COOKEVILLE- Gary Rankin and his Alcoa Tornadoes football team both made history as they nipped Covington 21-14 for the Class 3A state title.
For Alcoa, it is the 17th football state title for the rich Blount county school as they improve to 17-2 in state title games and with the 17th title, the Tornadoes have won the most of any school in TSSAA history.
It is also the Tornadoes fourth consecutive Class 3A state title and for Rankin, it was his 425th career coaching win in his Hall of Fame career as his record improves to 425-75 and it is also his 14th state title as a head coach including his 10th at Alcoa in 13 seasons.
Rankin has also won 110 playoff games in his legendary career that started back in 1982 at Smith County.
But the Chargers (14-1) put up a great fight as the Tornadoes (15-0) scored with just 16 seconds remaining in regulation to break a 14-14 tie as senior quarterback Walker Russell, the 3A Mr. Football winner scored from a yard out.
Alcoa drew first blood as running back Ahmauud Sankey scored from 10 yards out in the first quarter to stake Alcoa to a 7-0 lead.
Covington tied the score early in the second quarter as Cordarius Page caught a 29 yard pass from Brock Lomax to tie the score at 7-7 at the half.
Sankey then put the Tornadoes back up 14-7 in the third quarter and Lomax tied the score at 14 early in the fourth quarter.
Walker led the rushing attack for Alcoa as he had 73 yards, Sankey had 60 yards and K’Vaughn Tyson also added 59 yards as well.
Lomax led the way for Covington as he rushed for 77 yards and also added 37 yards through the air, while Marcus Hayes added 53 yards for the Chargers.
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