BAYLOR RED RAIDERS (1-0) at KNOXVILLE WEBB SPARTANS (0-1)
Storyline: Webb is coming off a 35-20 loss to Maryville, while Baylor scored 39 points in the first 11 minutes of a 46-8 victory over Howard. Spartans QB Johnny Chun won't be Baylor's primary target. That role is likely reserved for RB Tony Kelly Jr., who has committed to Tennessee, and FB-TE Brant Mitchell, who has offers from UT and Vanderbilt. Baylor QB Nick Tiano completed four passes in limited playing time, and two of them went for TDs.
BRAINERD PANTHERS (0-1) at ENSWORTH TIGERS (1-0)
Storyline: Ensworth is coming off a one-point win over Trinity, Ky., while Brainerd took a pounding at home against Ooltewah. The question here is what the Panthers, who got rocked 40-2 by Ooltewah, are doing visiting the three-time Division II-AA state champions. Trinity was ranked second nationally in USA Today's Super 25, but Ensworth won behind RB D'Andre Ferby, a 6-foot-2, 220-pounder that rushed for 187 yards and three TDs.
EAST RIDGE PIONEERS (0-1) at NOTRE DAME FIGHTING IRISH (0-1)
Storyline: East Ridge coach Tracy Malone was disappointed because he felt his Pioneers should have beaten Walker Valley (they lost 21-3). Notre Dame coach Charles Fant is lamenting the loss of QB Alex Darras to a knee injury but still has a very talented group at his disposal. The news on Darras is good -- sprain and bruise but no ligament damage. The Pioneers' mistakes cost them against the Mustangs.
LOOKOUT VALLEY YELLOW JACKETS (0-1) at CHATTANOOGA CHRISTIAN CHARGERS (1-0)
Storyline: CCS secured the school's first football season-opening win with a late interception return at Grace Academy, while the Jackets were losing at Silverdale Baptist. This will be first game on the Chargers'artificial turf; the new stadium is located across from the baseball field, on the other side of the parking lot from the old stadium. The Jackets spent this week looking for more linemen and offensive options other than marked man Jaylen Wynn.
STRATFORD SPARTANS (0-1) at HOWARD HUSTLIN' TIGERS (0-0)
Storyline: Both teams are coming off losses to Division II-AA schools, Stratford 24-20 to Pope John Paul II and Howard 46-8 to Baylor. The Spartans' leaders last week were QB Kenneth Jones (7-18-2, 111 yards; 41 rushing yards) and RB Terrance Valentine with 82 rushing yards and another 11 receiving. Howard was overwhelmed at Baylor, finally scoring in the fourth quarter on a pass from Terrance Brooks to Quatarius Porter.
TYNER RAMS (0-0) at SIGNAL MOUNTAIN EAGLES (0-1)
Storyline: The Rams are in their season opener while Signal hopes to rebound from a heartbreaking 14-12 home loss to East Hamilton. The key for the Rams will be bottling up James McClellan, Signal's 265-pound RB who picked up 158 yards last week. Tyner has moved Willie Stewart to RB full-time and given the QB job to Haasan Miller.
POLK COUNTY WILDCATS (1-0) at CENTRAL PURPLE POUNDERS (1-0)
Storyline: Both teams are coming off opening wins and are touting RBs -- Polk's Zach Miller and the Pounders' Terry Tiller. Miller had 177 yards against Bradley while Tiller picked up 155 against Franklin County. While Miller was gaining 1,930 yards last season, Tiller was injured and is a relative unknown. Polk, in typical Wildcats fashion, threw just six passes last week while Central completed just nine of 22 attempts at Franklin County. The Pounders will have RB Kevin McKenzie back this week. He was held out last week with an ankle injury.
BLEDSOE COUNTY WARRIORS (1-0) at MARION COUNTY WARRIORS (1-0), 8
Storyline: Marion County's offense lived up to expectations last week as all-state RB Blake Zeman rushed for 157 yards and four TDs and QB Logan Walters added 119 and two scores, leading the team to 20 consecutive points in the fourth quarter. Finding a way to slow Marion's punishing ground game is a top priority for Bledsoe, which got a short TD run from Bradley Smith with just 1:20 remaining to win its opener.
HIXSON WILDCATS (0-1) at SOUTH PITTSBURG PIRATES (1-0), 8
Storyline: Both teams are coming off surprising performances to open the season. The Wildcats held Soddy-Daisy scoreless until late in the third quarter, then gave up four TDs and lost at home, while the Pirates made a four-hour trip to whip one of Kentucky's perennial powers. This will be the first meeting for these programs since 1951. The Pirates want to establish a physical ground game with FB Kahlil Mitchell and RB Jajuan Lankford, and a swarming defense will key on Hixson RB Isaiah Robinson.
SALE CREEK PANTHERS (0-1) at RED BOILING SPRINGS BULLDOGS (0-1)
Storyline: It was a tough introduction to varsity football for the Panthers last week. An Oakdale team that had struggled last year but returned eight starters to each unit scored five times in the first half. Cody Daniel's 90 rushing yards led Sale Creek, and he also is a team leader in the secondary. This will be the last chance for Sale Creek to gain confidence before starting its rugged district schedule.
WHITWELL TIGERS (1-0) at MIDWAY GREEN WAVE (1-0)
Storyline: The Tigers showed last week that they don't plan to put the ball in the air much. Whitwell ran the ball 63 times in its opening win, with Clay and Dusty McHone and Cody Ingrassia each rushing for more than 100 yards. Midway returns all nine starters on their two lines. The OL averages more than 230 pounds and paves the way for last year's District 3-A offensive MVP, QB Shadon Lyle, who ran for more than 1,000 yards and threw for 1,400.
McMINN COUNTY CHEROKEES (1-0) at McCALLIE BLUE TORNADO (1-0)
Storyline: Both teams were impressive in opening-week victories. Although McCallie is very young, it showed a lot of speed and talent on the offensive side of the ball, led by sophomore QB JaVaughn Craig. The defense, however, has a way to go and will be tested by the Cherokees' ground game, led by senior Dre Sanders as well as QB Corbin Powers.
COPPER BASIN (0-1) at HAYESVILLE, N.C., YELLOW JACKETS (1-0)
Storyline: The Cougars' pass rush and secondary will get a stern test from the spread offense run by the Yellow Jackets, who beat Towns County, Ga., 20-0 last week in a game called at halftime because of lightning. In addition to QB Isaac Mills and his receiving corps, Hayesville also has a speedy back in Dayrion Williams. Because of a couple of preseason knee injuries to seniors, the Cougars' linemen are mostly sophomores backed up by freshmen.
GRUNDY COUNTY YELLOW JACKETS (0-1) at GRACE ACADEMY GOLDEN EAGLES (0-1)
Storyline: The Golden Eagles have the ability to put together methodical drives, but they can also strike quickly from the various looks they'll give a defense. Contain the big play should be the foremost concern for the Yellow Jackets, so they can't afford to have a bunch of missed tackles. Grundy coach Nick Bryant isn't as concerned about not being able to move the ball as he is protecting it. His team made three costly turnovers last week.
MEIGS COUNTY TIGERS (0-0) at SWEETWATER WILDCATS (0-1)
Storyline: New District 3-A member Meigs County kicks off its season against a familiar former district opponent in 5-AA's Sweetwater, which beat the Tigers 20-7 last season. Meigs' offense is guided by QB Bryson Baker, one of many seasoned juniors on the roster. The Wildcats are looking to shore up their defense, which was gashed for more than 400 yards on the ground in a 41-14 loss to Greenback last week.
CLEVELAND BLUE RAIDERS (0-1) at COOKEVILLE CAVALIERS (1-0)
Storyline: The Class 5A seventh-ranked Raiders could be in for another shootout tonight, a week after 90 points were scored in a 20-point loss to McCallie. The Cavaliers scored 54 points and had 460 yards of offense in a 54-6 blowout of Monterey, and they could provide problems for Cleveland with their running game. Meanwhile, the Raiders hope to keep their own high-powered attack in motion after 505 yards of offense last week, including 478 passing.
COFFEE COUNTY RED RAIDERS (0-1) at RHEA COUNTY GOLDEN EAGLES (0-0)
Storyline: After an impressive jamboree showing, the Golden Eagles officially usher in the Mark Pemberton era against the Red Raiders. Coffee gave up more than 400 yards of offense in a 52-20 loss to Battle Ground Academy last week and was unable to get highly touted back Deangelo Rozier on track. The Raiders will make that a priority as well as trying to stop Rhea's wing-T attack.
DOBYNS-BENNETT INDIANS (1-0) at EAST HAMILTON HURRICANES (1-0)
Storyline: Both teams are coming off close victories in their season openers, as the Class 6A 10th-ranked Indians scored a touchdown with less than a minute left to defeat Farragut 21-20 and the Hurricanes needed a blocked field-goal try to hold off Signal Mountain 14-12. East Hamilton will try to establish its rushing attack, giving QB Hunter Moore opportunities to make plays with his receivers, while a Hurricane defense full of college talent will try to stop the Indians' attack led by FB Zach Casey.
RIVERDALE WARRIORS (0-1) at BRADLEY CENTRAL BEARS (0-1)
Storyline: Both teams try to get on the winning track after staggering losses last week, the Warriors losing 41-7 to Murfreesboro rival Oakland and the Bears rallying late but dropping a 29-27 decision to Polk County. Bradley scored 13 points in the final 3:32 before a two-point try with no time remaining sealed its fate. The Bears got their offense going in the second half, and they'll hope to continue that momentum against a Riverdale team that was pounded on the ground last week.
SEQUOYAH CHIEFS (1-0) at WALKER VALLEY MUSTANGS (1-0)
Storyline: The Mustangs jumped off the 2013 campaign with a big win over East Ridge and will try for a second straight 2-0 start with a win over the Chiefs. Walker Valley had balance all over the field on offense and defense against the Pioneers, and continuing that trend should bode well against Sequoyah, which has shown a lot of balance in its own right in both a jamboree and its season-opening 41-0 shutout of Tellico Plains.
SIEGEL STARS (1-0) at OOLTEWAH OWLS (1-0)
Storyline: The Owls had no problems in their season-opening 42-2 thumping of Brainerd, but the Stars -- Class 6A semifinalists a year ago -- will present a much tougher challenge. Siegel has won meetings the past two seasons between the teams by an average of 33 points, but a lot of that production has graduated. A balanced Ooltewah offense featuring RB Desmond Pittman, QB Brody Binder and WR Mike Williams will be expected to make plays for the Owls to win.
COMMUNITY VIKINGS (0-1) at SILVERDALE BAPTIST ACADEMY SEAHAWKS (1-0)
Storyline: The Vikings feature a spread offense, primarily from a shotgun formation. Stopping the run that they try to use to set up the pass will be key for Silverdale. Community will line up four, sometimes five across its defensive front, but the Seahawks will often run straight ahead regardless. SBA coach Al Rogers said because of an injury Ben Bower moved to center and played well last week, as did another two-way lineman, Aubrey Shamblin, despite having a broken finger.
NORTH JACKSON CHIEFS (0-0) AT FORT PAYNE WILDCATS (0-0), 8
Storyline: The Tony Johnson era begins for the Chiefs with a tough road trip against a rival from a larger classification. The Chiefs are expected to be in a rebuilding year and have several key players who are questionable with injuries. Matt Johnson made his debut at quarterback in last week's jamboree and threw a TD pass to Seth Shelby for North Jackson. The Chiefs hold an 8-6 edge in the series, but the Wildcats rolled to a 17-point win last year in a 10-win season.
RINGGOLD TIGERS (1-0) AT HERITAGE GENERALS (0-0)
Storyline: Can the Tigers regain composure after ending a three-decade losing streak against Dalton? Senior QB Slade Dale, fresh off a 222-yard rushing performance, wants to get weapons Kile Sholl and Christian Plott more involved this week. The Generals just want to forget last year's 0-10 campaign, and what better way to do that than against a Catoosa County rival?
PEPPERELL DRAGONS (0-0) at NORTHWEST WHITFIELD BRUINS (0-0)
Storyline: Hopes are high in Tunnel Hill but a tough test awaits from the Class AA Dragons, who, as usual, are built around a strong offensive line, led by Air Force recruit Hayden Owen, and power running game. The Bruins, on the other hand, are running a fastbreak offense led by new QB Caleb Shiflett and have an aggressive defense featuring all-everything Isaiah Mack.
CALHOUN YELLOW JACKETS (0-0) at RIDGELAND PANTHERS (0-0)
Storyline: This matchup of state runners-up is a classic game of total opposites. The Class AA Jackets are a point-a-minute spread offense that has a new trigger man in Fields Chapman and perhaps their most talented receiving corps. The AAAA Panthers are a ground-and-pound team that is breaking in new skill-position starters and most of its line, though FB Noah Cooper is back after a strong season as a backup.
NORTH MURRAY MOUNTAINEERS (0-0) at SOUTHEAST WHITFIELD RAIDERS (0-0)
Storyline: Two rising programs meet in south Dalton. North Murray, led by LB John Chastain, has a revamped defense that likely will determine how far the team goes this season. Southeast has the edge in experience and in the trenches, where the Raiders average in excess of 270 pounds.
GORDON LEE TROJANS (0-0) at LAKEVIEW-FORT OGLETHORPE WARRIORS (0-0)
Storyline: One of the more underrated rivalries in northwest Georgia, this matchup may be more important this season than most for teams with a lot of unknowns. Gordon Lee suffered massive losses in its interior lines, but playmaker Zack Cobb returns and will be the featured back. LFO graduated nearly all its offense and will rely on new QB Sky Rogers and FB Jacob Gilbert.
MURRAY COUNTY INDIANS (0-0) AT COAHULLA CREEK COLTS (0-0)
Storyline: The Indians are starting over with Chad Brewer as the head coach, inheriting a team that's recent tradition has been one of losing. The Indians want a win. The Colts have an experienced QB in Blaine Williams, who could prevent an upset.
GORDON CENTRAL WARRIORS (0-0) at COOSA EAGLES (0-0)
Storyline: The Warriors experienced playoff success last season under former coach Jeff Fisher. But there's a new boss in town with David Humphreys taking the main whistle. He's implementing his own old-school offense bit by bit, and this is the first chance to see what it can do.
SONORAVILLE PHOENIX (0-0) at PICKENS COUNTY (0-0)
Storyline: The Phoenix's roster is full of players. But are they really players or just guys filling out jerseys? Coach Roger Gentry had to deal with a swarm of injuries in 2012 and will enjoy having a full team for at least the first game of the new season.
CHATTOOGA INDIANS (0-0) at EAST HALL VIKINGS (0-0)
Storyline: The Indians want to put the 2012 season in the past after going 2-8 with players falling to injury seemingly every week. Senior QB Nigel Dickerson can help accomplish that goal with a good game.
NORTH SAND MOUNTAIN BISON (0-0) at DADE COUNTY WOLVERINES (0-0)
Storyline: It's not often that schools from different states can claim to have a rivalry. But this is one of those cases. The Wolverines want to get back to the playoffs, and they also want to smother their rivals from on top of the mountain.
ARMUCHEE INDIANS (0-0) at TRION BULLDOGS (0-0)
Storyline: Trion won this matchup last year by a score of 34-3 in the season opener and wound up 9-3 with a playoff win over Irwin County. Bulldogs coach Justin Brown would like to see how his RB rotation will play out.
MODEL BLUE DEVILS (0-0) at CHRISTIAN HERITAGE LIONS (0-0)
Storyline: Model made the playoffs last year. The Lions were in their first year of GHSA competition. This time around, CHS may have the upper hand considering QB Trevor Brown is a preseason contender for region player of the year consideration.
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