Ball in flight

Clay Central quarterback Boyd Ogles delivers what would become a 35-yard touchdown pass to receiver Jamieon Hunter (foreground) in the second quarter of the Vols' 37-20 win over Benjamin Russell Saturday.

In two years as a starting quarterback, Clay Central’s Boyd Ogles hasn’t built a reputation as a true dual-threat quarterback. After Saturday’s 37-20 Central win over Benjamin Russell, that reputation may start to change.

Ogles completed 13-of-20 passes for 179 yards and a touchdown and rushed for 58 yards and a score on 12 carries to help send the top-ranked Volunteers to their second straight victory to start the season.

Outside of Ogles, Central didn’t have one player just ringing the bell for the offense, but the Vols finished with nearly 400 total yards and did not punt in the first half on their way to a 31-14 advantage at the break.

That lead came after a bit of a dodgy start for Central.

Benjamin Russell returned the opening kickoff for a touchdown and a 7-0 lead. Then Central tied the game with an 83-yard drive on its opening possession and forced a three-and-out for the Wildcats. But the Vols turned it over deep in their own territory on the ensuing possession on an incomplete backward pass that was ruled a fumble, and Benjamin Russell punched it in from 10 yards out to take a 14-7 lead.

“I’m glad they couldn’t take my temperature then, because I was pretty hot,” said Central head coach Danny Horn. “Kickoffs, that was a sore thumb that we had last week. So we practiced it every day this week, and they still returned the opening kickoff. But we did a little bit better after that first kickoff.”

After that, the game was all Central.

The Vols tied it on a 3-yard touchdown run by Elisha McNeil in the final minute of the first quarter. Then Ogles really got to work in the second quarter. He put Central ahead for good with a 12-yard touchdown run, then hooked up with Jameion Hunter on a 35-yard touchdown pass that gave the Vols a 28-14 lead.

Clay Yates drilled a 40-yard field goal attempt as time expired in the first half, and then Central essentially put the game out of reach on the opening possession of the third quarter.

A 16-play, 85-yard drive chewed up almost seven minutes of the quarter and ended with McNeil’s second touchdown run of the game. It would be the last points for Central in the contest, but that was partially by design.

“Offensively I thought we played well, other than a series or two in the second half,” Horn said. “But there you’re just trying to survive and get out of here with a win.”

McNeil led a balanced rushing attack with 66 yards on 18 carries. Jakheim McLemore made the most of his limited touches as he rushed for 62 yards on six carries and also had a rumbling 45-yard reception that helped set up the go-ahead touchdown in the second quarter.

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