South Pittsburg (10-2) at Coalfield (10-1), 7
Nicknames: Pirates, Yellow Jackets
Coaches: Vic Grider, Keith Henry
The season: The Pirates scored 38 or more points in six of their wins including 74 against Whitwell. Their two losses were to Class 4A Signal Mountain (65-26) and Class 2A Knoxville Grace (3-0 in triple overtime) and neither Signal nor Grace advanced to the postseason because of TSSAA decisions/sanctions. Five of their games were against Class 2A or higher opponents including Class 6A Franklin County. As common opponents go, there is but one -- Lookout Valley, whom the Pirates beat 56-7. Coalfield is riding a 10-game winning streak. The Jackets lost their opener 34-33 opener at Class 3A Pigeon Forge. The Bobcats scored 41 or more points eight times including a 63-0 win over Jellico.
Last week: South Pittsburg rallied to beat Greenback 28-17; Coalfield bested Lookout Valley 57-23.
Friendship Christian (9-3) at Boyd-Buchanan (10-1), 7
Nicknames: Commanders, Buccaneers
Coaches: John McNeal, Grant Reynolds
The season: The Commanders avenged a 17-0 regular season loss to Trousdale last week to advance to this game. They closed the regular season on a tear, though, scoring 50 or more points in their final three games (all against teams with losing records). However, they allowed a touchdown or less in six of their wins and scored more than 45 points six times. There are no common opponents but then the Commanders played no one above their classification. Boyd-Buchanan played four teams with a record of .500 or better and beat three of them, losing only to rival South Pittsburg, one of Class 1A's favorites. Their closest margin of victory was a 7-6 overtime win over 5-5 East Ridge in Week 2. Half of their games were against higher-classification teams. The Buccaneers scored 35 or more points five times including a 55-6 victory at Unaka and a 54-6 decision over district rival Grace Baptist Academy. They had two shutouts and held seven opponents to a touchdown or less.
Last week: Friendship upset Trousdale County 24-14; Boyd-Buchanan struggled before rallying in the second half to defeat Rockwood 17-13.
Christian Brothers (9-2) at Baylor (9-1), 7
Nicknames: Purple Wave, Red Raiders
Coaches: Kevin Locastro, Phil Massey
The season: CBHS' two losses were to White Station (13-12) and Memphis University School (42-3). MUS, which beat McCallie last week, is in the other half of the bracket and playing at Ensworth Friday. In order to advance last week, CBHS had to beat Brentwood Academy, the only team to best Baylor (10-7) this season. Despite losing at Brentwood Academy, Baylor wound up with the top seed with a win over Ensworth and Ensworth's victory over BA. The Red Raiders have been near methodical this year offensively behind a large offensive line and the defense has jelled without a "name" player.
Last week: Christian Brothers upset Brentwood Academy 37-34; Baylor fumbled twice inside the MBA 10 but still posted a 20-10 win over the Big Red.
Brooks County (9-2) at Calhoun (11-0), 7:30
Ridgeland (7-4) at Peach County (10-1), 7:30
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 ...