Ugly Display Keeps Pioneers from Win

Personal foul penalties helped East Ridge notch victory


Quarterback Kolton Richards celebrates after a touchdown run in the second half against East Ridge.

Staff Report

Oak Ridge suffered a haunting 27-26 loss at home to East Ridge and also lost a coach and players in the process.

The Pioneers led 20-6 and appeared on their way to celebrating the season’s first win. However, East Ridge busted loose in the third quarter for a long touchdown drive to make it 20-13. The Pioneers answered with a score of their own to make it 26-13. 

During the final few minutes of the fourth quarter, a virtual nightmare came to pass. First, the Pioneers were flagged for three personal fouls between plays, and that moved the ball 45 yards without a snap. East Ridge capitalized on the free yardage to score and make it 26-20. Then Oak Ridge fumbled the kick return, and East Ridge recovered and scored in the final seconds.

Following the game, several players were suspended indefinitely for disciplinary reasons that may have been related to shouting and helmet throwing that took place at the end of the game. A day later, head coach Clint Johnson resigned his position, and assistant coach Kyle Hayes took the reins for the remainder of the season.