published Friday, October 18th, 2013

Tonight's greater Chattanooga area high school football matchups

BAYLOR RED RAIDERS (5-2, 2-2) at BRENTWOOD ACADEMY EAGLES (5-3, 2-2), 8:30

Storyline: The teams have three common opponents — each beat Pope John Paul II and McCallie and lost to Montgomery Bell Academy. The Eagles defeated McCallie last week behind QB Tyler Swafford and an 82-yard punt return by Brandon Taylor. The Raiders, including RB George Porter, were stifled by Oakland. They had 168 yards of total offense, 68 of which belonged to Porter. Kickoff has been backed up to accommodate pregame homecoming festivities.

EAST HAMILTON HURRICANES (6-1, 3-1) at SODDY-DAISY TROJANS (3-5, 0-3)

Storyline: The Hurricanes have won two since their lone loss (to Ooltewah), while the Trojans' victory via forfeit over Tyner keeps them from a five-game losing streak. East Hamilton's point production has dropped drastically since its season-high 56 against Walker Valley on Sept. 6, and its defense has allowed an average of 20 points last four weeks. Tje Trojans still are seeking a consistent run game to go with QB Hunter Maynor and WRs Trey Carter and Levi Thornton.

CHATTANOOGA CHRISTIAN CHARGERS (2-5, 0-3) at SIGNAL MOUNTAIN EAGLES (5-2, 3-0)

Storyline: The Eagles are coming off an open date and are looking for second straight win, while the Chargers' losing streak has reached five following a 2-0 start. Signal will be playing its first game since losing big DT Marcus Hardy to a broken collarbone. Hardy underwent surgery earlier this week. CCS needs to win its last three games to post the program's best record; the Chargers can tie the best (4-6) by winning two of the three.

CENTRAL PURPLE POUNDERS (2-5, 1-3) at HOWARD HUSTLIN' TIGERS (1-6, 0-3)

Storyline: Led by Sean Montgomery, the Pounders rallied from 20-0 deficit but were unable to make good on a two-point conversion that would have pulled them into a late fourth-quarter tie with Brainerd laslt week. They lost 28-26. Howard also lost to Brainerd. QB Terrance Brooks continues to be the focal point of the Hustlin' Tigers' offense.

TYNER RAMS (1-6, 1-2) at BRAINERD PANTHERS (2-6, 2-2)

Storyline: The Rams remain in the District 6-AA title race despite forfeiting a district win to Central. They need to win out. If not for the forfeits, Tyner would be on a three-game win streak. The Panthers have won two straight behind QBs Ladaquis Word and Sam Caffey and RB/WR Kaylen Stewart. Rams QB Haasan Miller accounted for four TDs past week.

GRUNDY COUNTY YELLOW JACKETS (2-5, 1-2) at BLEDSOE COUNTY WARRIORS (2-5, 0-3)

Storyline: Both teams are coming off open dates. Grundy got its first shutout (35-0, CCS) on Oct. 4, while Bledsoe squandered a lead and fell to neighbor Sequatchie County (29-20). The winner of this one keeps slim playoff hopes alive. The home team has won this game by at least 16 points each of the last four years.

POLK COUNTY WILDCATS (6-1, 2-0) at SWEETWATER WILDCATS (3-4, 1-1)

Storyline: A win tonight would allow Polk to clinch at least a tie for the 5-AA championship. Sweetwater is coached by Mike Martin, the former head coach at Meigs County and East Ridge who had been an assistant before Craig Moser's preseason resignation. His Wildcats are led by RB Ashande Thaxton's 673 rushing yards and 412 receiving yards. Because of opponents' focus on FB Zach Miller, Polk has been able to capitalize on QB Josh Silas and WR/DB Chris Wimberly.

RHEA COUNTY GOLDEN EAGLES (6-1, 3-0) at WARREN COUNTY PIONEERS (1-7, 0-3)

Storyline: The Pioneers have lost four straight since a 32-21 victory over winless Coffee County on Sept. 6. Rhea County, the 6-AAA leader, has won four straight since a shocking loss at Walker Valley. In that streak, they've averaged 47.5 points behind RB Josh York, WR/RB Noel Patterson and QB Austin Dotson.

McMINN CENTRAL CHARGERS (3-5, 1-2) at LOUDON REDSKINS (2-5, 0-2)

Storyline: The Redskins' top offensive performers are RB Josh Jackson (655 yards, seven TDs) and QB Travis Brewer (437 passing, 234 rushing), and their top defenders are LBs Jack Nichols and Trey Berry. Loudon lost earlier this year to Howard but then manhandled East Ridge. Central is 1-3 on the road, its only win coming at Meigs County.

MEIGS COUNTY TIGERS (2-5, 0-3) at MIDWAY GREEN WAVE (5-2, 1-2)

Storyline: The Tigers had season-high performances last week from QB Bryson Baker (10-14-0, 245 yards) and RB Quincy Parris (18-170) in a win over Lookout Valley. Midway will be the fourth ranked team they have played this year. Green Wave QB Shandon Lyle is a dual threat (939 passing yards, 784 rushing) offensively and also plays safety. Caleb Splawn kicked a game-winning field goal with no time left two weeks ago against Harriman.

McMINN COUNTY CHEROKEES (2-5, 1-2) at BRADLEY CENTRAL BEARS (4-3, 1-2)

Storyline: This game represents the 90th meeting and 87th consecutive year of matchups between the teams. Bradley leads the series 47-39-3, but the Cherokees have won three straight and 12 of the last 13. By season's end McMinn will have played eight ranked teams. Pass plays of 74 and 70 yards cost the Cherokees last week, and Bradley has depended heavily on QB Brett Standifer and WRs Cal Pickel, Daniel Clark and Dee Crisp.

CLEVELAND BLUE RAIDERS (5-3, 3-1) at WALKER VALLEY MUSTANGS (3-4, 0-3)

Storyline: The Blue Raiders look to further solidify their playoff chances, while the Mustangs look to enhance theirs in this rivalry game. Cleveland further confirmed the fact they had a rushing attack last week, running on 37 of 40 plays for 274 yards in the second half of a 21-20 win over Bradley Central. The Mustangs have lost their last three games by an average of 26 points and will be looking to establish their own rushing attack, which has struggled recently.

GRACE ACADEMY GOLDEN EAGLES (2-5, 0-1) at SILVERDALE BAPTIST SEAHAWKS (7-0, 1-0)

Storyline: SBA coach Al Rogers said his team isn't taking anybody lightly. This is the Seahawks' first District 5-A game since a Sept. 6 shutout of Copper Basin. Grace already has a 5-A loss (to Boyd-Buchanan) and needs a win to maintain playoff contention. The Golden Eagles' Will Slack averaged 21.8 yards on 15 carries and scored four TDs last week.

BOYD-BUCHANAN BUCCANEERS (2-5, 2-0) at COPPER BASIN COUGARS (0-7, 0-1)

Storyline: The winless Cougars have scored just 55 points while allowing 268, and their high is 20 against Andrews, N.C. They have given up 33 or more points in six games. Buccaneers RB Austin Jackson had his best game of season last week -- three TDs and 109 yards -- but they still rely heavily on veteran QB Jim Cardwell.

RED BANK LIONS (2-5, 2-1) at HIXSON WILDCATS (5-2, 3-0)

Storyline: The Wildcats won last year, but their seniors were in the third grade the last time they beat the Lions at home. After studying video, Hixson coach Jason Fitzgerald said he's seen Red Bank line up in more than 50 different formations. His main concern tonight is that his defenders line up properly, according to formation. The ground-oriented Wildcats, who lead District 6-AA, need some work in the passing game with postseason approaching.

SEQUATCHIE COUNTY INDIANS (4-3, 3-0) at NOTRE DAME FIGHTING IRISH (4-3, 2-1)

Storyline: This likely will settle second place in District 7-AA. Both teams will be without key starting linemen. The Indians have a two-way lineman who likely will not play or at least will be limited because of a toe injury, while Notre Dame junior Joe Dossett, a two-way starter and a college prospect, is out with a shoulder injury. Sequatchie must find a way to limit the big plays by Notre Dame's Kareem Orr and Auston Banks to keep it close.

LOOKOUT VALLEY YELLOW JACKETS (0-7, 0-2) at SOUTH PITTSBURG PIRATES (6-1, 2-0)

Storyline: With a huge nondistrict test against 3A state-ranked Polk County next week and the District 6-A championship to be decided in two weeks when the Pirates visit Marion County, this game should serve as a tune-up. The biggest concern for South Pittsburg is coming away healthy, while the Yellow Jackets are simply trying to find positives to build on with a young team.

NORTHWEST WHITFIELD BRUINS (5-1, 1-1) at RIDGELAND PANTHERS (2-4, 1-1)

Storyline: Can the Bruins shake off the after-affects of last Friday's last-second loss to rival Dalton and focus on this very important Georgia Region 7-AAAA game? While the loser will not be out of the playoff picture, the winner will be in great shape to garner one of the three week-10 play-in positions. Northwest was pushed around a bit last week up front and will get a big dose of a rejuvenated Ridgeland running game and backs Cordarius Word and Calvin Davenport.

LaFAYETTE RAMBLERS (0-6, 0-2) at DALTON CATAMOUNTS (4-2, 2-0)

Storyline: The young Ramblers are struggling as they learn the spread offense under first-year coach Chad Fisher, but they're catching the Catamounts at the right time. Coming off a thrilling win at Northwest Whitfield, Dalton could be ripe for the upset. However, with QB Payton Veraldi coming into his own and TB Kelvis Rhodes on a rampage, the Catamounts are playing their best ball of the season.

COAHULLA CREEK COLTS (2-4, 1-2) at LAKEVIEW-FORT OGLETHORPE WARRIORS (2-4, 1-2)

Storyline: This is basically an elimination game in Region 5-AAA and likely will ride on whether the Warriors can make a few defensive stops, which have been rare in their four losses -- 33, 30, 49 and 76 points allowed. The Colts, meanwhile, seem to be getting their offense together behind QB Blaine Williams and RB Cameron Burton, who is averaging 5 yards per carry.

RINGGOLD TIGERS (5-1, 3-0) at NORTH MURRAY MOUNTAINEERS (1-5, 0-3)

Storyline: Can the North Murray defense, allowing 38 points in its losses, slow Ringgold and its playmaking trio of Slade Dale, Kile Sholl and D.L. Goins? If so, the Mountaineers have the offense to make it interesting behind QB Hinton McKonkey (1,500 total yards), athlete Drake McCowan and WR Payton Swilling.

HERITAGE GENERALS (1-5, 1-1) at SOUTHEAST WHITFIELD RAIDERS (3-3, 1-1)

Storyline: Heritage ended a 15-game losing streak last week as sophomore QB Dylan Bice had a breakthrough game with three touchdown passes and the Generals cut out the turnovers and breakdowns that had cost them. To make it two straight they'll need more of the same and the physical play to handle a large and angry Raiders offensive line.

CALHOUN YELLOW JACKETS (5-1, 3-0) at MURRAY COUNTY INDIANS (1-5, 0-3)

Storyline: This Region 7-AA game is all about each team working to achieve its goals. For the Jackets it's fine-tuning the offense with QB Fields Chapman in preparation for the playoffs. For the Indians it's about growing under first-year coach Chad Brewer, who seems to have found his own QB in Justin Smith.

ADAIRSVILE TIGERS (4-2, 2-1) at SONORAVILLE PHOENIX (2-4, 2-1)

Storyline: The Phoenix were on a roll after beating Coahulla Creek and North Murray. Then they tripped again last week at Ringgold and lost 30-0. But a victory tonight keeps the Phoenix clearly in the picture for a potential playoff spot.

DADE COUNTY WOLVERINES (3-3, 1-2) at ARMUCHEE INDIANS (1-5, 1-2)

Storyline: Dade County has been a picture of inconsistency and doesn't always play up to its potential. Coach Bradley Warren said the Wolverines need to show up in order to win because they can play good football. Dade County's win over Armuchee last year started a three-game winning streak.

DARLINGTON TIGERS (5-1, 2-0) at GORDON LEE TROJANS (3-2, 0-1)

Storyline: The Tigers have been racking up the points in the Georgia Class A power poll with their only loss coming against a Class AAA school, Cartersville. Gordon Lee has been visiting Krispy Kreme, as in the Trojans have doughnuts for points in their last two games due in part to turnovers.

COOSA EAGLES (3-3, 1-2) at CHATTOOGA INDIANS (2-4, 2-1)

Storyline: The Indians are on a roll after losing their first four 128-32. They thumped Murray County by 43 and Armuchee by 29 in their last two games. With only one region loss, they're still a viable playoff candidate. The Eagles would be slipping out of the postseason picture with another loss.

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