Tonight's area high school football matchups - Nov. 6

Tonight's area high school football matchups - Nov. 6

November 6th, 2015 by Staff Reports in Sports - Preps

All kickoffs for Tennessee playoffs are at 7 p.m. local time; all Georgia kickoffs are at 7:30 EDT.

TENNESSEE PLAYOFFS

Class 5A

CLEVELAND BLUE RAIDERS (5-5) at FARRAGUT ADMIRALS (9-1)

Stars: WR Skyler Davis has been Cleveland's leading scorer, but QB JaShawn Hill isn't far behind. The leading defender for the Blue Raiders has been LB Ben Wyrick. The Admirals are led by Tanner Thomas (1,712 rushing yards) and QB Jacob Naumoff (1,592 passing yards). Their leading tackler is Tanner Mengel.

Storyline: The Admirals' lone loss was to 4A power West of Knoxville, and that final score was 9-7. It's the only challenge Farragut has had all year as it averaged a 27-point margin of victory in its other games, the closest of which was 45-39 last week against Region 3 fourth-place finisher Clinton. In order to get into the playoffs, Cleveland had to beat Region 4 champion Ooltewah two weeks ago and White County last week. The Blue Raiders have made the postseason eight of the past 10 years and have won at least one playoff game each of the past two years. Farragut is the state's fourth-ranked team in 5A.

Class 4A

EAST HAMILTON HURRICANES (6-4) at PAGE PATRIOTS (7-3)

Stars: East Hamilton QB Nick Woods is the conductor of East Hamilton's offense instead of its single driving force, and he has 10 touchdown passes and four interceptions this year. Senior David Whiteside has seven rushing touchdowns. The Hurricanes have been leaning on their defense — led by the likes of Michael Bush, Frankie Campo and Blake Cason — all season long. Page's offense starts with QB Michael Magochy, who passed for 315 yards and five touchdowns two weeks ago.

Storyline: Both teams are limping into the postseason following losses. Page suffered a 42-24 whipping at Marshall County last Friday, when the Hurricanes lost 14-7 at Stone Memorial.

Class 3A

SEQUATCHIE COUNTY INDIANS (7-3) vs. NOTRE DAME FIGHTING IRISH (7-3) at FINLEY STADIUM

Stars: Primarily a running team, the Indians have relied heavily on Brandon Rudd, who is averaging 129.4 yards per game, but QB Houston Mainord has completed 57.6 percent of his passes. Keyed by LBs Hunter Davenport and Kyle Cates, their defense has been salty, allowing no more than 19 points in nine of 10 games and an average of 12 points per game. Notre Dame's defense is led by LB Tyler Enos and DL Robert Murphy. Key offensive players for the Irish are QB Alex Darras and RB Ricky Ballard, and Darras has five receivers with 11 or more catches.

Storyline: Sequatchie County had a shot at winning the Region 4 title and hosting Red Bank in the playoffs but came up short last week, falling 19-14 to region champion Upperman to finish third. Notre Dame, which reached the state semifinals a year ago, was second in its region and No. 7 in The Associated Press's final poll of the regular season. The Indians started 5-0 and were in the poll but fell out after consecutive losses to DeKalb County and Warren County. Indians coach Adam Caine said Notre Dame has shown multiple fronts on defense and added that his team had to figure out how to do what they do, but maybe do it a little faster.

CHATTANOOGA CHRISTIAN CHARGERS (7-3) at DeKALB COUNTY TIGERS (7-3)

Stars: The Tigers rely heavily on QB Steven Jennings. He has passed for more than 2,100 yards and run for another 900 behind linemen Eli Cross and Luke Green. With 700 yards, Matthew Poss is the team's leading receiver. On defense, the leaders are LBs Jesse Smith and Jordan Whitehead. Chargers QB Matthew Mercer has had several good games, including a 13-of-14 passing night against Red Bank. Mercer, D.J. Toney and Mathew Smith lead the running game, and Nick Fulmer and Ian Gaines are the leading tacklers.

Storyline: The Chargers already have three more victories than their previous best win total for a single season. They're in the playoffs for only the second time in program history but the second straight year. They have scored 28 or more points in five games, including a school-record 76 two weeks ago. The Tigers have struggled at times, but they are coming off a 69-3 win over Cannon County.

SMITH COUNTY OWLS (6-4) at EAST RIDGE PIONEERS (10-0)

Stars: East Ridge RB Traneil Moore could be worth the price of admission on his own. A junior who has jumped on college recruiting boards across the Southeast, Moore leads the area with 1,444 rushing yards; his 18 touchdowns are second. Smith County RB Matthew Rutherford is the star for the Owls.

Storyline: The Pioneers are on a historic run. In addition to putting together a perfect regular season in which they cruised by an average score of 29.5-10.4, they are in the playoffs for the first time since 2012, when they were shut out by Hixson. East Ridge hasn't won a playoff game since a 40-38 win over Halls of Knoxville in 2001 — when many of the players were still in diapers.

RED BANK LIONS (3-7) at UPPERMAN BEES (8-2)

Stars: Red Bank DE Tra Stamper has been strong as a boulder and swift as a cartoon character when opponents are in passing situations. Ivan Youn has been steady every week. In the secondary, CB Cole Porter will be challenged by Upperman WR Brendan Ely.

Storyline: The Lions are returning to the playoffs despite a disappointing season against a difficult schedule. According to coach Chad Grabowski, his players understand a new season has begun, and that if they play up to their potential, they can make a long run.

Class 2A

TYNER RAMS (7-3) at WATERTOWN PURPLE TIGERS (8-2)

Stars: The pace-setters for the Tigers are QB Seth Price (2,025 passing yards), RB/LB Luke Turner (1,215 rushing) and LB Brady Swann. Chaysen Patrick and Shannon Sprawls are Tyner's top runners and top tacklers.

Storyline: Tyner struggled with a handful of starters missing for Region 3 games against top-ranked Boyd-Buchanan and second-ranked Marion County. They're back now, though, and it showed over the past four games, when the Rams scored 134 points, an average of 33.5 per game. Watertown has won three straight games and six of its past seven.

WESTMORELAND EAGLES (5-5) AT MARION COUNTY WARRIORS (9-1)

Stars: Senior QB Logan Walters continues to make progress after suffering a concussion earlier this season, and if he is completely healthy, that adds another dimension to Marion County's offense, which already has Josh Henderson — a Mr. Football semifinalist — and Hunter McClain in the backfield. Linebacker Alex Kirkendoll, also a Mr. Football semifinalist, leads the Warriors on defense, where they've been stingy.

Storyline: The Warriors appear to be getting healthy at just the right time and enter the playoffs performing well on both sides of the ball, having scored 55 or more points each of the past three games while allowing a total of just 16. Barring turnovers or mistakes by the Warriors, this game should be decided early.

Class 1A

MOORE COUNTY RAIDERS (6-4) at WHITWELL TIGERS (5-5)

Stars: Moore County RBs Spencer Reese and Kolin Stinnett and QB Stone Frost provide coach Jeremy Austin with several options. Whitwell backs Jake Sartin and Clay McHone have combined for more than 1,400 rushing yards and 19 touchdowns. Sartin also leads the Tigers in tackles. Sophomore Trace Condra averages 10.9 yards per touch.

Storyline: The Tigers struggled during the nonregion stretch of their schedule before finding their footing against teams of similar size. Whitwell never allowed more than one touchdown in each of its victories and scored an average of 44.6 points. Moore County also followed the similar pattern of winning games by decisive margins or sctruggling to score in its losses. The Tigers averaged 477 rushing yards the past two games, when they played Class 1A teams in the rain.

COPPER BASIN COUGARS (3-7) at COLUMBIA ACADEMY BULLDOGS (9-1)

Stars: Columbia Academy QB Dylan Johnson has thrown 20 touchdowns and just five interceptions. Thomas Garrison leads the Bulldogs with 390 rushing yards and nine touchdowns this season. Copper Basin RBs Jackson Ledford and Peyton Sosebee allow the Cougars to play a punishing style of offense. On defense, Koby Shroth anchors Copper Basin's line.

Storyline: The Cougars are a very physical team and punished opponents in their three victories. They have won two of their past four games, including a 61-13 victory against Lookout Valley.

GEORGIA

KELL LONGHORNS (7-2) at DALTON CATAMOUNTS (7-2)

Storyline: This is a rematch of last season's Region 7-AAAAA championship, a game the Catamounts would like to atone for. Leading late, a fourth-down run in their own territory failed, and the Longhorns scored to win. Dalton has taken off since J.P. Tighe assumed the QB job during the season, which also allowed former starter Jase Chastain to assume regular duties on defense. Along with Tighe, RB Drake McCowan (711 rushing yards, 11 touchdowns) has shone as a starter, helping to make Tyler Noland's move to receiver permanent. Kell's offense is led by RB Josiah Futral, who has 614 yards, and Dre Houston, who has 381. It's the Kell defense, though, that stands out, led by Solon Page III and Bryson Armstrong, who have combined for 143 tackles (18 for loss). The Cats will try to use Tighe's accurate arm to loosen Kell's defensive front seven.

NORTH MURRAY MOUNTAINEERS (4-5, 4-3) at RINGGOLD TIGERS (5-4, 4-3)

Storyline: The final playoff spot from Region 6-AAA will be decided, and which team best deals with potential problems related to inclement weather will likely come out on top. That means overcoming turnovers, a major problem for Ringgold in losses this season. Wet weather could hinder the Tigers' prolific passing game and QB Devin Lancaster, who has 2,080 yards and 16 touchdowns. Expect RB Dee King to have a bigger role in the offense tonight, though Lancaster's capable corps of receivers, led by Andre Tarver and Mac Brower, will still be involved. North Murray has rallied after an 0-4 start behind the improved play of QB Blake Davis and an offensive line starting two freshmen and a sophomore. The Mountaineers like to throw it, but expect a big dose of RB Brady Harper against a Ringgold defense that has given up chunks of yardage in the ground game.

CHATTOOGA INDIANS (7-2, 4-1) at DARLINGTON TIGERS (9-0, 5-0)

Storyline: This will be a battle of the ground games in Rome. Chattooga, which still has a chance to earn a home game in the state playoffs, is led by twins Isaiah and Isaac Foster, who have combined for 2,300 yards and 26 touchdowns. The Tigers counter with Tijai Whatley, a powerful runner with 1,190 yards and 10 scores, and present more of a threat in the passing game with QB Hunter Manning, who has 719 yards and 11 touchdowns. But the Indians will likely focus their defensive attention on Whatley and try to force Manning to beat them through the air.

ALABAMA PLAYOFFS

HALEYVILLE LIONS (6-4) at NORTH JACKSON CHIEFS (6-4), 8

Stars: Omar Brown has 1,558 rushing yards for North Jackson, which averages 41 points per game. QB Trey Harris has thrown for more than 1,400 yards and rushed for another 605 for the Chiefs. Gant Goins leads North Jackson's defense in tackles.

Storyline: This is the first time these two teams have played. The Chiefs scored 42 or more points during each victory of a four-game winning streak before last week's 34-33 loss to East Limestone. Getting off to a quick start could be key for North Jackson, which has had success outscoring opponents in the first half, including 126-50 in the second quarter.


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