In his first career start, Tellico Plains freshman quarterback Landon Hollinghead performed well. His only turnover, an interception, came on the last play of the game in garbage time, and overall, he operated the offense well.
That was one of the lone bright spots for the Bears on Friday.
Tellico Plains was thrashed 52-0 by visiting Tyner, never finding a way to halt the Rams’ offense or to score itself.
Despite playing decently, Hollinghead, who began the season as Tellico’s third-string quarterback before starter Dale Rinehart and backup Reid Shaw were injured, couldn’t break free of the constant duress Tyner’s defense put on him.
“(Hollinghead) did an excellent job for being under the pressure against this team right here,” Tellico Plains head coach Jon Rechtorovic said. “They’re just so fast. He’s a fighter. He’s a competitor. He’s going to keep trying to get better every day, just like I ask all my kids to do …
“I have a nickname for him I’ve called him ever since he walked in here in June. I called him, ‘The Future.’ Eventually he’s going to lead the Bears, hopefully to great places.”
Tyner hit on a long touchdown pass early in the first quarter, but the Rams’ extra point attempt was blocked by Tellico’s Marshall Dukes. A second passing touchdown by the Rams soon after put the score at 13-0.
The Rams notched a short touchdown run, with Riley Rose recording his own extra point block for the Bears, then recovered and returned a Tellico backwards pass for a touchdown to go up 26-0 at the end of the first quarter.
Tyner returned a Tellico punt for a touchdown, with Rose blocking another extra point attempt, to open the second quarter. The Rams then scored on a touchdown run to take a 39-0 advantage by halftime, initiating a running clock for the second half.
The Rams scored two more touchdowns, one through the air and the other on the ground, during the third quarter. Rose blocked yet another extra point following Tyner’s second score of the period, pushing Tellico’s tally to four blocks in the game.
“We do have some quick kids, unbeknownst to a lot of folks around here,” Rechtorovic said. “We come off the edge and our kids don’t quit. I refuse to let them quit. They keep plugging along. I told them, ‘Adversity is going to take place.’
“And we’ve had our fair share of adversity. We’ve just got to keep playing.”
The loss drops the Bears to 3-4. Tellico was 3-2 before its last two contests.
Injuries have been a big part of Tellico’s issues, as multiple players have been sidelined with various ailments.
“We’re going to keep working, keep plugging bodies in because we keep losing some game after game,” Rechtorovic said. “But we’ve got some tough kids and we’re going to get after it.”
The Bears have a chance to rest and recuperate with an open date on Oct. 11.
In their next action on Oct. 18, the Bears will host Marion County. The Warriors are 1-5 and lost 34-12 at Bledsoe County on Friday.
“I really haven’t had much of a chance to watch (film of Marion County),” Rechtorovic said. “We go week-by-week, try not to look into the future. I plan on trying to get some stuff and we’re going to show up, we’re going to play hard, and we’re going to give them one heck of a ballgame.”