PREP FOOTBALL SCHEDULE
(all kickoffs at 7:30 Eastern unless noted)
Brainerd (3-4, 2-2) at Central (2-5, 1-3)
Columbia Central (7-0) at Baylor (6-1)
Grundy County (4-3, 1-2) at Bledsoe County (6-1, 2-1), 8
Harriman (3-4) at Grace Academy (4-3)
Howard (0-6, 0-4) at Red Bank (6-1, 4-0)
Marion County (1-7) at Copper Basin (2-5), 8
Meigs County (4-3) at McMinn County (5-2)
Polk County (5-2, 2-0) at Sequoyah (4-3, 1-1)
Rhea County (0-7, 0-3) at Ooltewah (5-3, 2-2)
Silverdale Baptist (3-4) at Lookout Valley (5-3)
Soddy-Daisy (3-4, 2-2) at Cleveland (3-4, 1-2)
Sweetwater (4-2, 1-1) at McMinn Central (1-7, 1-2)
Taft Youth Center at Whitwell (1-7), 8
North Jackson (7-0, 5-0) at Crossville (2-5, 2-3), 8
Madison County (2-5, 2-3) at Fort Payne (6-1, 4-1), 8
Ider (6-1, 4-1) at Fyffe (7-0, 6-0), 8
North Sand Mountain (6-1, 5-1) at Victory Christian (0-7, 0-7), 8
Northwest Whitfield (3-3, 3-3) at Forsyth Central (2-4, 2-4)
Murray County (0-6, 0-2) at Cartersville (3-3, 1-1)
Dalton (4-2, 2-0) vs. Ringgold (5-1, 2-0) at Finley Stadium
Heritage (4-2, 0-2) at LaFayette (4-2, 1-1)
Ridgeland (2-4, 1-1) at Southeast Whitfield (2-4, 0-2)
Gordon Central (5-1, 3-0) at Calhoun (6-0, 3-0)
North Murray (0-7, 0-4) at Chattooga (1-5, 0-3)
Sonoraville (3-4, 2-2) at Dade County (3-3, 1-2)
Gordon Lee (2-4, 0-3) at Mt. Zion Carroll (0-6, 0-4)
Trion (1-5, 1-2) at Walker (2-4, 1-2)
Chattanooga Christian (2-5, 0-2) at Signal Mountain (0-2, 0-0), 7
Coaches: CCS’ Barry Loyal, Signal Mountain’s Bill Price
Interesting stats/facts: Signal has outscored the Chargers 106-34 over the past two years and the Eagles were up by close to 50 at halftime last year. ... That is no misprint on the Eagles’ record. They were cruising along 6-1 when all six wins were vacated by the TSSAA because of a clerical error that also cost them the eligibility of RB/LB Tim McClendon. ... Then they played rather poorly and lost on the road Friday night, 36-35 at Polk County. ... CCS is coming off a 38-17 victory over Silverdale Baptist but this has been a disappointing season for the Chargers, who had high hopes of securing at least their first .500 season.
What to watch: CCS QB Levi Corbett has thrown for 1,200 yards and six TDs but he also has 11 interceptions. The Chargers’ go to receiver remains Beau Simmons (40 catches) but he is averaging slightly more than 11 yards per catch to go with a pair of TDs. Signal QB Reese Phillips was more distraught about the loss to Polk County than the team having its six wipes wiped away. Even without Will Queen (broken hand) and one of his favorite targets, Phillips still managed to hook up with Jon Patton, the other favorite target for 117 of his 192 yards. His biggest problem Friday was, surprisingly, having to throw in scramble situations repeatedly when he was flushed from the pocket. The Eagles could be without their top two rushing leaders in McClendon and Zack Bowman, the latter suffering a sprained ankle. Signal will have a week, though, to bolster both sides of the ball where McClendon had been such a force.
Walker Valley (0-7, 0-3) at Bradley Central (5-2, 3-0)
Coaches: Walker Valley’s Ted Lockerby, Bradley’s Damon Floyd
Interesting stats/facts: It’s a rivalry game but Bradley Central has won six in a row. Both clubs are coming off close games, Bradley winning by two at Ooltewah and Walker Valley falling 56-48 following a fourth quarter in which the Mustangs and Soddy-Daisy combined for 62 points. Too, Walker Valley led 7-6 at halftime, meaning the teams scored a combined 91 second-half points.
What to watch: the challenge of Bradley stopping Mustangs RB Kelvin Wells, a task much harder if QB Garrett Wallace and WR Gabe Cartwright hook up for another 187 yards. Bradley QB Bryce Copeland is a veteran and has numerous options including RB/receiver Justin Houston and WRs James Stovall and Cal Pickel.
Friday, Oct. 14
Sequatchie County (6-2, 2-1) at Notre Dame (4-3, 0-3), 8
Coaches: Sequatchie’s Chad Barger; Notre Dame’s Josh Sellers
Interesting stats/facts: This game could be a scoreboard exploder, Sequatchie and its fast-track running game against the Irish’s high-powered passing game led by QB Josh and WR Matt Reilly. Irish also have a quality RB in Shaqualm McCoy.
What to watch: Sequatchie running back Jerry Fain, with a 236-yard effort against Whitwell, has now secured his second straight thousand-yard rushing season. If Notre Dame is to make a game of it, the Irish must stop or at least slow the Indians and force a couple of turnovers.
South Pittsburg (6-1) at Boyd-Buchanan (8-0)
Coaches: South Pittsburg’s Vic Grider, Boyd-Buchanan’s Grant Reynolds
Interesting stats/facts: What’s to say? This is most often a war even though the two are in different districts and different classifications. South Pittsburg won last year and Boyd-Buchanan the year before that. Each is a perennial state playoff participant and each has state championship hardware in its trophy case. South Pitt was the most recent to win a state crown, getting the Class 1A title last year. Both reached the state finals two years ago only to finish as runners-up.
What to watch: South Pitt expects WR/DB Antonio Chubb (broken hand) and several other starters who’ve been sidelined by injuries, to return or at least be available this week. Chubb and his ability to stretch the field for QB Jake Stone should do nothing but help sophomore running sensation Jajuan Lankford. ... Bucs QB Jim Cardwell has grown into the position and the sophomore has actually emerged as a leader. That said, though, his offense still evolves on the success of RBs Chase Reed and John Hale.
East Hamilton (3-4, 3-1) at Tyner (3-4, 3-1)
Coaches: East Hamilton’s Ted Gatewood, Tyner’s Wayne Turner
Interesting stats/facts: This game will go a long way in deciding the 6-AA postseason pecking order. Following Friday’s game, the preseason pick Rams and Gatewood’s Hurricanes still have shots at the title with games against current leader Red Bank. . . . East Hamilton, in its third year of competition, has yet to beat the Rams, losing 41-3 and 56-8.
What to watch: The battles up front. Since its offensive line gelled and began matching the defensive line the Rams have reeled off three straight wins (after a four-loss season start). When East Hamilton is going well it’s because of the push the offensive line gets in creating holes for RB Logan Jackson.
East Ridge (3-4, 2-2) at Hixson (3-4, 1-3)
Coaches: East Ridge’s Mike Martin, Hixson’s Houston White
Interesting stats/facts: Teams have played just twice since East Ridge moved up into 6-AA and they’ve split. Hixson won last year. . . White was a standout athlete at East Ridge East Ridge has won back-to-back games to jump back into the district race, upsetting East Hamilton two weeks ago and then besting Howard Friday. Hixson lost to East Hamilton Friday and Tyner the week before that.
What to watch: Look for Hixson’s Clarencio Holmes and if doesn’t have the ball, figure it’s in the hands of Justin Mathieson. They have accounted for close to 80 percent of the Wildcats’ offensive numbers and each also plays defense. ... Eric McCurdy has emerged as East Ridge’s QB, Martin deciding about three weeks ago to put the job in his hands full-time. Pioneers’ strong suit, however, is on defense, at least when the starting 11 are all healthy.
Pope John Paul II (2-5, 0-4) at McCallie (3-3, 1-3)
Coaches: PJP’s Jeff Rutledge, McCallie’s Bubba Simmons
Interesting stats/facts: Rutledge dressed out for three Super Bowls and coached in another. The former Vandy assistant also played in three SEC championship games and one national title game as an Alabama quarterback. His best game in the NFL came in a relief role when he passed for 363 yards and a TD and ran for another score in relief of Stan Humphries while with Detroit. ... Among BGA’s losses are setbacks to Father Ryan, Ensworth and Battle Ground Academy, common opponents with McCallie. The Blue Tornado beat Father Ryan but also lost to BGA and Ensworth. ... McCallie has played just two home games but has won each. ... The teams have played just twice with McCallie winning each.
What to watch: PJP QB Tanner Hale has completed 55 percent of his passes and has gone over the 1,000-yard mark but while he has six TD passes he also has seven interceptions. Their leading receiver is Brad Jarrau with 28 catches for 470 yards and four TDs. ... McCallie counters with QB Trent Lusk and RB Daniel McClure who is just 97 yards shy of the 1,000-yard mark. In six games he’s averaged 150.5 yards.
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 ...