ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
McCallie football players wait to board a backup charter after one of the team's primary buses broke down on the way to Cookeville for Thursday night's BlueCross Bowl Division II-AAA state championship game. / Staff photo by Stephen Hargis

(UPDATE: McCallie beats Montgomery Bell Academy in the BlueCross Bowl to win the Division II-AAA state championship)

COOKEVILLE, Tenn. — Better late than never.

After a short delay, McCallie's football team arrived at Tennessee Tech University about 2 1/2 hours before the scheduled kickoff time for Thursday night's Division II-AAA BlueCross Bowl state championship game.

One of the Blue Tornado team buses broke down on Highway 111, about an hour outside of Cookeville. Most of the coaching staff and the starters were boarded onto the one working bus while the rest of the team waited about 20 minutes for a backup charter to arrive.

McCallie (10-2) is set to face Montgomery Bell Academy (8-4) at 8 p.m. EST. Stay with the Times Free Press for coverage starting at 7:30 p.m.

The Blue Tornado are back in a state title game for the first time since 2006, which coincidentally also was the last time they beat the Big Red. McCallie will try to snap a 14-game losing streak against the Nashville program that spans 13 seasons and includes two playoff losses. The teams are in separate regions and did not play during the regular season this year.

MBA began this season 1-3, but those losses came by a combined 12 points and the Big Red gave up an average of fewer than 14 points per contest during that four-game stretch. Since inserting freshman quarterback Marcel Reed as the starter, MBA is 7-1 and avenged its only loss from that eight-game stretch with a 12-7 win at Baylor in the first round of the playoffs.

some text
McCallie football players wait to board a backup charter after one of the team's primary buses broke down on the way to Cookeville for Thursday night's BlueCross Bowl Division II-AAA state championship game. / Staff photo by Stephen Hargis

Three days of three title games each day at Tucker Stadium began Thursday with Davidson Academy beating University School of Jackson 31-21 to win the DII-A title, and Evangelical Christian School beat Christ Presbyterian Academy 17-14 in the DII-AA showdown before MBA and McCallie faced off.

All nine of the BlueCross Bowl title games are being televised in Chattanooga, with MyNetworkTV showing Thursday's and Friday's contests and WFLI-CW carrying Saturday's action, which includes Meigs County (13-1) facing Peabody (14-0) at noon EST in the Class 2A matchup.

McCallie viewing parties are being held at Naked River Brewing Company in Chattanooga, Calhoun's On the River in Knoxville and Crow's Nest in Nashville, but attendees are asked to register in advance at https://bit.ly/2OSNFOF.

BlueCross Bowl Schedule at Tennessee Tech

All times EST

Thursday, Dec. 5
Division II-A: Davidson Academy 31, University School of Jackson 21
DII-AA: Evangelical Christian School 17, Christ Presbyterian Academy 14
DII-AAA: McCallie vs. Montgomery Bell Academy, 8

Friday, Dec. 6
Class 1A: Greenback vs. Lake County, noon
Class 3A: Alcoa vs. Pearl Cohn, 4
Class 5A: Knoxville Central vs. Summit, 8

Saturday, Dec. 7
Class 2A: Meigs County vs. Peabody, noon
Class 4A: Elizabethton vs. Springfield, 4
Class 6A: Maryville vs. Ravenwood, 8

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

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT