Perennial prep football powers McCallie, Calhoun now scheduled to play this season

Photo by Cade Deakin/ McCallie football players run onto the field before a home playoff game against Ensworth on Nov. 22, 2019.

Last-minute scheduling challenges for two of the Chattanooga area's prep football powerhouses have opened the door for them to square off next Friday night.

McCallie and Calhoun have agreed to meet on Sept. 11 at Finley Stadium, with kickoff set for 7:30.

The game came about after both programs had previously scheduled opponents cancel, creating the opportunity for the matchup of teams with a combined 12 state championship game appearances and six titles.

McCallie, last year's TSSAA Division II-AAA state champion and currently the state's top-ranked team in the classification, was originally scheduled to host Florida's Lake Placid next week. But after that game fell through several weeks ago, a new opponent - Ohio's Bishop Sycamore - was scheduled. However, McCallie administrators were recently notified Bishop Sycamore was also backing out of playing, which left an open date to fill.

photo Photo by Mark Gilliland / Calhoun football players run onto the field before a home game against Lovett on Nov. 16, 2018.

Meanwhile, Calhoun, which has won three GHSA state titles in the last 10 years, also had two previously scheduled opponents - fellow Georgia program Winder-Barrow and Alabama's Gardendale - notify its coaches those games would no longer be played, which created an opening on the Yellow Jackets' schedule.

"It's exciting and something I think fans from both sides will look forward to," Blue Tornado coach Ralph Potter said. "It probably wouldn't have happened otherwise, but we both wound up needing a game and had the same date available, so I'm glad we were able to make it happen."

It will be the first meeting between the programs, but Potter said there are discussions for the teams to schedule one another beyond this season.

Earlier this week, McCallie announced its game against rival Baylor on Oct. 2 will also be played at Finley Stadium, with tickets limited to 4,000 total. A similar limit on tickets will likely also apply for next week's game.

Contact Stephen Hargis at shargis@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6293. Follow him on Twitter @StephenHargis.