Friday, Sept. 6
All kickoffs at 7:30 EDT unless noted
Cleveland (1-1) at McMinn County (1-1)
A peek ahead: This is District 3-5A opener for both clubs, who have a common opponent already. Both lost to McCallie, the Blue Raiders 55-35 in Week 0 and McMinn 41-0 last week. Highlight performers are Cleveland QB Austin Herink, the southpaw that threw for 478 yards against McCallie and his top WR, versatile D.J. Jones, and Cherokees running back Dre Sanders.
East Hamilton (2-0) at Walker Valley (2-0)
A peek ahead: East Hamilton plays its first District 3-5A game after moving up following a District 6-AA championship in 2012. The Hurricanes have played a pair of toughies, holding on to best Signal Mountain 14-12 in their opener and then opening at home by ending Dobyns-Bennett's 34-game regular season win streak, 33-21. The host Mustangs must find a way to prepare for Tre Herndon, who has returned a kickoff in each of East Hamilton's first two games. Walker Valley has wins over East Ridge (21-3) and Sequoyah (24-21), which was ranked eighth in the Class 4A poll.
Tyner (0-1) at Hixson (1-1)
A peek ahead: Tyner is coming off a season-opening, 49-28 loss to Signal Mountain while Hixson rebounded from a disappointing loss to Soddy-Daisy but shutting out perennial Class 1A playoff attendee South Pittsburg 29-0. The Wildcats were the slight coaches' pick to win District 6-AA ahead of the Rams. Hixson depends heavily on senior QB Gill Brown and RB Isaiah Robinson, who picked up 175 yards in the victory. The host Wildcats will have to be focused on Rams QB Haasan Miller, who's just as likely to run as to hand off or pass, RB Sadik Spence and WR Rodney Watson.
Baylor (2-0) at Montgomery Bell Academy (2-0), 8
A peek ahead: MBA, considered a darkhorse title contender in Division II-AA, is off to a strong start, scoring 79 points while allowing just 18 in its first two games (wins over Christian Brothers and Hamilton). Baylor had to come from behind last week for a 21-7 win over Knox Webb. The Red Raiders, who clubbed Howard in their opener, depend heavily on RB George Porter. Baylor, though, will be faced one of the biggest teams in the state and will probably need to get more from QB Nick Tiano.
East Ridge (0-2) at Central (1-1)
A peek ahead: These two were predicted to at least be darkhorse contenders for the District 6-AA championship but both have stumbled already. East Ridge has managed but 12 points (only one TD) while Central, in last week's loss to Polk County, lost RB Terry Tiller on the first series. Tiller opened the year with a 155-yard performance at Franklin County. It's early, the district opener for each, but a playoff berth could be on the line already.
Contact Ward Gossett at email@example.com or 423-886-4765. Follow him at Twitter/wardgossett.
The rest of the schedule:
Brainerd (0-2) at Red Bank (0-2)
Chattanooga Christian (2-0) at Notre Dame (1-1)
Grace Academy (0-2) at Davidson Academy (1-1), 8
Franklin Road Academy (1-1) at Boyd-Buchanan (1-1)
Greenback (1-1) at Meigs County (0-1)
Grundy County (1-1) at Sequatchie County (1-0), 8
Marion County (2-0) at Whitwell (1-1), 8
Ooltewah (1-1) at Soddy-Daisy (2-0)
Pope John Paul II (2-0) at McCallie (2-0)
Sequoyah (1-1) at McMinn Central (1-1)
Signal Mountain (1-1) at Bledsoe County (1-1), 8
Silverdale Baptist (2-0) at Copper Basin (0-2)
South Pittsburg (1-1) vs. Sale Creek (0-2)at Finley Stadium
Sweetwater (1-1) at Loudon (0-2)
Tellico Plains (1-1) at Knoxville Grace Christian (2-0)
White County (2-0) at Rhea County (1-0)
Dalton (0-1) at Calhoun (1-0)
Heritage (0-1) at Lakeview-F.O. (0-1)
LaFayette (0-0) at Trion (1-0)
Gordon Central (0-1) at Southeast Whitfield (1-0)
Coahulla Creek (1-0) at Gordon Lee (1-0)
Dade County (0-1) at North Murray (0-1)
Sonoraville 0-1) at Gilmer County (1-0)
Heard County (0-1) at Chattooga (0-1)
Christian Heritage (0-1) at Murray County (0-1)
Boaz (0-1) at Fort Payne (1-0), 8
Ider (0-1) at West End, 8
Madison County (1-0) at North Jackson (0-1), 8
Scottsboro (0-1) at Arab (0-1), 8
Section (1-0) at North Sand Mountain (1-0), 8
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 ...