FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 2ND
(all kickoffs at 7:30 EDT unless noted)
Baylor (2-0) at Father Ryan (2-0), 8
Copper Basin (1-1) at Hayesville, N.C.
Hixson (1-1) at Howard (0-1)
Lookout Valley (2-0) at South Pittsburg (1-0), 8
Marion County (0-2) at Whitwell (1-1), 8
McCallie (1-0) at Ensworth (2-0), 8
McMinn Central (0-2) at Polk County (0-2)
McMinn County (1-1) at Rhea County (0-2)
Meigs County (1-1) at Sequoyah (1-0)
Ooltewah (2-0) at Cleveland (0-2)
Silverdale Baptist (1-1) at Boyd-Buchanan (2-0)
Soddy-Daisy (0-2) at Bradley Central (1-1)
Sweetwater (2-0) at Grace Academy (1-1)
Tyner (0-1) at Brainerd (1-1)
Creekview (1-0) at Northwest Whitfield (0-1)
Murray County (0-1)at Dalton (0-1)
LaFayette (0-1) at Trion (0-1)
Allatoona (1-0) at Ridgeland (0-1)
Ringgold (1-0) at Murphy, NC
Heritage (1-0) at Lakeview-F.O. (0-1)
Calhoun (1-0) at Armuchee (1-0)
Pepperell (1-0) at Chattooga (1-0)
Adairsville (1-0) at Dade County (1-0)
Coosa (0-1) at Gordon Central (1-0)
Model (0-1) at Sonoraville (0-1)
Rockmart (0-1) at North Murray (0-1)
Douglas (1-0) at North Jackson (1-0), 8
Fort Payne (1-0) at Etowah (1-0), 8
Ider (1-0) at Sand Rock (1-0), 8
Fyffe (1-0) at North Sand Mountain (1-0), 8
Signal Mountain (2-0) at Bledsoe County (2-0), 8
Coaches: Signal’s Bill Price, Bledsoe’s Jason Reel
Interesting stats/facts: Signal Mountain’s win streak reached 16 Friday with a win over Tyner. ... The two teams have never met, this being Signal’s first year in 7-AA and third year with a varsity program. ... Bledsoe will be playing its first home game after beating Cumberland County and Marion County while the Eagles will be making their first road trip of the year. ... The Warriors have not lost at home since a 27-25 setback to Rockwood on Oct. 23 of 2009. During Reel’s tenure, they’re 12-5 in home regular season games and four of those losses came in his first year (2008). Since taking over at Signal, Price has a 27-2 record. ... Bledsoe is the defending 7-AA champion. Competing in Class 2A last year, Signal went undefeated on its way to the state championship. ... The game is both teams’ district opener.
What to watch: Signal made a point Friday its lopsided win over Tyner. The Eagles have the wherewithal to score regardless. If the running game’s going, they’re happy. If not, they have a strong-armed quarterback (Reese Phillips) and two very capable receivers (Will Queen, Jon Patton) who can take over a game. Conversely, Bledsoe will offer the most versatile offense Signal has seen and their QB, Cody Holloway, hasn’t yet been in a situation this year where they Warriors needed him to come through and win a game. If the Eagles defense has an Achilles heel it could well be their pass coverage. While their fans always look forward to renewing the Sequatchie rivalry, this game could be the biggest gate Bledsoe’s had.
Central (1-0) at East Hamilton (0-2)
Coaches: Central’s John Allen, East Hamilton’s Ted Gatewood
Interesting stats/facts: This will be the first on-campus varsity football game although East Hamilton is into its third varsity season. The lights were installed last spring and the bleachers are supposed to be ready not later than Friday. ... Gatewood, a former Red Bank and University of Memphis player, was previously the head coach at Ooltewah. ... Allen, in his first season at Central, has previous head coaching stops at Lakeview-Fort Oglethorpe, Bradley Central and Silverdale Baptist. ... The game is the District 6-AA opener for each.
What to watch: Central knows that East Hamilton depends heavily on its offensive line for whatever points it scores. The Pounders know too that Logan Jackson is the primary ball-carrier. East Hamilton must rev up its passing game and keep teams from putting eight defenders in the box with the other three just itching to add to the run defense. The Pounders are coming off a very physical game with Polk County and likely picked up some confidence by breaking from a 7-7 halftime tie to a 29-13 victory. Central’s Robert Cobb had just 10 carries but averaged 14 yards.
Grundy County (1-1) at Sequatchie County (2-0), 8
Coaches: Grundy’s Nick Bryant, Sequatchie’s Chad Barger
Interesting stats/facts: The game is the district opener for both the host Indians and the Yellowjackets. ... Sequatchie has won the last two meetings and prior to that the teams last played in 2004, another Sequatchie win. Grundy’s last victory was in 2003.
What to watch: Sequatchie has been a pound-it-out team the last couple of seasons under Barger but the Indians actually unveiled a passing game in their Friday win over Meigs. QB Eli Stout threw a pair of TD passes, completing 5 of 8 attempts for 121 yards. ... Grundy also is a smash-mouth offense that likes to wear opponents down early and then let Johnny Cook pick his holes late. The Yellowjackets are going to be stewing, too, because of a 43-7 loss last week to South Pittsburg. This will be one of the most physical games either team plays this year.
Red Bank (1-0) at East Ridge (1-1)
Coaches: Red Bank’s Tim Daniels, East Ridge’s Mike Martin
Interesting stats/facts: In their current series, which resumed in 2009 when East Ridge moved into District 6-AA from 5-AA, Red Bank holds a 2-0 advantage, winning 41-14 last year and 38-7 in 2009. It’s the district opener for the visiting Lions and the Pioneers. The Lions’ Daniels, now in his 10th season at Red Bank, is second only to Tyner coach Wayne Turner is longevity among 6-AA coaches. ... Red Bank hasn’t had a losing season since Daniels’ second year (2-8, 2003). The Pioneers’ 4-7 last year was Martin’s first losing season as a head coach.
What to watch: Red Bank came close to some big defensive stops last week but seemed to pick up the most opportune penalties from a personal foul to encroachment in a 42-35 win over Soddy-Daisy. They came up with a fourth-down stand late that ended the Trojans’ comeback hopes. East Ridge, on the other hand, played superb defense all night long and limited one of the area’s best runners to slightly more than a single yard per carry with a group of fleet and hard-hitting linebackers. Don’t overlook the Pioneers’ defensive line, either, which caused all kinds of problems for the Buccaneers’ blocking schemes. Red Bank QB Hogan Wilkey stepped up in a big way and keyed the Lions’ win, accounting for three TDs and setting up a key second-half score with a 30-yard run. If Red Bank hopes to win this week, the Lions will have to improve between the tackles. It’s a shame East Ridge hasn’t figured out a way to get Demetrius Bumpass and Eric McCurdy on the field at the same time. The two are alternating plays at QB and both are extremely athletic playmakers.
Chattanooga Christian (0-2) at Notre Dame (2-0), 7
Coaches: CCS’ Barry Loyal, Notre Dame’s Josh Sellers
Interesting stats/facts: It’s the first District 7-AA game for the Chargers and the host Irish. ... The game matches a pair of wide-open offenses. Notre Dame put up 61 points in its opener while CCS, which operates mostly out of a shotgun with five wide receivers, was limited to a first-game TD in a 20-point loss to Boyd-Buchanan. The Chargers then got shocked last week with a lopsided loss to Lookout Valley.
What to watch: Notre Dame’s offense is averaging better than 50 points through the first two games and it could be interesting to see if CCS’ defense, porous to date, can slow the Irish down. By the same token, though, Notre Dame’s defense is suspect and could have its problems if the Chargers remain with their 5-wide modus operandi. It’s feasible to say there could be 100 points scored in this one.
Ward Gossett is an assistant sports editor and writer for the Times Free Press. Ward has a long history in Chattanooga journalism. He actually wrote a bylined story for the Chattanooga News-Free Press as a third-grader. He Began working part-time there in 1968 and was hired full time in 1970. Ward now covers high school athletics, primarily football, wrestling and baseball and University of Tennessee at Chattanooga wrestling. Over a 40-year career, he has covered ...