KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) – The TSSAA State Playoffs resume with semifinal action for the public schools while the private schools have a week off before championship weekend.
A handful of our East Tennessee teams are still struggling with a trip to Chattanooga and the Blue Cross Bowl at stake.
Maryville (10-3) at Oakland (12-1) – 7:00 p.m
With playoff victories over Morristown East, Bearden and Science Hill, Derek Hunt’s Maryville Red Rebels are poised for a big win in Friday night’s state semifinals in Oakland. Defense has been key for the Rebels, who are averaging 8 points per game in the postseason, including a Hurricanes shutout. You’ll need that defense against a Patriots team that’s averaging 51 points per game in the playoffs. Oakland is 12-1 this season and undefeated at home, where that eternal late-season showdown will take place.
West (13-0) at Powell (11-2) – 7:00 p.m
Heading towards a Class 5A state championship in 2021, the Panthers held West for just 82 total yards en route to a 35-7 win. No question, that will be on the mind of Lamar Brown’s Rebels, who have carved their way to a perfect 13-0 record. Matt Lowe’s Panthers will have their hands full to stop a team averaging 57 points per game in the playoffs. On the other side of the field, the defending state champions are riding a wave of momentum. After losing their first two games, they have won 11 straight and are just one home win away from a state return. You can follow this game on MyVLT with the pregame show at 6:30am and kick off at 7am.
Anderson Co. (13-0) at Red Bank (11-2) – 7:00 p.m
A massive quarterfinals win over rival Greeneville propelled the Mavericks into the state semifinals against Red Bank High School. Greeneville had beaten Anderson County in the playoffs in each of their four games for the past five years. Anderson County is playing in the state semifinals for the first time in 26 years. Head coach Davey Gillum was a running back for the Mavs on that team in 1996. Red Bank started the season with seven straight wins before suffering consecutive losses to Fayetteville and East Hamilton, whom they would defeat in the quarterfinals to reach that game.
Alcoa (12-1) at Giles Co. (10-3) – 7:00 p.m
Brian Nix is attempting to win his first state championship as Alcoa head coach, it would be an unprecedented eighth straight for the Tornados. But first they have to get past Giles County over in Pulaski, Tennessee. Giles County finished 4-0 in the region, defeating Brainerd in the first round, Loudon in the second round and Sweetwater in the quarterfinals to set up this encounter with long-running Power Alcoa. How good was Alcoa, there was only one loss for Class-5A #1 West. They also have two Mr. Football finalists in Jordan Harris and Lance Williams.
Coalfield (12-1) at Clay Co (12-1) – 7:00 p.m
It’s a 12-1 team battle as Coalfield heads to Clay County on Friday night. The Yellow Jackets have edged their opponents 167-18 goals through the postseason. It’s a classic attack-versus-defense battle. Clay County is giving away just 4 points per game on average in the playoffs. A win would see the Yellow Vests advance to the Finals for the first time since 2014 when they finished second in Class 1A.
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