published Wednesday, October 19th, 2011

Key prep football games this week

Thursday, Oct. 20

Howard (0-7, 0-5) vs. Tyner (3-5, 3-2)

At Finley Stadium, 7:30

Coaches: Howard's Michael Calloway, Tyner's Wayne Turner

Interesting stats/facts: The game was moved to Thursday and to Finley before the season started. Both teams are coming off losses, but Tyner had a three-game win streak snapped. Tyner's Rams have won all five games since the series was resumed in 2006, most recently 27-6. Tyner's rushing defense is fierce and the Rams limited East Hamilton to 27 yards on 26 rushing attempts.

What to watch: Tyner is very strong defensively and where the Rams defense had problems last Friday was in its pass coverage. Howard may not want to but the Tigers are likely going to have to throw it to stay in the game. Ball control and big plays may be the difference here.

Friday, Oct. 21

Red Bank (7-1, 5-0) at East Hamilton (4-4, 4-1)

Coaches: Red Bank's Tim Daniels, East Hamilton's Ted Gatewood

Interesting stats/facts: For the first time in school history, East Hamilton has back-to-back wins, and for the first time in school history the team is still attracting attention eight weeks into the season. A win over Red Bank would be another first for the Hurricanes, who lost to the Lions 45-7 and 50-14 the last two seasons. Hurricanes running back Logan Jackson was poised to reach his second thousand-yard season but got just four carries after suffering an ankle sprain. His status this week is questionable.

What to watch: How East Hamilton handles its ball-control desires if Jackson is unable to go. The 'Canes have a young quarterback in Hunter Moore and need some way to alleviate the pressure on him. The best option appears to be Lamond Greer, who got better as the game vs. Tyner progressed. Red Bank most often goes as quarterback Niquia McDuffie goes and that most often means big plays either with his arm or his legs.

Bradley Central (6-2, 4-0) at Cleveland (4-4, 2-2)

Coaches: Bradley's Damon Floyd, Cleveland's E.K. Slaughter

Interesting stats/facts: It's hard to imagine that anyone around doesn't know this game is to be televised by ESPNU. The teams have split the last two years with Cleveland winning 33-15 last year and Bradley taking a 27-26 win in 2009. Bradley is coming off its first shutout of the year (42-0 over Walker Valley) but has held two other opponents to nine or fewer points.

What to watch: All of this TV hoopla came about because of Cleveland quarterback Chad Voytik, whose patience has been tested as younger teammates matured and the offense shifted from spread to more conventional two-back. Bradley also has stars, although none has committed to Pittsburg. Included in that group are running back Justin Houston, who is a quality passing target out of the backfield for quarterback Brice Copeland. Too, Cleveland must be mindful of Bears wide receiver James Stovall.

Polk County (6-2) at South Pittsburg (7-1)

Coaches: Polk's Derrick Davis, South Pitt's Vic Grider

Interesting stats/facts: Davis and Grider were both student and graduate assistants at the University of Tennessee in overlapping years, although one will say the other took a lot longer to graduate. Both teams have bested higher-classification powers in the last two weeks. Polk defeated Signal Mountain 36-35 two weeks ago and South Pitt handed Boyd-Buchanan its first 2011 loss, 26-10 Friday night.

What to watch: A lot of speed on South Pittsburg's side of the ball and the primary speed guys -- Antonio Chubb, Jajuan Lankford and Demetric Johnson -- are healthy. The Wildcats aren't going to outrun anybody so it's likely they'll try to keep that speed turned inside where there's a better chance for help. That said, though, Polk likely will be facing the biggest offensive line it has seen all season, a line that averages 270-plus.

The rest of the schedule

(all kickoffs at 7:30 EDT unless noted)

Friday, Oct. 21

Bledsoe County (7-1) at Sweetwater (5-2)

East Ridge (4-4, 3-2) at Central (3-5, 2-3)

Grace Academy (5-3) at Grundy County (4-4), 8

Hixson (3-5, 1-4) at Brainerd (3-5, 2-3)

Lookout Valley (6-3) at Copper Basin (3-5)

Marion County (1-8) at Chattanooga Christian (2-6)

McMinn Central (1-8) at Stone Memorial (3-5), 8

Montgomery Bell Academy (3-5, 1-4) at McCallie (4-3, 2-3)

Pope John Paul II (2-6, 0-5) at Baylor (7-1, 4-1)

Rhea County (0-8, 0-4) at Walker Valley (0-8, 0-4)

Soddy-Daisy (3-5, 2-3) at McMinn County (6-2, 4-0)

Taft Youth Center (1-5) at Silverdale Baptist (3-5)

Whitwell (1-8) at Notre Dame (4-4), 8

ALABAMA

North Jackson (8-0, 6-0) at Fairview (7-1, 5-1), 8

Scottsboro (2-6, 1-5) Fort Payne (7-1, 5-1), 8

Pleasant Valley (3-5, 3-4) at (Ider (6-2, 5-2), 8

Section (1-7, 1-6) at North Sand Mountain (7-1, 6-1)

GEORGIA

Woodland (3-4, 3-4) at Northwest Whitfield (4-3, 4-3)

Gilmer County (4-3, 1-2) at Murray County (0-7, 0-3)

LaFayette (5-2, 2-1) at Dalton (5-2, 3-0)

Ringgold (5-2, 2-1) at Ridgeland (3-4, 2-1)

Southeast Whitfield (2-5, 0-3) at Heritage (4-3, 0-3)

Dade County (4-3, 2-2) at Calhoun (7-0, 4-0)

Chattooga (2-5, 1-3) at Gordon Central (5-2, 3-1)

Sonoraville (3-5, 2-3) at Lakeview-F.O. (3-4, 3-1)

Bowdon (6-1, 3-1) at Gordon Lee (3-4, 1-3)

Trion (2-5, 2-2) at Darlington (5-2, 3-1)

about Ward Gossett...

Ward Gossett is an assistant sports editor and writer for the Times Free Press. Ward has a long history in Chattanooga journalism. He actually wrote a bylined story for the Chattanooga News-Free Press as a third-grader. He Began working part-time there in 1968 and was hired full time in 1970. Ward now covers high school athletics, primarily football, wrestling and baseball and University of Tennessee at Chattanooga wrestling. Over a 40-year career, he has covered ...

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