GAMES OF NOTE
Rhea County (1-1, 0-0) at McMinn County (2-0, 0-0)
An early peek: The visiting Golden Eagles, cut short their first time out in a game they could've or should've won at Powell, flexed their muscles last week with a 33-6 win over Brainerd. They were up 20-6 at halftime on a Desmond Sharpe run and a pair of Austin Dotson TD passes. McMinn County has had to come from behind each of the first two weeks. The Cherokees rallied to beat rival McMinn Central in Week 0 and then got the second half's only score, a 10-yard run by Dre Sanders, that broke a 14-14 tie with McCallie.
Fort Payne (0-0) at North Jackson (0-0), 8
An early peek: North Jackson has experience back for sure at quarterback (Kitt Grider) and kicker (Cesar Diaz) to go with fleet receiver Daqwan Lowrance. The last time the teams played (2009), Fort Payne won 28-24. However, North Jackson leads the overall series 11-5. Fort Payne coach Paul Ellis has indicated that several defensive players enjoyed quality preseasons; the list included ends Derek Watkins and Tanner Hartline, noseguard Adam Greenwood and cornerback Stephon Moore.
Bledsoe County (1-1, 0-0) at Signal Mountain (0-2, 0-0), 7:35
An early peek: Both teams have to be stinging after last Friday. Signal lost its second straight — first time that has happened in school history — and Bledsoe dropped a cliff-hanger to surprising Marion County, which is now 2-0. Improving youth is the question that remains for Signal's Eagles, who have a returning quarterback and a returning defensive lineman but little else in the way of experienced talent. For them it has been on-the-job training in tough road environments at East Hamilton and Tyner, both teams that had serious payback on their minds. Bledsoe could pose a serious threat with running back Holden Boynton, who turned in his second 100-yard rushing performance of the season last week.
Boyd-Buchanan (2-0, 0-0) at Silverdale Baptist (2-0, 0-0)
An early peek: Silverdale has the size up front to make this one closer than one might think. The Seahawks, though, haven't yet played a power. They beat Clay County 20-7 and then Union City Community School 24-12 on Friday. Boyd-Buchanan should be a challenge for Seahawks quarterback Spencer Mossburg. The Buccaneers have thrown up back-to-back shutout wins to open the season.
Cleveland (0-2, 0-0) at Ooltewah (2-0, 0-0)
An early peek: Both teams have speed and a number of skill-position players, but neither the visiting Blue Raiders nor the Owls have an overabundance of big and bulky linemen. Ooltewah nailed down a neighborhood rivalry victory last week, knocking off East Hamilton 31-28 on an Alex Crowe field goal in the last 10 seconds. The Blue Raiders' two losses were against Maryville and Knoxville Catholic, and both of those teams remain unbeaten. Ooltewah posted a shutout win in zero week, 32-0 over Brainerd.
Thursday, Aug. 30
(All kickoffs at 7:30 unless noted)
Polk County (1-1, 0-0) at McMinn Central (1-1, 0-0)
South Pittsburg (1-0, 0-0) at Lookout Valley (2-0, 0-0)
Whitwell (1-1, 0-0) at Marion County (2-0, 0-0), 8
Lakeview-F.O. (0-0) at Gordon Lee (0-0)
Friday, August 31
Bradley Central (1-1, 0-0) at Soddy-Daisy (1-1, 0-0)
Brainerd (0-1, 0-0) at Tyner (0-1, 0-0)
East Hamilton (1-1, 0-0) at Central (0-1, 0-0)
East Ridge (0-2, 0-0) at Red Bank (0-1, 0-0)
Ensworth (1-0) at McCallie (0-1, 0-0)
Father Ryan (2-0) at Baylor (2-0, 0-0)
Grace Academy (1-1) at Sweetwater (2-0)
Howard (0-1, 0-0) at Hixson (0-1, 0-0)
Notre Dame (1-1, 0-0) at Chattanooga Christian (0-2, 0-0)
Sequatchie County (1-1, 0-0) at Grundy County (0-2, 0-0), 8
Sequoyah (2-0, 0-0) at Meigs County (0-2, 0-0)
Addison at Ider, 8
Scottsboro at Buckhorn, 8
Heritage at Ringgold (0-1)
Ridgeland at Calhoun
Northwest Whitfield at Pepperell
Southeast Whitfield at North Murray
Coahulla Creek at Murray County
Coosa at Gordon Central
Pickens County at Sonoraville
East Hall at Chattooga
Dade County at North Sand Mountain
Christian Heritage at Model
Trion at Armuchee
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 ...