Tonight's greater Chattanooga area high school football matchups

Tonight's greater Chattanooga area high school football matchups

October 31st, 2014 by Ward Gossett in Sports - Preps

All kickoffs at 7:30 Eastern unless noted

* district/region game

* FATHER RYAN IRISH (5-4, 1-4) at BAYLOR RED RAIDERS (5-4, 2-3)

Storyline: The Red Raiders have lost four straight games -- to the state's top three teams in Division II-AA and to an Oakland team ranked among the best in Class 6A -- and are looking for momentum before the playoffs. Defensively, Baylor needs to get better quickly as it has allowed more than 30 points per game in this four-game slide.

* McCALLIE BLUE TORNADO (8-1, 4-1) at MONTGOMERY BELL ACADEMY BIG RED (7-2, 3-2)

Storyline: The meeting between the No. 2 Blue Tornado and the No. 4 Big Red is actually the second biggest Division II-AA game in Nashville tonight as Brentwood Academy and Ensworth also are facing off. McCallie's offensive power -- the Blue Tornado run for more distance than Forrest Gump -- is unquestioned, but MBA can score as well. MBA has topped 40 points this year in six games, including its 52-44 win over BA and its 50-44 loss to Ensworth.

* BRAINERD PANTHERS (3-6, 3-2) at HIXSON WILDCATS (7-2, 5-0)

Storyline: The Panthers have several things going their way entering tonight's game. All of their wins this season have come on the road; they survived a strong contingent of opponents early; and they beat the Wildcats, defending District 6-AA champions, a year ago. They'll go after Hixson behind RBs Robert Evans and Marcus McMillan and QB Tevin Walker. Hixson, potentially looking at a No. 1 seeding in its playoff quadrant, counters with RBs Marshall Cooper, Tarik Twitty-Humphrey and James Cole and QB Preston Wilkey.

* CHATTANOOGA CHRISTIAN CHARGERS (4-5, 1-3) at BLEDSOE COUNTY WARRIORS (4-5, 0-4)

Storyline: Both District 7-AA teams still have Class 3A state-playoff aspirations, and this game has been a high-scoring affair in the past. The last three years the teams have combined for 270 points, including the Chargers' 37-32 win last year. RB Brandon Mason and QB Zach Mercer have been CCS's offensive leaders, and K Will Patton is its leading scorer. Justin Wheeler is far and away the leading tackler. He'll likely be seeking out Bledsoe RB Joseph Gore, WRs Nathaniel Collins and Silas Mills and QB Chaise Sorrow.

* TYNER RAMS (2-7, 2-3) at RED BANK LIONS (5-4, 4-1)

Storyline: Heading into the last week of the regular season, Red Bank has secured a state playoff spot by finishing second in District 6-AA. The Rams, meanwhile, are currently ranked 40th -- eight spots shy of making the cut. If they don't make it this year it would end a streak of 20 consecutive postseasons. Red Bank lost its shot at the district title two weeks ago, losing 17-13 to Hixson after building a 13-0 lead in the first quarter. The Lions last went to the playoffs in 2011.

McMINN CENTRAL CHARGERS (7-2) at CENTRAL PURPLE POUNDERS (6-3)

Storyline: The state-playoff positions these teams will get are pretty much locked in place. So the byproduct for the winner in this one will be gaining momentum heading in. It's something the Chargers could use after losing their last two games, and something that would help the Pounders get over last week's 19-point loss to District 6-AA leader Hixson. The Pounders' stingy stop unit, which has limited seven opponents to 12 points or less, is led in tackling by ILB Jamel Metcalf. OLB Kevin McKenzie is the tackles-for-loss leader and D.J. Baxter, who can play CB or S, leads in interceptions. McMinn Central LB Luke Davis not only is a defensive leader but can virtually play any offensive skill position.

* BOYD-BUCHANAN BUCCANEERS (4-5, 2-0) at SILVERDALE BAPTIST ACADEMY SEAHAWKS (4-5, 1-1)

Storyline: The Bucs' season has come down to this: Win this District 5-A game in a hostile environment and they're league champions. And since the TSSAA went to the current football format in 2009, they would move to 18-0 in that span against teams in their district, which would be a nice parting shot for them before they head upward in next year's reclassification. But a Silverdale victory could create a three-way tie at the top of the standings, should Copper Basin also win. Then Boyd-Buchanan's overall record could work against it. The Seahawks get Hunter Arnold back after four weeks out with a hip injury. He was their No. 1 rusher and No. 2 tackler before the injury.

* GRACE ACADEMY GOLDEN EAGLES (1-8, 0-2) at COPPER BASIN COUGARS (5-4, 1-1)

Storyline: Grace Academy will throw it. Copper Basin likes to run it. How well the defenses counter the other team's strength in the District 5-A game will be pivotal. Grace's "Tenacious 20" is down to 18 with the losses of RB/DB James Rowell and C Austin Parks. The Golden Eagles recently got top two-way lineman Logan Groves back from a concussion, and all their brawn will be needed to match up against the Cougars' big O-line. Copper Basin will take another three-sack game like it got from DE Jordan Johnson last week. S Aaron English and S Jackson Ledford likely will be kept busy and LBs Quantavious Brown and Ryan Brooks will get plenty of pass-coverage duties.

* SOUTH PITTSBURG PIRATES (5-4, 3-0) at MARION COUNTY WARRIORS (8-1, 3-0)

Storyline: The state's oldest continual rivalry is renewed and, adding spice to it, the District 6-A title is in the balance. The series was 39-38-4 in favor of South Pittsburg in 2005 before the Pirates began their current winning streak in the series. The Warriors, led by RB/LB and all-state candidate Blake Zeman, believe this is their year to stop the skid. South Pittsburg coach Tim Moore is cautious about concentrating too much on Zeman offensively because Marion has speed at other skill positions. The Pirates coach said with his RB Corbin Fitzgerald out with a knee injury, several will have to make up for his production. Additionally, C Mitch Butner is out with a broken leg. Sam Nelson will move from another OL spot and fill in.

<p style="margin-bottom: 0in;">SODDY-DAISY TROJANS (4-5, 1-4) at WALKER VALLEY MUSTANGS (4-5, 1-4)</p><p style="margin-bottom: 0in;">Storyline: In a game with huge playoff implications, the battle between the Trojans' high-powered offense and the Mustangs' defense could come down to when Walker Valley has the ball. The Trojans are currently in the playoffs but need a win tonight to solidify that position, while the Mustangs are the first team in quadrant 2 to be out as currently projected.</p><p style="margin-bottom: 0in;">STONE MEMORIAL PANTHERS (6-3, 3-1) at RHEA COUNTY EAGLES (9-0, 4-0)</p><p style="margin-bottom: 0in;">Storyline: Playoff positioning becomes the primary incentive in tonight's game, along with some district championship implications. The Eagles currently own a win over Cookeville but need a win over the Panthers to clinch the title, as well as a possible top seed in quadrant 2 for the upcoming playoffs. A win for Stone Memorial would enhance its resume and possibly give it the chance to host a playoff game next week.</p>* CARTERSVILLE PURPLE HURRICANES (7-1, 5-0) at LaFAYETTE RAMBLERS (2-6, 0-5)

Storyline: Cartersville is playing its best football of the season, certainly bad news for the struggling Ramblers. The Hurricanes are coming off a 48-0 win over Southeast Whitfield in which they forced five three-and-outs to start the game and led 41-0 at halftime. LaFayette QB Evan Head continues to put up good numbers, but the team must find a way to finish drives to keep this one respectable.

* RIDGELAND PANTHERS (3-5, 1-4) at SOUTHEAST WHITFIELD RAIDERS (5-3, 2-3)

Storyline: Things may look bleak at the moment for the Panthers, but this young team with only a handful of upperclass starters has a bright future and is clearly playing for next year. That noted, the future is now for the Raiders, who still hold the inside track on the No. 4 playoff spot from Region 7-AAAA. However, as last week's 48-0 loss to Cartersville showed, Southeast has issues against athletic teams. Ridgeland may be young, but it is athletic. The Raiders played without six offensive starters last week and coach Sean Gray hopes some, if not all, will be back tonight. QB Will Swantic can only do so much by himself.

* CALHOUN YELLOW JACKETS (8-0, 6-0) at LAKEVIEW-FORT OGLETHORPE WARRIORS (3-6, 3-4)

Storyline: Teams going in opposite directions meet at Tommy Cash Stadium. Calhoun just ripped Murray County 56-3, while LFO fell 54-7 to Sonoraville. In other words, Hal Lamb and the Jackets can name their score against a Warriors team decimated by player defections and injuries. Calhoun QB Kaelen Riley is playing his best ball, coming off a 15-of-18, 184-yard passing performance, while hard-running Cole Jackson, who had 128 yards and two scores on four carries last week, is finally healthy. LFO QB Ryan Keefe has had some magical moments this year and will need many tonight.

* ADAIRSVILLE TIGERS (7-1, 5-1) at COAHULLA CREEK COLTS (0-8, 0-6)

Storyline: Regarding potential routs, this one has all the makings. Adairsville just scored 56 on a North Murray team fighting for its state playoff life and now faces a Coahulla Creek team that has been shut out in six games. To keep the clock from running continuously in the second half the Colts must find a way to slow the dynamic duo of QB Marcus Childers and RB Sidnee Johnson.

* GORDON CENTRAL WARRIORS (1-7, 1-5) at NORTH MURRAY MOUNTAINEERS (4-4, 3-3)

Storyline: The win column may not reflect it, but the Warriors have progressed in David Humphreys' second season, and a spoiler win over a North Murray team that might still be hung over from last week's drubbing would make their season. The Mountaineers, despite the disappointing loss, are still in the Georgia playoff hunt but can't afford a letdown.

* HERITAGE GENERALS (4-4, 2-3) at NORTHWEST WHITFIELD BRUINS (4-4, 2-3)

Storyline: They're tied in the middle of Region 7-AAAA. One week after finding success with QB Corbee Wilson, the Generals were shut out at Pickens County. They are seeking their second winning season in school history. The Bruins ended a three-game skid by scoring 41 points last week.

* RINGGOLD TIGERS (6-2, 4-2) at MURRAY COUNTY INDIANS (2-6, 2-4)

Storyline: The Indians already have won more games this year than any Murray County team of the last nine years. The playoffs are out of reach for them, but they'd like to prove that they're building in the right direction. LT Hunter Sosebee and RT Diego Leon have tough jobs slowing the Ringgold defensive ends. S Austin Gossett and LB Dominick Genitempo have big roles against the Tigers' option offense.

* CHATTOOGA INDIANS (3-5, 2-2) at DADE COUNTY WOLVERINES (2-6, 1-3)

Storyline: The Wolverines are on their fourth quarterback of the season, a freshman in Seth Slate. They started feeling good with a win over Armuchee but scored only six points against Coosa. LBs Damian Picker and Roy McMahan have the job of keeping Isaiah and Isaac Foster in front of them.

* GORDON LEE TROJANS (2-6, 1-3) at MODEL BLUE DEVILS (7-2, 3-2)

Storyline: The Trojans have been bit by the turnover bug almost every game, including last week against Chattooga. Coach Charlie Wiggins said he'll be relying on QB Caleb O'Neal on offense and Gordon Lee needs to control the line of scrimmage on defense against the Blue Devils.

* WALKER WOLVERINES (1-7, 0-3) at TRION BULLDOGS (4-4, 1-4)

Storyline: The Bulldogs are still in position to reach the playoffs with a win tonight. They've been their own worst enemy at times this year, but that shouldn't be a problem against the Wolverines, whose only win came over a winless King's Ridge team.

ANNISTON BULLDOGS (2-6) at FORT PAYNE WILDCATS (6-3), 8

Storyline: Despite a region loss last week to Gadsden Southside, their second straight loss, the Wildcats are in the Alabama playoffs and will host a first-round game on Nov. 7. They're facing a team tonight they have beat only once in five tries, but the teams haven't played since 2003. Fort Payne now is a Class 6A team; Anniston is 5A. Wildcats RB Desmon Turner is back and healthy and last week topped 140 yards in rushing and receptions.

NORTH JACKSON CHIEFS (7-2) at EAST LIMESTONE INDIANS (9-0), 8

Storyline: Do they win their region or not? The Chiefs, in a three-way tie for the Region 7-4A championship, need to beat unbeaten old rival East Limestone, now a Class 5A member. North Jackson has a seven-win edge in the eight-game series. The teams haven't played since 2007. Chiefs RB Octavius Matthews was chosen Best of Preps player of the week last week after rushing for more than 300 yards on nine carries and scoring seven TDs overall. The Indians have given up no more than 14 points in any game this season while the Chiefs are averaging 52 points per game.

MADISON COUNTY TIGERS (6-3) at SCOTTSBORO WILDCATS (4-5)

Storyline: The Wildcats need this one to pull out a .500 season and also to end a four-game losing streak that began with a 42-39 loss to neighboring North Jackson. In three of the last four games, they've surrendered 40-plus points, and in the last four weeks the Tigers have averaged 39.7 points. Both teams already have secured state playoff berths.


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