Quarterfinal crunch time in the TSSAA playoffs
Several area teams remain in contention for a gold ball
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) - The state high school football playoffs resume Friday night with several area teams still alive for a gold ball. Four of them reside in Class-5A, including South-Doyle and Central. In fact, the Cherokees and Bobcats will face each other in our Playoff Friday TV quarterfinal round game on MyVLT. That match-up and all games across East Tennessee will start at 7:00 p.m. ET.
South-Doyle (9-3) at Central (10-2)
The Bobcats are trying to reach the state semifinals for the 5th straight season. It would be the first for Nick Craney as head coach. Craney replaced two time state champion head coach Bryson Rosser. Central is led by, among others, senior Kalib Fortner. The state Mr. Football finalist has over 70 tackles, 5 sacks and two interceptions this season. Central defeated South-Doyle 27-19 back in Week 10, but Clark Duncan’s defense has risen to the occasion during the postseason causing two fumbles and coming up with four interceptions.
Oak Ridge (9-3) at West (11-1)
The winner of that game gets either Oak Ridge or West in the semifinals. The Wildcats won on the road last week at Rhea County, while the Rebels were shutting down Walker Valley 32-3 at home. Lamar Brown’s team will once again be at home where earlier this season their defense held the Wildcats to minus 19 yards rushing in a 22-7 Week-5 win. The once beaten Rebels continue to roll led by quarterback Baker Dance and talented running backs Trevon Barfield and Isaiah Mattress.
Dobyns-Bennett (10-2) at Maryville (12-0)
In one of the more bizarre situations you’ll see, it was Dobyns-Bennett high school getting the nod from the TSSAA to advance on to the state quarterfinals. D-B and McMinn County both showed up to play last week, but Covid concerns in the McMinn camp forced a last minute halt of the game. After examining the situation, the TSSAA voted in favor of D-B. That was the good news for the Indians, the bad news is they win a trip to Maryville Friday night. The Red Rebels have been stout on defense not allowing more than eight points in a game since Week 9.
Greeneville (9-3) at Elizabethton (12-0)
Anderson County had hoped to be playing in this game, but Greeneville would not be denied coming up with a last second win. It was the It was the Greene Devils fourth straight win in the playoffs over the Mavericks. Greeneville lost to Elizabethton, 44-10 in Week 9. The Cyclones scored at least 35 points in eight straight games.
Gatlinburg-Pittman (10-2) at Alcoa (11-1)
Alcoa has scored 105 points in two playoff games. Their opponents, zero. Up Next, the Gatlinburg-Pittman Highlanders, who defeated county rival Pigeon Forge 14-7 in second round play. The competition level intensifies in the quarterfinals against an Alcoa team, which defeated the Highlanders 43-0 in Week-10. The Tornadoes are the 5-time defending Class-3A champions; meanwhile, this is Gatlinburg-Pittman’s first appearance in the quarterfinals since 2010.
Loudon (10-1) at Red Bank (9-0)
This game is a rematch of last years quarterfinal round showdown between the Redskins and the Lions, a game won by Loudon. The Lions did shut out the Redskins not long ago in Week-11. This will be a classic offense versus defense type of game. Loudon is averaging better than 40 points a game in the playoffs, while the Lions are holding their opponents to nine points per game in the postseason.
Oliver Springs (7-5) at Coalfield (11-0)
After three consecutive losses to Greenback in the playoffs, Coalfield finally made it past the Cherokees in postseason play defeating Greenback in the second round. Oliver Springs has been playing very good football of late scoring a combined 84 points in its first two playoff games. The Yellow Jackets defeated the Bobcats 14-7 back in Week-10.
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