Football teams seek narrative-changing wins this week | Sports

Because of the expanded nature of the TSSAA playoffs, winning one game doesn’t often change the narrative of a season.

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But winning twice in the postseason to reach the state quarterfinals is a hallmark of a standout year.

Area teams can punch that ticket Friday as they enter the second round.

Here’s a look at which teams stand the best chance of moving into the quarterfinals in their respective classifications and which teams they might face if they get there.


Maryville by 19 over West Ridge

The Rebels outscored common opponents by a total of 124-38. West Ridge was outscored 82-52 against D-B, Science Hill and Cleveland. That makes the average common-opponent score 34-15 in favor of Maryville. It’s not always cut and dried like that, but the Wolves are significant underdogs.

Bradley Central by 3 over Farragut

The Admirals’ thrilling win over Science Hill will either cause them to fall flat, or they will turn the tables against a Bears team that beat them 31-28 in the regular season.


Knoxville Central by 12 over Daniel Boone

An argument can be made that Central’s schedule was as tough as the one played by Boone.

Knoxville West by 14 over David Crockett

The Rebels’ losses were against Maryville and Alcoa, and the latter was by one point. West is a seriously good football team.


Elizabethton by 10 over Anderson County

Yes, the Cyclones won by 20 earlier this season, but the Mavericks were in their first game with a new quarterback, and Elizabethton’s season ended at Anderson County in 2017 and 2018.

Greeneville by 16 over Fulton

The Greene Devils’ closest game was 25 points against Knox Central, and Fulton beat Central by 17 points. The Falcons can perhaps match some of Greeneville’s speed, but it’s unlikely they can keep the game close to the final horn.

Class 3A

Unicoi County by 2 over Pigeon Forge

The Tigers didn’t play Alcoa because of COVID, but their body of work looks good. This should be a big challenge for the Blue Devils.

Alcoa by 49 over Gatlinburg-Pittman

Seven touchdowns was the margin in Week 2, and there’s little reason to think the rematch will be much different.

Class 2A

Hampton by 7 over Rockwood

Yes, it’s a road game for the Bulldogs, and no, it won’t be easy. But Hampton just shut out a Monterey team that blasted Rockwood in September.

South Greene by 16 over Oneida

The Rebels’ losses were to Daniel Boone and Knoxville Catholic. Since then they’ve been on a roll, and the Indians’ body of work doesn’t appear to stack up.

Class 1A

Cloudland by 18 over Oakdale

This heavy favorite role is partly a tribute to the Highlanders’ resume. Also, the Eagles have a couple of unimpressive losses, and they didn’t play Region 2 top seed Coalfield because of COVID.

Coalfield by 16 over Midway

It was a seven-point game in the first meeting back in October, but playoff rematches tend to be different from the first encounter.


Elizabethton’s Bryson Rollins stands in third place on the state’s all-time list for most career passing and rushing touchdowns.

The senior quarterback added five to his total in Friday’s first-round Class 4A playoff win over Carter. He now has 78 passing and 63 rushing for a total of 141, and is five scores behind Trinity Christian’s Kyle Akin (2011-14) for second place.


The TSSAA Board of Control will meet Wednesday in Murfreesboro, beginning at 10 a.m. (EDT).

Among the discussion points will be whether to continue having district and region basketball games with the higher seed as the host, something that was instituted last season because of the pandemic.

The board will also review a proposal from Bartlett to change region and sectional tournaments in baseball and softball for this season.

Also, Johnson City’s Providence Academy has requested TSSAA membership, beginning with the 2022-23 school year. If approved, Providence will be placed in Division II, Class A, East, District 1 in basketball, baseball, girls volleyball, tennis, track and field, girls soccer, soccer, cross country and golf. Current schools in that district include Christian Academy of Knoxville, Grace Christian Academy, Lakeway Christian Academy, and The King’s Academy.



Four athletes will mark their future plans Wednesday.

Included in the mix is Jake Timbes, who will sign to play baseball at Belmont University. Also, Libby Russum will make it official with the University of Tennessee for swimming and diving.

Ethan Lawson will sign to play golf at Roane State, while Jack Allen is headed to Milligan University for swimming and diving.

The ceremony will begin at 3:30 p.m. at the New Science/Technology Center.


The Lady Pioneers will send a player to the Division I ranks Thursday.

Ashlyn Dulaney will sign to play softball at Austin Peay University. The ceremony will be at 1:30 p.m.

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