Familiarity truly will breed contempt in the TSSAA football playoffs this week. Of the 30 games set to be played Friday, 21 will be rematches from earlier this season.
That includes three games involving Chattanooga-area teams as Red Bank travels to Loudon (Class 3A), Meigs County hosts Oneida (2A) and McCallie hosts Ensworth (Division II-AAA). The six public-school classifications have reached the quarterfinal round while Division II's three classes will be playing semifinals.
Although not an area team, Maryville has one of the most eye-catching stats heading into this week's games. The last time the Rebels — who own 16 state championships — didn't reach at least the semifinals was in 1999.
Here's what to watch for in Friday's playoff games involving local teams. All kickoffs are at 7 local time.
Red Bank (10-1) at Loudon (12-0): Red Bank's Lions held Loudon to just 5 first-half passing yards and led 7-3 at halftime of their Nov. 1 meeting at Red Bank that decided the Region 3 title. The Redskins took over in the second half, scoring the go-ahead touchdown in the third quarter and adding two more touchdowns in the fourth to pull away.
Loudon threw for 151 yards after halftime, and running back Drew Jackson finished with 124 yards rushing and 123 receiving and scored both fourth-quarter touchdowns. Red Bank already avenged one playoff loss from last year with an impressive 21-14 win at Upperman last week, and now the Lions have a chance to make up for their only loss this season.
The winner of this game will travel to the winner of Friday's Austin-East (9-3) at Alcoa (11-1) matchup. Top-ranked Alcoa, which has won the past four 3A titles and reached the quarterfinals 16 straight years, beat Austin East 42-0 earlier this season.
Oneida (8-4) at Meigs County (11-1): Meigs County's Tigers have gotten progressively closer to a return to the BlueCross Bowl state title game the past four seasons, losing in the first round in 2015, the second round in '16, the quarterfinals in '17 and the semifinals last year.
Although Meigs beat Oneida 24-3 on Oct. 18, the lead was only four points in the fourth quarter before two late scoring runs by Aaron Swafford, who was named a Mr. Football finalist for the third straight year earlier this week. Swafford accounted for 225 of his team's 278 yards in the first meeting, and the Meigs defense held the Indians to just 125 total yards. Oneida has not gotten past the quarterfinals since 2008.
The winner will host either Trousdale County (10-1) or Watertown (10-2), which hosts the rematch of those teams Friday after winning 16-13 — also at home — earlier this season.
Gordonsville (5-7) at South Pittsburg (11-0): Although these teams haven't faced off this season, they are very familiar playoff foes, having met 14 times. That includes last year, when the Pirates rallied for four unanswered second-half scores in a 27-14 road win.
South Pittsburg, which is in the quarterfinals for the 10th time in 11 years, has won nine of the 14 meetings. Last week the Pirates earned their 700th all-time win by scoring 50 points in the first half against a Clay County team that had allowed only 67 total points in its first 11 games.
Mr. Football finalist Ronto Tipton has averaged 18.6 yards per rush in these playoffs for the Pirates and has scored touchdowns on seven of his 11 carries this postseason.
Gordonsville, which upset Copper Basin in the first round and knocked off Whitwell last week, had as many as 11 starters miss games due to injury this season, but most of them are back. Three of the Tigers' losses came to playoff-bound teams from a larger classification, including two that are still alive.
The winner will travel to the winner between Greenback (10-2) and Oliver Springs (10-2). Greenback, which has played for a state title three of the past four years, owns a 50-0 win over Oliver Springs this season.
Enworth (8-3) at McCallie (9-2): The host Blue Tornado are looking to return to the BlueCross Bowl for the first time since 2006 but will have to avenge a four-point loss in the regular-season finale to do so.
In that meeting, the lead changed hands four times before the Tigers built an insurmountable 10-point advantage late in the fourth quarter. Ensworth athlete Keyshawn Lawrence, a University of Tennessee commitment, scored a touchdown in the fourth and led his team in tackles that game.
After losing its final two regular-season games, McCallie looked like the team that was ranked No. 1 in the state for much of the season last week as the DII-AAA playoffs began. The Blue Tornado outrushed Christian Brothers 329-91 while building a 28-0 lead. Ensworth advanced by knocking off Briarcrest, 35-33, which had not allowed more than 21 points in a game this season.
The winner will have next week off before facing the winner of the other semifinal, Montgomery Bell Academy (7-4) at Memphis University School (10-1), in the state championship game at 8 p.m. EST on Dec. 5 at Tennessee Tech.