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Staff photo by Erin O. Smith / The East Hamilton student section cheers for the Hurricanes during their home football game against East Ridge on Sept. 6.

BRADLEY CENTRAL BEARS (3-1, 1-0) at OOLTEWAH OWLS (1-2, 1-1)

Bradley Central gunslinger Javin Burke has put on a show of late. Leading an offense that has averaged 50 points per game, the junior QB was a combined 27-of-39 passing for 554 yards with seven touchdowns and no interceptions in blowout wins over Walker Valley, Heritage and Bearden. Over the past two seasons, the road team has won this Region 2-6A matchup that has been filled with plenty of dramatics. Ooltewah's Fisher Perry hauled in what proved to be the winning touchdown pass to help his team score 21 unanswered points in the third quarter of a 28-27 victory over the Bears last year. Perry once again will look to be an X-factor, while the Owls will be put to the ultimate test defensively against one of the state's toughest attacks. Bradley's offense is also paced by senior RB Ricky McCleary and versatile junior Tray Curry, each with six touchdowns.

 

EAST HAMILTON HURRICANES (2-2, 1-0) at CENTRAL PURPLE POUNDERS (1-3, 1-0)

The Hurricanes showed toughness by taking Red Bank to the brink last week, when their comeback attempt fell just short of the goal line in a 21-14 loss. Now they'll look to avoid a fourth loss to Central in as many years after falling 14-7 in 2018. The Purple Pounders took their lumps against some of the area's best in Notre Dame, Tyner and Baylor, but they scored 47 points at Sequoyah in their Region 2-4A opener on Sept. 6. East Hamilton contained Red Bank on the ground to follow a shutout of East Ridge and will test its run-stopping ability against an attack led by Hunter Jones. East Hamilton senior Cade Meeks has made big plays on both sides of the ball, with receiving yardage totals of 138 and 116 in the past two games.

 

COPPER BASIN COUGARS (3-1, 1-0) at WHITWELL TIGERS (0-4, 0-0)

After facing opponents from larger classifications in its first four games, Whitwell, last year's Class 1A state champion, can get back on track in its Region 3 opener against the surprising Cougars. Copper Basin hasn't beaten Whitwell since 2012, with the Tigers winning the past four meetings by an average of 41 points. Whitwell's defense will need to key on the Cougars' Bryson Grabowski — the junior QB already owns a single-game school record with 366 passing yards and is closing in on the season record.

 

THIS WEEK’S SCHEDULE

Friday, Sept. 20, 2019
All times EDT; kickoff 7:30 p.m. unless noted

TENNESSEE
Baylor at Ensworth

Sale Creek at North Georgia

East Ridge at Sequatchie County

Sequoyah at Hixson

Loudon at Signal Mountain

Chattanooga Christian at Boyd Buchanan

Heritage at Cleveland

Bradley Central at Ooltewah

Anderson County at Howard

Sweetwater at Brainerd

Lenoir City at Rhea County

Copper Basin at Whitwell

East Hamilton at Central

Middle Tennessee Christian at Grace Academy

Grundy County at DeKalb County

Lookout Valley at Richland

Knoxville Catholic at McCallie

Red Bank at McMinn Central

Meigs County at Rockwood

Notre Dame at Knoxville Grace

William Blount at McMinn County

Tellico Plains at Polk County

Walker Valley at White County

Silverdale Baptist at CAK

Huntland at South Pittsburg, 8

Tyner at Marion County, 8

GEORGIA
North Murray at Calhoun

Coosa at Chattooga

Christian Heritage at Mount Zion-Carroll

Coahulla Creek at Murray County

Model at Dade County

Dalton at Creekview

Gordon Central at Pepperell

Gordon Lee at Darlington

LFO at Ringgold

Northwest Whitfield at Temple

Cedartown at Southeast Whitfield

North Cobb Christian at Trion

ALABAMA

St. John Paul II at North Jackson, 8

TYNER RAMS (2-1, 1-0) at MARION COUNTY WARRIORS (1-3, 1-0)

Both teams are coming off disappointing losses to nonregion rivals in which they were held to negative yards in the first half. The Rams won their Region 3-2A opener against Bledsoe County, though, so a victory against Marion would put them squarely in control of the standings with only struggling Polk County and Tellico Plains remaining on their league schedule. Although the Rams and the Warriors have split their past six meetings, Tyner has won nine of the past 12. Marion's toughest task will be stopping the quick-strike duo of Rams QB Martavius Ryals and WR Jeremiah Batiste. The Warriors' league win came in dominating fashion over Polk County, and a win against Tyner could be the shot in the arm the young team needs to build on for the rest of the season.

 

CHATTANOOGA CHRISTIAN CHARGERS (1-2, 0-0) at BOYD BUCHANAN BUCCANEERS (3-0, 1-0)

Both teams had last week off to prepare for this tone-setting Division II-AA East Region showdown. The Bucs — the area's biggest surprise after last year's winless season — already own a region win over Knoxville Webb, while the Chargers have been tested in three nonregion games — losses to Baylor and McCallie and a convincing win over Whitwell. The Bucs' Eli Morris is one of the more versatile players in the city, with more than 750 yards of total offense and talent as a returner on special teams. Chattanooga Christian will rely on its mammoth O-line and several speedy backs who can wear down a defense or break a long run.

 

ANDERSON COUNTY MAVERICKS (3-1, 1-0) at HOWARD HUSTLIN' TIGERS (3-1, 0-0)

The top spot in Region 2-4A is on the line. It will be the second straight game the Hustlin' Tigers will face a team ranked in the state's top five, having upset Class 2A's third-ranked Tyner last Saturday. In that game, the Hustlin' Tigers swarmed the backfield and didn't allow the Rams to develop an offensive rhythm, holding them to minus-14 total yards in the first half. Howard RB Eric Johnson proved he can be elusive last week with three touchdowns and is capable of shouldering the load for his team's run-heavy offense. The Mavericks have won 13 straight region games, but Howard played them closer than any other league opponent last year, falling by 14 points.

 

NORTH MURRAY MOUNTAINEERS (2-1, 1-0) at CALHOUN YELLOW JACKETS (3-0, 1-0)

This early-season showdown in GHSA Region 6-AAA pits upstart North Murray against the team that has been king of whatever region it has belonged to for a state-record 18 consecutive seasons. The Mountaineers believe they have a chance to end the Jackets' streak of region victories that started in 2001, and if experience is a measuring stick, coach Preston Poag's team is this year's big hurdle for Calhoun and first-year head coach Clay Stephenson. North Murray, coming off a 45-17 win over Ringgold, has a big-play offense led by RB D'Ante Tidwell, who had touchdown runs of 83, 16 and 13 yards last week, and QB Ladd McConkey, an elite athlete who had three touchdown passes against the Tigers. With nine starters back for a defense led by hybrid LB Chaisen Buckner, this is not a team that will be intimidated by going into Phil Reeve Stadium. Calhoun struggled offensively in a 17-7 win over Sonoraville last week and is still adjusting to replacing eight starters. QB Jake Morrow, with 336 passing yards this season, and RB Jerrian Hames (489 rushing yards, five touchdowns) are the leaders on that side of the ball. The defense, with nine new starters, has been stout and is paced by lineman Zeke Brown, who already has 36 tackles.

 

LAKEVIEW-FORT OGLETHORPE WARRIORS (1-2, 1-0) at RINGGOLD TIGERS (0-3, 0-1)

It may be too early in the season to call this Catoosa County matchup of 6-AAA teams a do-or-die game, but there is no doubt the loser will be fighting an uphill battle to maintain legitimate playoff hopes. Neither has played up to expectations. The Warriors have scored only 39 points so far and are coming off a 13-7 overtime win against Murray County, and that followed a three-point loss to Class A's Gordon Lee. Ringgold has allowed 134 points in its three losses, including last week's 45-17 defeat at North Murray in which the Tigers led 17-10 at halftime. The LFO offense will lean on QB Malachi Powell and RBs James Beddington and Jevonnie Womble. Ringgold has to get its ground game going behind QB Kyle White and RBs Kori Dumas and Price Pennington.

Compiled by Stephen Hargis, Patrick MacCoon and Lindsey Young.

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

Contact Patrick MacCoon at pmaccoon@timesfreepress.com. Follow him on Twitter @PMacCoon.

Contact Lindsey Young at lyoung@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6296. Follow him on Twitter @youngsports22.

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