Like South Pittsburg, which was No. 1 in Class 1A last week, Boyd-Buchanan now has a bull's-eye.
The Buccaneers became Tennessee's top-ranked Class 2A high school football team this week following a 28-12 victory over Howard. That improved their record to 4-0 this season.
"You have to play like you deserve to be there," Boyd-Buchanan coach Grant Reynolds said. "We have a target on our chests, but the work ethic in practice has been pretty good. Our older guys have a good reslove to improve every week. They don't look ahead."
Boyd-Buchanan has two shutouts already and has allowed 24 points in four games.
"The defense is doing a good job," Reynolds said. "We didn't tackle real well last week, but the kids are getting in the right positions, they've been very coachable and the turnovers they have created have helped."
It doesn't hurt when the starting quarterback, Jim Cardwell, turns in a 220-yard rushing performance to balance the power bursts of Rance Harden.
"The offensive line has done a great job, especially the last two weeks, and Jim and Rance have been running well," Reynolds said. "As long as the line continues to block well, I think both of those guys will do well."
The Bucs are at home this week for a District 5-A match with Grace Academy, a team that Reynolds believes deserves a lot of respect despite a 1-3 record.
"It's a big district game and Grace's offense executes really well," he said. "They're quite good at running the option. We can't let them drive on us and keep the ball."
In addition to South Pittsburg remaining No. 1 in 1A, East Hamilton came in No. 4 in 4A. Baylor, which was as high as second, dropped to No. 5 in Division II-AA following a 28-24 loss to Montgomery Bell Academy.
Meanwhile, Calhoun is the only area team ranked in the Georgia prep poll, and the Yellow Jackets garnered all eight first-place votes in Class AA. Both of their wins have been barn-burners against AAAA teams Ridgeland (42-35) and Dalton (56-41), and they face one more, Carrollton (2-1), before getting back to Class AA opponents.
"We need to get through the AAAA games and get back to playing AA opponents," Calhoun coach Hal Lamb said.
The Yellow Jackets have felt the sting of the injury bug in their first two games, losing two players for the season. Linebacker Chas Horton, a starter at offensive guard last season, hurt his knee against Dalton, and receiver Andrew Haynes suffered a broken leg against Ridgeland.
Contact Ward Gossett at firstname.lastname@example.org or 423-886-4765.
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 ...