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Staff photo by Robin Rudd / Hampton quarterback Conor Jones passes during a game at Meigs County in the second round of the TSSAA Class 2A playoffs in November 2020.

For more BlueCross Bowl coverage from the Times Free Press, read more here.

SATURDAY'S TSSAA BLUECROSS BOWL MATCHUPS AT FINLEY STADIUM

Class 4A

Elizabethton Cyclones (12-1) vs. Tullahoma Wildcats (14-0), 11 a.m.

What to know: The Cyclones are going for their third straight state title; they beat Haywood 41-14 last year and Springfield 30-6 the season before. Either Elizabethton or Greeneville — both compete in Region 1 — has won the past four 4A titles. Elizabethton is also one of two Carter County teams to reach the BlueCross Bowl this year (Hampton in 2A is the other).

The Cyclones avenged their only loss of the season, 42-12 to Greeneville, with a 13-7 road win in the quarterfinals.

Elizabethton head coach Shawn Witten is the brother of Jason Witten, the former University of Tennessee tight end who was an All-Pro for the Dallas Cowboys.

Tullahoma is making its first appearance in the title round, having lost in the semifinals in 1979 and 1987.

Who to watch for: Tullahoma kicker Justus Chadwick is a Tennessee Titans Mr. Football finalist. Wildcats senior offensive lineman Ian Poe has an offer from Western Kentucky.

Elizabethton quarterback Bryson Rollins ranks second all-time in state history for career passing and rushing (combined) touchdowns. He has a total of 149 (83 passing, 66 rushing) to go along with 9,720 career yards (rushing and passing combined, including more than 6,000 passing alone). He has averaged 236 total yards per game this season.

 

Class 2A

Hampton Bulldogs (11-2) vs. Westview Chargers (13-1), 3 p.m.

What to know: Peabody had won the past three 2A titles before dropping down to 1A this year and losing in the semifinals. Meigs County was the runner-up the past two years, but the Tigers lost to Trousdale County in the second round last month, and this is only the second time in eight years a Chattanooga-area team has not played for the 2A championship.

Hampton is making its first appearance in the title round (having lost three times previously in the 1A semis). The Bulldogs held Trousdale County to 117 total yards in last week's come-from-behind semifinal win, with 77 of that total coming on one touchdown run.

In Westview's only previous championship game, it lost 14-0 to Goodpasture with the 2A title on the line in 2001. The Chargers moved down from 3A prior to this season.

Who to watch for: Westview quarterback Ty Simpson, a 6-foot-2, 195-pound senior, is a Mr. Football finalist and the state's No. 2 overall prospect. The son of University of Tennessee at Martin head coach Jason Simpson — also a former University of Tennessee at Chattanooga assistant — Ty is rated as the nation's No. 3 prospect at his position and is committed to Alabama. This season he has thrown for 2,827 yards (averaging 237 per game) with 41 touchdowns and has rushed for 862 yards (7.7 per carry average) and 11 scores.

Hampton quarterback Conor Jones ran for 148 yards and two touchdowns in last week's semifinal win and also threw for 58 yards.

 

Class 6A

Oakland Patriots (14-0) vs. Summit Spartans (14-0), 7 p.m.

What to know: This is the week's only BlueCross Bowl matchup of programs that won state titles last season — Oakland won 6A and Summit won 5A before moving up in class this year — as well as the only final that pairs undefeated teams.

Either Oakland or Maryville has won the past four 6A titles; one of those two has also appeared in 14 straight title games for the largest public-school classification. Oakland, which has won two of the past three titles, beat Brentwood 56-33 in last year's BlueCross Bowl and is on a 29-game unbeaten streak.

Summit won last year's 5A title 28-7 over Oak Ridge (the Spartans were also 5A runners-up in 2019) and is on a 25-game unbeaten streak. The Spartans, who have averaged 420.2 yards of offense per game, have trailed for just a little more than five minutes of game time all season and have outscored opponents by an average of 27.5 points.

Summit opened in 2011, and the Spartans won just four of their first 40 games before taking off in 2016 to reach the playoffs. They're looking to become the first Williamson County team to win a title since 2015.

Who to watch for: This game will feature all three of 6A's Mr. Football finalists — Oakland's Jordan James and Summit's Destin and Keaten Wade.

James, a four-star recruit committed to Georgia, has rushed for 1,293 yards and 22 touchdowns, while backfield mate Antonio Patterson has added 824 yards and 13 scores. Junior teammate Kade Hewitt has thrown for 1,152 yards and 15 touchdowns, with Isaiah Horton, a four-star receiver committed to Miami, hauling in 626 yards and seven touchdowns. Defensive back Dylan King has committed to Tennessee State but also has an offer from Marshall.

For Summit, Destin Wade has 2,144 yards and 29 touchdowns on the ground as well as 1,299 yards and 17 scores passing. He and twin brother Keaten are both four-star prospects committed to Kentucky. Keaten leads the defense with 72 tackles, 20.5 for loss and nine sacks; on the other side of the ball, he has 547 rushing yards (8.8 per carry) and six touchdowns, as well as 152 receiving yards and a trio of scores.

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

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