Baylor (6-0, 4-0) at Brentwood Academy (4-1, 2-0), 8
Coaches: Baylor’s Phil Massey, Brentwood’s Ralph Potter
Interesting stats/facts: Baylor bested BA 21-20 last year, the first series win for the Red Raiders in Massey’s five-year tenure. ... While Baylor is coming off a narrow 34-28 win over in-town rival McCallie (after leading 34-7 midway of the third quarter), the Eagles enjoyed an open date. ... The teams’ only common opponent to date is Montgomery Bell Academy, which lost 42-13 to Brentwood and 23-16 to Baylor.
What to watch: George Porter had his first big night of the season, going for 100 and a TD against the Blue Tornado, but Baylor also has Connor Davidson, who entered that game as the Red Raiders’ most consistent rusher. ... Of course, one always must account for QB Matthew Oellerich, who ran for one TD and threw for two more. ... Eagles QB Max Staver averages slightly more than 10 completions and 139 yards per game but the Eagles have a quartet of backs led by D’Montre Wade, who enters the game averaging 8.9 yards per carry and 116 yards per game. Wade has more than double the carries of any other Brentwood back but Jalen Ramsey does sport a 7.4 per-carry average.
Bledsoe County (4-1, 1-1) at Sequatchie County (5-1, 2-0), 8
Coaches: Bledsoe’s Jason Reel, Sequatchie’s Chad Barger
Interesting stats/facts: Bledsoe wound up winning District 7-AA thanks in part to a 34-28 home victory over the Indians during the regular season. The Indians avenged that loss in the first round of the playoffs with a 35-34 win. ... The Warriors have two straight regular season wins over Sequatchie, winning at Dunlap two years ago 35-31. ... The Indians haven’t lost at home since a 2009 opening playoff game setback to York Institute. Their last home loss? Bledsoe two years ago.
What to watch: Warriors QB Cody Holloway is 135 yards from reaching the 1,000-yard mark and he’s averaging 216 yards per game. His primary receivers have been Jeremiah Gilbert and Brandon Smith although freshman Nathaniel Collins is coming on. Smith also is their leading rusher with 116.3 yards per game but Holden Boynton is close at 96.5 . . . . Jerry Fain is far and away the Indians’ leader on a rush-oriented offense but he has been getting help from QB Eli Stout and backfield mates Hunter Hudson and Shane Yother.
Ringgold (3-1, 0-0) at Heritage (4-0, 0-0)
Coaches: Ringgold’s Robert Akins, Heritage’s Tim James
Interesting stats/facts: Unless I’ve been misinformed, Heritage’s start is slightly deceiving. Heading into last Friday’s games, all four of the teams that the Generals had beaten were winless. Three of the four are still winless but Lakeview-Fort Oglethorpe got its first win Friday. ... Heritage’s James has been among the leaders in supporting Ringgold High athletics’ reconstruction effort. The coaches are old rivals dating back to Akins’ days at Boyd-Buchanan and James’ at East Ridge.
What to watch: Ringgold will employ a run-first approach. QB Slade Dell has completed 17 of 45 passes for 240 yards with two TDs and two interceptions. However, Dale, Mark Fairbanks and Shaun Anderson are contributing a cumulative 237 rushing yards per game. Heritage QB Jake Sampson hasn’t been a much more active passer (37 attempts) but his completion percentage is 67.6 and he has five TD tosses as opposed to just one interception. Generals RB Ethan Thompson is averaging 109 yards per game.
Tyner (1-4, 1-1) at Hixson (3-2, 1-1)
Coaches: Tyner’s Wayne Turner, Hixson’s Houston White
Interesting stats/facts: Entering Friday’s game against DeKalb County, Hixson QB Justin Mathieson was completing 69 percent of his passes with six TDs and just two interceptions. However, he had thrown just 26 passes. ... The teams haven’t played year-in and year-out for more than two-game stretches but Hixson’s last victory over Tyner came in 1991 when Bob Sanders was in his third of four seasons as the Wildcats coach. Score of that one was 27-25. ... In the last two years, Tyner has won 56-0 (last year) and 47-35 (2009). ... The Rams are having a miserable campaign, most recently losing to Class 5A member Tullahoma 24-14 while the Wildcats were falling to DeKalb County 30-14. This is Tyner’s worst start since 2005 when the Rams’ 48-14 win over Sequatchie was their only victory in their first five games. They rebounded to win four straight before dropping a first-round playoff game and finish 5-6.
What to watch: The Hixson offense is comprised primarily of Mathieson and running back Clarencio Holmes and they operate behind what has been a burly and efficient offensive line. ... Tyner has struggled to score points and the 14 Friday were a season high. Five games into the season only two Rams have rushed for more than 100 total yards, that pair behind Joseph Sturkey and Bobby Hendricks. ... the bright spots to date have been defenders Chandler Patrick, Lamonte Solomon, Sturkey and Zack Hutchins.
Chattanooga Christian (1-4, 1-1) at Grundy County (2-3, 0-2)
Coaches: CCS’ Barry Loyal, Grundy’s Nick Bryant
Interesting stats/facts: Both teams are on the verge of falling out of the District 7-AA race and already stand behind Signal Mountain, Sequatchie County and Bledsoe. CCS, in its third year with varsity football, is still looking for its first .500 or better season while Grundy is seeking its third straight postseason appearance.
What to watch: If the Chargers are to have a shot, QB Levi Corbett has to improve his accuracy. He is throwing for 193 yards per game but has completely barely more than half his passes while throwing for five TDs and 10 interceptions. They have relied more this year on their running game featuring Corbett and Jay Sims. Grundy is led by running back Johnny Cook (124.5 ypg) but need to get more from fellow runner Michael Noland and QB Hayden Holland
Contact Ward Gossett at www.timesfreepress.com or 423-886-4765.
The rest of the schedule:
(All kickoffs at 7:30 Eastern unless noted)
Bradley Central (3-2,1-0) at Rhea County (0-6, 0-2)
Central (2-3, 1-1) at Red Bank (4-1, 2-0)
Copper Basin (2-4, 1-0) at Grace Academy (2-3, 0-1)
East Hamilton (2-3, 2-0) at East Ridge (1-4, 0-2)
Howard (0-4, 0-2) at Brainerd (2-3, 1-1)
Lancaster Christian (1-3) at Boyd-Buchanan (6-0)
Marion County (1-5, 1-1) at Lookout Valley (3-3, 1-1)
McCallie (3-2, 1-2) at Battle Ground Academy (5-1, 2-1), 8
McMinn County (3-2, 2-0) at Walker Valley (0-5, 0-1)
Notre Dame (4-2, 0-2) at Signal Mountain (5-1, 2-0), 7
Ooltewah (4-2, 1-1) at Soddy-Daisy (2-3, 1-1)
Sequoyah at McMinn Central (1-5, 1-1)
Sweetwater (3-2, 0-1) at Meigs County (3-2, 1-1)
Whitwell (1-5, 0-2) at South Pittsburg (4-1, 2-0), 8
Cherokee County (3-1, 2-1) at North Jackson (5-0, 3-0), 8
Boaz (3-2, 3-0) Fort Payne (4-1, 3-1), 8
Ider (4-1, 3-1) at Section (1-4, 1-3), 8
Westbrook Christian (2-3, 1-3) North Sand Mountain (4-1, 4-1), 8
Cass (0-5, 0-5) at Northwest Whitfield (2-2, 2-2)
Murray County (0-4, 0-0) at Pickens County (0-4, 0-0)
Ridgeland (1-3, 0-0) at Dalton (2-2, 0-0)
Southeast Whitfield (2-2, 0-0) at LaFayette (3-1, 0-0)
Calhoun (4-0, 1-0) at Sonoraville (3-2, 2-0)
Chattooga (1-4, 0-2) at Lakeview-F.O. (1-4, 1-1)
Dade County (2-2, 0-1) at North Murray (0-5, 0-2)
River Ridge (4-0) at Gordon Lee (1-3)
Bowdon (5-0, 2-0) at Trion (1-4, 1-1)
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 ...