published Friday, August 29th, 2014

Greater Chattanooga arear high school football matchups for Aug. 29

All kickoffs at 7:30 EDT unless noted

* district/region game

KNOXVILLE WEBB SPARTANS (0-1) at BAYLOR RED RAIDERS (1-0)

Storyline: Webb lost last week to Maryville, 28-7, and Baylor rolled in its opener, 51-6 over Howard. If Baylor quarterback Nick Tiano is as sharp as he was last week -- 5-of-8 (with three drops) for 155 yards and four TDs -- the Red Raiders will be tough to handle.

SODDY-DAISY TROJANS (1-0) at RED BANK LIONS (1-0)

Storyline: Trojans QB Hunter Maynor is coming off a fabulous season opener -- 13-of-18 passing with four TDs and an area-best 244 yards. He will be facing a more experienced and probably more athletic secondary in the Lions, who beat Boyd-Buchanan last week and are making their "Restore the roar" home debut.

NOTRE DAME FIGHTING IRISH (0-1) at EAST RIDGE PIONEERS (0-1)

Storyline: The game still has neighborhood rivalry written all over it and both are battling for 3A postseason positions. East Ridge was picked to win District 6-AA while Notre Dame finished in a tie with Signal Mountain in a poll of 7-AA coaches. The game should be up-tempo and possibly high-scoring, although the Irish held down strong Knoxville Catholic fairly well in a 15-12 loss.

MARION COUNTY WARRIORS (1-0) at BLEDSOE COUNTY WARRIORS (1-0)

Storyline: Both teams are coming off resounding victories -- Marion over Grundy County and Bledsoe a shutout of Cumberland County. The game also matches quality runners in Marion's Blake Zeman and Bledsoe's Joseph Gore. The question for each is supporting cast strength. While Marion is more of a power football team, Bledsoe is depending more on speed, quickness and misdirection.

SIGNAL MOUNTAIN EAGLES (1-0) at TYNER RAMS (0-0)

Storyline: Rams coach Wayne Turner was likely in the stands last week when the Eagles outlasted East Hamilton 28-19. It was the first game Signal coach Bill Price trotted out sophomore Skye Wilson as a starting RB, but Signal has a handful of capable RBs and the Eagles and Rams will each play five or six in the backfield. The Signal defense easily handled the East Hamilton running game, but Tyner's OL presents a stiffer challenge.

STRATFORD SPARTANS (0-1) at HOWARD HUSTLIN' TIGERS (0-1)

Storyline: Both teams ventured into Division II-AA territory last week and absorbed sound beatings -- Stratford 52-34 to Pope John Paul II and Howard 51-6 to Baylor. It will be a matchup of small-sized squads with a number of athletes, but Howard definitely will have a size advantage. The Spartan to watch is Corey Simmons, who had 166 rushing yards on 11 carries and caught three passes for 52 yards.

BRAINERD PANTHERS (0-1) at ENSWORTH TIGERS (1-0)

Storyline: Coming off a thumping at Ooltewah, Brainerd is stepping into another buzz saw in Ensworth, again the state's defending Division II-AA champion. The Tigers have two cornerbacks already committed to SEC schools: Rico McGraw (Alabama) and Donovan Sheffield (Vanderbilt). QB P.J. Settles, coming off a 2013 postseason knee injury, completed 12 of 15 passes for 181 yards and two TDs in his team's 21-14 win over Trinity Christian of Kentucky, a perennial member of the national top 25.

MIDWAY GREEN WAVE (1-0) at WHITWELL TIGERS (1-0)

Storyline: Midway is coming off a 48-7 whipping of Tri-Cities Christian, but Whitwell won 45-7 over Mount Juliet Christian. Excitement has been growing in Whitwell since R.C. Helton arrived as coach, and his Tigers provided a jamboree victory and then the season-opening win. Teams are going to be pressed to pay any special attention to Tigers RB Clay McHone because of the emergence of QB Tyler Tate, who rushed for 189 yards last week. RB Cody Ingrassia will figure into the equation as well.

SOUTH PITTSBURG PIRATES (0-1) at HIXSON WILDCATS (0-1)

Storyline: It wouldn't matter if the Pirates were playing the Seattle Seahawks -- their fans would expect better than a 35-7 beating, although Bell County, Ky., is a perennial title contender in a much larger classification. The Pirates got out of the gate first for their lone TD before the rout got under way. South Pittsburg wound up with 100 total yards of offense while surrendering 326 on the ground alone. Hixson ran the ball very well -- two 100-yard rushers -- but the Wildcats' pass defense was suspect at best in a loss to rival Soddy-Daisy.

CENTRAL PURPLE POUNDERS (1-0) at POLK COUNTY WILDCATS (0-1)

Storyline: Central's defense shone against East Hamilton in the city jamboree and again in holding Franklin County to 10 points last week. Polk County adjusted some things down 21-0 at the half in its opener and blanked Bradley Central in the second half. Cashing in scoring chances could be pivotal in this one. QB Scout Morgan will try to lead the Pounders' spread offense to points. The Wildcats' Ben Norwood ran for more than 40 yards and a TD, all in the second half, so he may see more playing time on offense.

GRACE ACADEMY GOLDEN EAGLES (0-1) at GRUNDY COUNTY YELLOW JACKETS (0-1)

Storyline: The ball could be in the air a lot in this one. Grace coach Bob Ateca would like for his team to be able to run the ball successfully to help the Eagles' thin defense, but QB Jared Thompson throwing to a surplus of receivers may be their best means of moving the ball. Grundy is hoping to build on its second half from last week, when QB Houston Mainord threw for three TDs. He finished with 232 passing yards.

CHATTANOOGA CHRISTIAN CHARGERS (1-0) at LOOKOUT VALLEY YELLOW JACKETS (0-1)

Storyline: The Chargers overwhelmed a 20-player Grace Academy team in Week Zero, and they face another small squad this week. WR/LB Jared Miller is among their most dependable, but first-year coach Rob Spence would like to be playing a lot players again like last week. Lookout Valley and QB Evan Walker were seeking ways to score last week after being held scoreless in two jamboree periods. But slowing CCS (62 points last week) may be the big concern this week.

McMINN CENTRAL CHARGERS (1-0) at BOYD-BUCHANAN BUCCANEERS (0-1)

Storyline: The biggest obstacle for the Chargers might be trying to, in a matter of days, get over the heavenly experience of beating their county rivals for the first time in more than a quarter century. Having someone like versatile Luke Davis among its senior leaders may help. Conversely, Boyd-Buchanan and its leaders such as LB/G Jake Harden are looking to rebound from a tough loss to Red Bank. McMinn Central beat the Bucs in a close one last year, and both teams return multiple starters from 2013.

RHEA COUNTY GOLDEN EAGLES (0-0) at COFFEE COUNTY RAIDERS (0-1), 8

Storyline: The Golden Eagles will be looking to avoid turnovers like the ones that doomed them against Ooltewah in the city jamboree. Leading tackler Zach Daoust returns, and Noel Patterson can score from WR, KR or DB. The Raiders went 0-10 last year and have a freshman QB (Alontae Taylor) this year.

SWEETWATER WILDCATS (0-1) at MEIGS COUNTY TIGERS (0-0)

Storyline: Led by RB Mackenzie Hansen's 122 rushing yards, the Wildcats outgained Greenback last week but lost 49-27. They gave up two TDs on special teams and another off an interception. Meigs first-year coach Jason Fitzgerald has brought more of a ball-control offense to Decatur this year, but if Sweetwater is inclined to give up long-gainers, Tigers QB Bryson Baker could be a big factor.

SILVERDALE BAPTIST ACADEMY SEAHAWKS (1-0) at COMMUNITY VIKINGS (0-1)

Storyline: Tanner Webb is one of two Seahawks QBs along with Nathan Keylon, but Webb may want to lobby for more time at RB this week. The Vikings struggled with tackling in trying to stop Sequatchie County's rushing attack last week in a 46-point loss.

BRADLEY CENTRAL BEARS (1-0) at RIVERDALE WARRIORS (1-0), 8

Storyline: The Warriors have revenge on their mind after the Bears pulled out a crazy 39-35 win over Riverdale when the teams played in Cleveland in 2013. Bradley will see a different look from the Warriors, who have switched to a spread offense and had 405 yards of total offense in a 21-0 victory over Siegel in the season opener -- led by Cane Ridge transfer QB Cortland Owens, who had 184 yards passing. New Bears starting QB Cole Copeland completed 72.2 percent of his passes for 221 yards in his debut, and coach Damon Floyd was pleased with the rushing attack that had 152 yards.

COOKEVILLE CAVALIERS (1-0) at CLEVELAND BLUE RAIDERS (0-1)

Storyline: If the Raiders needed time to lick the wounds from their season-opening 44-0 loss to McCallie, they're not going to get it from the Cavaliers, who are a staple in the Class 6A playoffs. Cookeville defeated rival Monterey -- a Class 1A opponent -- by a 44-0 margin, rushing for 217 yards on nearly 10 yards per carry in the process. The Raiders had 126 yards of total offense in their opener and will look to get back on track behind the arm of QB Austin Massey -- who threw the ball well at times against the Tornado -- and RB T.J. Parker.

EAST HAMILTON HURRICANES (0-1) at DOBYNS-BENNETT INDIANS (1-0)

Storyline: The Hurricanes turn to senior Caleb Rhodes at the QB position, after news of sophomore Nick Woods tearing an ACL in the team's loss to Signal Mountain last week. For his first start, Rhodes gets an Indians team fresh off a road victory at Farragut. The Hurricanes won this game 33-21 last season with two interceptions leading to scores in the final two minutes to end the Indians' 34-game regular-season win streak.

McCALLIE BLUE TORNADO (1-0) at McMINN COUNTY CHEROKEES (0-1)

Storyline: The teams had opposite kinds of starts. McCallie was stout both offensively and defensively in a shutout victory over Cleveland, and Tornado look to continue that success on the road against the Cherokees, who won 20-14 the last time the teams played in Athens, in 2012 -- coach Ralph Potter's first game back at McCallie. McMinn rushed the ball effectively in its overtime loss to rival McMinn Central but also allowed 256 yards.

OOLTEWAH OWLS (1-0) at SIEGEL STARS (0-1), 8:30

Storyline: The Stars won a 59-47 shootout last year in Ooltewah, a game in which the hosts led 33-17 with nine seconds to go in the first half. This Ooltewah team is a little bit better than last year's, especially on defense with the return of nine starters. The Stars managed only seven first downs and 151 yards in a 21-0 loss to Murfreesboro Riverdale in the first game of the season but will still have the athletes and be a threat in one of the toughest district in the state.

WALKER VALLEY MUSTANGS (1-0) at SEQUOYAH CHIEFS (1-0)

Storyline: The Mustangs go for their third consecutive 2-0 start against a Sequoyah team that promises to test the visitors' rush defense. The Chiefs rushed for 390 yards in a 43-27 shootout victory over Tellico Plains in the season opener, a game they once trailed 14-0. Meanwhile, the Mustangs unleashed their new spread offense on East Ridge, also falling behind by two touchdowns early before rallying for a 35-25 win. Walker Valley had 406 yards of total offense, led by the arm and legs of junior QB Josh Jones, and will look to get that side of the ball going again this week.

CALHOUN YELLOW JACKETS (0-0) at DALTON CATAMOUNTS (1-0)

Storyline: Dalton opened with a solid victory at Scottsboro and displayed a balanced offense it will need to beat the Jackets. Last season Calhoun put nine men in the defensive box and dared the Catamounts to throw, and they couldn't. With Payton Veraldi coming off a 150-yard, two-touchdown game, expect the Cats to test an inexperienced Calhoun secondary early. Another key will be how Calhoun quarterback Kaelen Riley handles the nerves in his first start.

HERITAGE GENERALS (0-0) at RINGGOLD TIGERS (1-0)

Storyline: Heritage opens the E.K. Slaughter era coming off an impressive pair of scrimmages in which the Generals outscored their opponents 98-6, but they've not played a team with Ringgold's array of weapons. Heritage will spread out the Tigers and see if quarterback Dylan Bice can find success. The key here is if the Generals can stop the one-two Ringgold rushing duo of Kile Sholl and D.L. Goins, who each eclipsed 100 yards last week.

LaFAYETTE RAMBLERS (0-0) at GORDON CENTRAL WARRIORS (0-0)

Storyline: LaFayette coach Chad Fisher returns for the first time to the place where he coached for six years and faces former assistant coach David Humphreys and a Gordon Central team looking to break a long losing streak. This game could be decided behind center, where LaFayette's Evan Head makes his first start against Gordon Central elite athlete Shy Williams.

RIDGELAND PANTHERS (0-1) at CHATTOOGA INDIANS (0-0)

Storyline: Youthful mistakes cost the Panthers last week in a loss at Adairsville. Ridgeland dominated the first half but could not finish drives and allowed a kickoff return for a score after tying the game, so coach Mark Mariakis believes a reduction in miscues is his team's main goal. Both the Panthers and Indians -- under first-year coach Charles Hammon -- want to run the ball, so this one could be won in the trenches.

SOUTHEAST WHITFIELD RAIDERS (1-0) at MURRAY COUNTY INDIANS (0-0)

Storyline: The Raiders are coming off an impressive opening win over Coahulla Creek and should be stronger this week with the return of quarterback Will Swantic from injury. Backs Tyler Brown and Devon Fields will test a revamped Murray defense and leading tacker Kevin Chavez, who is also the Indians' top running back. Murray coach Chad Brewer, a Southeast assistant for 11 seasons, will also try to open up the game with QB Justin Smith and receivers Austin Gossett and Alex Youngquist.

LAKEVIEW-FORT OGLETHORPE WARRIORS (0-0) at GORDON LEE TROJANS (0-1)

Storyline: The Warriors return 13 starters from last year's 3-7 team, but returning offensive production is limited. Senior Ryan Keefe gets the nod at quarterback and has a pair of nice weapons in receivers Sam Eaves and Hadyn Griffin. Gordon Lee hopes to put last week's mistake-heavy loss at Trion behind and build on what was a strong start from QB Caleb O'Neal and a defense that played well enough to win.

NORTH MURRAY COUNTY MOUNTAINEERS (0-0) at ROCKMART YELLOW JACKETS (0-0)

Storyline: The Mountaineers are a team that is looking to become established in northwestern Georgia. They've yet to have a winning season in GHSA competition. Rockmart is more established. But the Mountaineers have plenty of returning starters to set the pace for this game and the season.

MODEL BLUE DEVILS (0-0) at SONORAVILLE PHOENIX (0-0)

Storyline: The Phoenix have been waiting to burst out. Their best season in school history was 7-3 in 2008, just three years into new school's history. No other Sonoraville team has finished with a winning record. The Phoenix will unveil a new offense tonight directed at changing the trend of losing.

NORTH SAND MOUNTAIN BISON (0-0) at DADE COUNTY WOLVERINES (0-0)

Storyline: This is a rivalry game across state border lines. The Bison won last year 19-13. The game has little implication on future playoff scenarios, but it is a chance for Dade County coach Bradley Warren to spotlight the future college football players he has on his team.

TRION BULLDOGS (1-0) at ARMUCHEE INDIANS (0-1)

Storyline: Armuchee suffered a 44-17 whipping last week at the hands of Fellowship Christian. The Bulldogs could be aiming for a similar resolution even though they barely outlasted Gordon Lee 20-15.

about Ward Gossett...

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 ...

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