CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (WATE) — Alcoa had a new coach this season, but the results remained the same: Alcoa captured its 8th consecutive state championship on Friday. The Tornadoes turned to senior quarterback Zach Lunsford to get past East Nashville 45-26.
Lunsford was the MVP completing eight-of-13 passes for 163 yards and three touchdowns. All three touchdown passes were to sophomore Luke Cannon. While the senior quarterback won the award, he wanted to give credit to his teammate.
“My Big Target Luke Cannon, I feel like he should have won this award,” said Lunsford. “He’s the one that made the big plays when we needed them.”
“He’s been so big this year,” said Alcoa head coach Brian Nix. “He hasn’t played football in three years. He’s a sophomore, he’s a basketball player, he’s Elijah’s brother, we talked him into coming out, we thought eventually he’d be a good player but he’s made some big catches all through these playoffs.”
Coach Nix made history himself. He was part of 15 state championships on the Tornadoes staff, but this is his first as a head coach.
“It means a lot actually, that’s crazy for Coach,” said senior running back Jordan Harris. “I told him I’m going to get it for him so that’s what we had to do.”
“It just means everything, that’s our head coach,” said Lunsford. “We play for him. I love his energy that he brings to practice and our games every week. It just means the world to win this for him.”
“I think it’s so sweet to see how hard these other coaches work for me,” said Nix. “Gary, when we won it never made it about him and it’s not about me. It’s so humbling that they would stay and work with me and for me.”
The Tornadoes wrap up the season with a 14-1 record and eighth straight state title.