last possible second to B.J. Harris. Harris then ran 54 yards for the touchdown. The Missouri commit finished with 173 yards on the night.

McCallie went on to win 44-0 for their second straight state title.

Said the gang about that crazy Rivers touchdown.

Said Rivers:”He (BJ) just came up and (screech) I just threw it to him.”
Reporter:”Were you worried about a fumble in there?”
Said Rivers:”No I was like I just trusted it, and he was wide open so I just let it go. The rest of it he just took it all the way.”

Said head coach Ralph Potter:”It’s a design. We handed it to him, and he optioned. he’s a quarterback. It wasn’t designed to work that way. That was classic Eric Rivers right there. That’s just going oh don’t do that. Ok good. Good. good.”

Said linebacker John David Tessman:”We definitely knew we’d have to show up on defense to be able show out like we did tonight, and to be able to do that and pretty much perfect execution on our part. It was definitely. I’m so proud to be a part of this team.”
Said Potter:”It was just a flawless game. I mean I don’t think we made a mistake the whole time, and it was. Man they just came out and did what they had to do.”

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Rick Nyman grew up in Anniston, Alabama and attended the University of Alabama. His television career started at WJSU-TV in Anniston where he had the opportunity to cover SEC football with Alabama and Auburn. Anniston is just 20 minutes from the Talladega Speedway, so NASCAR was a big part of his sports coverage. Due to this he was able to interview Davey Allison, Dale Earnhardt, Jeff Gordon, and several other top-name NASCAR drivers. Rick's next television job was in Savannah, Georgia, where he covered basketball player Kwame Brown (now with the Washington Wizards), who later became the first ever high school player selected as the top pick in the NBA draft. He covered the PGA Tour's annual swing thru Hilton Head and also had the opportunity of covering the Atlanta Falcons Super Bowl appearance in 1999 in Miami. Rick especially enjoys all the atmosphere, tradition and drama of college football. He also likes profiling sports personalities and learning what drives them both on and off the field. If he's not covering sports, he's either watching Seinfield or David Letterman, playing golf, reading, or working out. What he enjoys about Chattanooga is the passion people have for sports. The mountainous region of Chattanooga reminds him of his hometown of Anniston, which also has big, beautiful trees and plenty of hills. You can contact Rick at