Tornadoes, Wildcats, ready for state title shot
Alcoa plays at Noon and Oak Ridge at 8pm ET Friday on MyVLT
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) - Our fingers are crossed at the Blue Cross Bowl in Cookeville for a pair of East Tennessee high school football teams. The mighty Alcoa Tornadoes will face Milan Friday afternoon for the Class-3A championship, while later that night, it will be Oak Ridge facing Summit for the 5A title:
Alcoa (13-1) vs. Milan (11-1)
The Alcoa Tornadoes have won and astounding 18 football state championships in 34 tries. (1977, 1978, 1979, 1989, 2000, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2013, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019). They’ll try for their 6th in a row against the Milan Bulldogs on Friday. During these playoffs, coach Rankin’s team shutout Johnson County and Kingston and then gave up a total of 20 points in wins over Gatlinburg-Pittman and Red Bank.
And that really is the key for the Tornadoes on Friday. The Alcoa defense, especially its front seven, has dominated opponents all season long. The test this week for coach Rankin’s defense will be to stop Milan’s Anthony Brown. A finalist for the Tennessee Titans Mr. Football award, Brown, who’s received an offer to play at Alabama, has rushed for nearly 1000 yards and 13 touchdowns. Alcoa will look to stop Brown at the point of attach as well as win the turnover battle. You’ll be able to watch it all unfold on MyVLT beginning at Noon Eastern on Friday.
Oak Ridge (11-3) vs. Summit (13-1)
This will be the 39th title game appearance in Wildcat football history. Oak Ridge has won it all a total of seven times. (1956, 1958, 1962, 1975, 1979, 1980, 1991). This is Summit’s 5th shot at a state championship. The Spartans are searching for their first title.
Coach Joe Gaddis’ Wildcats have won 8 straight games (including Covd win over Fulton) heading into Friday night’s match-up. Their victories in the playoffs have been over Soddy-Daisy, Rhea County, West and a 14-0 win over South-Doyle in the TSSAA state semifinals.
As for the game, the Wildcats will look to stop Summit quarterback Destin Wade. A finalist for the Tennessee Titans Mr. Football award, Wade has rushed for seven touchdowns and passed for nine more in the playoffs. The good news for the Cats, their defense has been stout during the post-season, holding three of their four opponents to less than 10 points.
Wade can cause problems through the air and on the ground. He’s thrown 8 touchdown passes and rushed for 16 this season. His success will be key for Summit against the Wildcats. Oak Ridge has also had success coming up with turnovers in the playoffs and will look to continue that trend against the Spartans. Kickoff is 8:00 p.m. ET Friday night, a game you’ll be able to watch on MyVLT.
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