Varsity All Access | Week 1 Games to Watch

Defending state champ Anderson Co. at Powell highlights slate of Week-1 high school football matchups
Published: Aug. 18, 2023 at 3:41 PM EDT
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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) - The 2023 high school football season is upon us. Setting out to defend state championships from a year ago are the Class-4A champion Anderson County Mavericks. The Class-5A West High Rebels and in Class-3A, the Alcoa Tornadoes are setting out on a mission to win an unprecedented 9th straight title. Here are five key games to watch out for as we kick off the new season.

Follow along live on WVLT as high school football kicks off.



The Morristown West Trojans have won the last two games in this storied series, but new Morristown East head coach Dallas Kuykendall is working to reverse that trend. The game is set for 7:00 p.m. Friday night at Burke-Toney Stadium.


Here are the highlights for the Karns at Hardin Valley game

Lee Warren makes his debut as Karns’ head coach replacing Brad Taylor. It should be a smooth transition for the Beavers as Warren is elevated to the head coach from the Defensive Coordinator position.

Gone from the Beavers roster is two-time Mr. Football winner and current UT running back Desean Bishop.

Hardin Valley looks to end a two-game skid in this rivalry which resumes Friday night at 7:00 p.m. at the home of the Hawks.


Here are the highlights for the Anderson County at Powell game

There have been touchdowns galore in this season-opening game in recent years. The two teams have squared off in the early weeks of the season for the last four years.

Each game has given the scoreboard a workout. Each team debuts new quarterbacks this season.

Should be a fun night at the home of the Panthers says AC head coach Davey Gillum, ”Here recently both of our programs are top of the food chain in Tennessee you know they’re top of the food chain and five A. We’re talking for a rock dare to talk both of us and so it’s a big game on a lot of fronts. You want to win that game for pride, your friends wanted there’s a lot of talk go back and forth please. But at the same time just as where you stack in that state ranking kind of thing. Where are you game one now where we are game one? Then and game 10 may be a different story you want to win that game for a lot of reasons.”

Kickoff for our season-opening Game of the Week is set for 7:00 p.m. at Powell High School.


The defending Class-5A state champion West Rebels will be breaking in several new starters as they take on West Knoxville rival Bearden in the season opener.

This game will take place on Saturday, Aug 19 at noon.

The Bulldogs feature running back and Purdue-commit Jaheim Merriweather, who moved to Knoxville from Gallatin.

West has dominated this series of late with Bearden’s last win coming back in 2018.


The Battle for Broadway takes place in Week-1 this season and will do so with heavy hearts as the Fulton community continues to mourn the loss of legendary coach Bob Black.

Coach Black will be honored after the 1st quarter of Friday night’s game. Also prior to the game, the Falcons will announce which player will honor the late Zaevion Dobson by wearing his #24 jersey this season.

Also Friday night, Jody Wright’s basketball team will receive its state championship rings. A member of that team and last year’s Falcon football squad was standout quarterback Marcellus Jackson. The Mr. Football winner is now a freshman at Tennessee Tech University.

While Fulton breaks in a new QB, the Bobcats will be relying on the legs of senior running back Frank Johnson IV. Central also returns a strong secondary on defense. Fulton will be looking to avenge a 41-21 loss in Week-2 last season. Kickoff Friday night is set for 7:00 p.m.

Dobyns-Bennett-17 at Farragut-24

Here are the highlights for the Dobyns-Bennett at Farragut game

Lakeway Christian-0 at Catholic-35

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BGA-0 at Webb-30

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Cleveland-49 at Clinton-36

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Jefferson County-14 at Oak Ridge-30

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Pigeon Forge-24 at Hampton-14

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Maryville-63 at Heritage-14

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Austin-East-13 at William Blount-35

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Cumberland County-10 at Scott-7

Red Boiling Springs-61 at Sunbright-0

Eagleton Academy-18 at Tellico Plains-47

Alcoa-35 at Ravenwood-14

King’s Academy-21 at Grace Christian-28

Sequoyah-14 at Sweetwater-42

South-Doyle-21 at Lenoir City-24

Oliver Springs-0 at South Pittsburg-56

Clay County-0 at York Institute-26

Gibbs-56 at Union County-6

Harriman-0 at Kingston-56

Sale Creek-29 at Midway-12

Pickett County-0 at Oakdale-56

Rockwood-14 at Oneida-28

Loudon-42 at Greenback-14

Sevier County-43 at Carter-20

Wartburg-12 at Coalfield-48

Unicoi-13 at Northview Academy-20

Jellico-14 at Lynn Camp, KY-8

CAK-24 at Darlington, GA-48

Cocke County-27 at Cherokee-20

Cumberland Gap-14 at Cosby-28

Seymour-13 at Gatlinburg-Pittman-56

Claiborne County-12 at Grainger-20