PREP FOOTBALL SCHEDULE
(all kickoffs at 7:30 EDT unless noted)
• Thursday, Oct. 6
Taft Youth Center at Lookout Valley (4-3), 7
Sonoraville at Gordon Central, 7:30
• Friday, Oct. 7
Boyd-Buchanan (7-0) at Unaka (2-4)
Cannon County (0-7) at Meigs County (3-3)
East Hamilton (2-4, 2-1) at Hixson (3-3, 1-2)
East Ridge (1-2, 2-4) at Howard (0-5, 0-3)
Franklin County (2-4)at South Pittsburg (5-1), 8
Grace Academy (3-3) at Marion County (1-6), 8
Grundy County (3-3) at Upperman (3-4), 8
Roane County (5-2) at McMinn Central (1-6)
Sequatchie County (5-2) at Whitwell (1-6), 8
Silverdale Baptist (3-3) at Chattanooga Christian (1-5)
Tyner (2-4, 2-1) at Central (2-4, 1-2)
Walker Valley (0-6, 0-2) at Soddy-Daisy (2-4, 1-2)
York Institute (2-4) at Bledsoe County (5-1), 8
Butler (0-6, 0-4) at North Jackson (6-0, 4-0), 8
Fort Payne (5-1, 4-1) at Albertville (5-1, 3-1), 8
Ohatchee (3-3, 2-3) Ider (5-1, 4-1) , 8
North Sand Mountain (5-1, 5-1) at New Hope (3-3, 2-2), 8
Rome (4-2, 4-2) at Northwest Whitfield (3-2, 3-2)
Allatoona (5-0, 1-0) at Murray County (0-5, 0-1)
Heritage (4-1, 0-1) at Dalton (3-2, 1-0)
LaFayette (4-1, 1-0) at Ridgeland (1-4, 0-1)
Ringgold (3-1, 1-0) at Southeast Whitfield 92-3, 0-1)
Calhoun (5-0, 2-0) at North Murray (0-6, 0-3)
Lakeview-F.O. (2-4, 2-1) at Dade County (3-2, 1-1)
Mt. Paran (4-1, 2-0) at Gordon Lee (2-3, 0-2)
Brainerd (3-3, 2-1) at Red Bank (5-1, 3-0)
Coaches: Brainerd’s Stanley Jackson, Red Bank’s Tim Daniels
Interesting stats/facts: The last time Brainerd beat Red Bank, Jackson was likely in elementary school or middle school. That was 1987 and the coach was Calvin Sorrells. Since that year, Lurone Jennings, Eddie Lambert, Marvin Jones and Jackson have had their shots. Lambert came closest to matching Sorrells’ feat when his 2002 team lost by an extra point, 7-6, on its way to a 0-10 season. ... The Panthers, who beat Tyner in Week 2, are coming off a big win over Howard, 33-12, which gives them that barber shop and bowling alley conversation piece — the so-called inner-city championship. ... Red Bank’s last district loss came last year to Tyner and on the heels of another loss to Central. ... The Lions, reeling after a 41-6 thrashing by Cleveland on Sept. 23, rebounded Friday with a 36-20 victory over Central. They lead District 6-AA with key games remaining against Howard, East Hamilton and Tyner.
What to watch: Red Bank QB Niquia McDuffie. If he is on and if the Lions can get out front early they’re liable to make it a long night. If the Panthers stick around or even take a lead into the third quarter the night could get interesting because Brainerd has as many offensive playmakers as the Lions including QB Sam Caffey and WR/RB Maleek Rooks. The key for McDuffie is hitting early passes to Deres Benn or Kameno Watson which will open up space for him to run.
Bradley Central (4-2, 2-0) at Ooltewah (5-2, 2-1)
Coaches: Bradley Central’s Damon Floyd, Ooltewah’s Shannon Williams
Interesting stats/facts: Though they beat Rhea County 41-9, the Bears had just three more first downs (19-16) than the Golden Eagles. ... Bradley’s losses are to state-ranked teams (Baylor, Blackman) and its district wins are over Rhea and Soddy-Daisy. Following Friday’s game the Bears still have District 5-AAA games against Walker Valley, Cleveland and McMinn County. ... Ooltewah’s district wins are over Soddy-Daisy (last week, 43-14) and Cleveland and the loss came against McMinn County. ... Ooltewah has won four of the last five meetings with the Cherokees’ only win in that span coming two years ago in an upset to end the regular season.
What to watch:
Cleveland (3-3, 1-1) at McMinn County (4-2, 3-0)
Coaches: Cleveland’s E.K. Slaughter, McMinn County’s Bo Cagle
Interesting stats/facts: Cleveland has a new look to its offense, one the Blue Raiders first incorporated two games back when they struggled to beat winless Walker Valley. However, they seemed to put everything together two weeks ago, beating Red Bank 41-6 and they had an open date last week to polish the two-back look, two-tight end set they’re more than flashing. It has created preparation problems. ... McMinn County is sitting atop the 5-AAA standings a half-game ahead of Bradley and this is the first of at least three crucial tests over the final four weeks. The Cherokees also still have games with Bradley and Ooltewah.
What to watch: McMinn County QB Nathan Simbeck has filled his role as catalyst, completing 62 percent of his passes and possessing a 2-to-1 touchdowns to interceptions ratio. Of course, he’ll square off against Cleveland QB Chad Voytik, who has proved he can run as well as he can pass. ... Cherokees have split rushing duties between Dre Sanders and Dylan Plaster and their leading receiver is Cedrick Nevins, a first-year senior.
Signal Mountain (6-1) at Polk County (4-2)
Coaches: Signal’s Bill Price, Polk’s Derrick Davis
Interesting stats/facts: This is first meeting between the two and the game should be one of the most physical either will play. While Polk’s Wildcats had an open date, Signal was rolling up its best scoring output of the year in a 59-18 win over Notre Dame. ... Polk is used to play teams from the higher ranks, losing to Bradley Central to open the season but throttling Walker Valley 32-6 on Sept. 23. ... They Wildcats have lost one regular season home game since the start of the 2008 season, that being to Bradley Central to open the 2010 campaign.
What to watch: How Davis attacks the versatile Signal offense, which appears to be equally strong at running and passing. In their win over Notre Dame, the Eagles ran for 303 and passed for 240 behind Tim McClendon, who had his first 100-yard rushing effort against the Irish, and QB Reese Phillips who threw for three touchdown passes and then ran for two more. ... Polk relies heavily on RB Alex Akins (122.3 yards per game) but also QB Alex Akins, who has run for 344 yards while completing 59 percent of his passes (23-39-1) for 285 yards and four TDs.
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 ...