As always round one of the TSSAA playoffs lived up to the hype. Injuries, upsets, big winners, and so much more. We recap it all for teams across the UC right here.
Cookeville hosts Siegel- The Cavs were feeling as confident as any team in the state finishing the regular season on a five game winning streak. A chance to host a playoff game thanks to that, they ran to a 35-14 win over visiting Siegel. Over 300 yards of offense on the ground for Cookeville, and they limited Siegel to just under 300 yards total. Head Coach Taylor Hennigan credited his line on both sides, but pointed out that they lost the turnover battle one to none. They cannot do that next week as they go on the road this week to one of the premier environments and programs in the state; Riverdale.
Monterey at Fayetteville- A year ago this week Monterey went on the road, over two hours, and upset Hampton on their field. It was a memory, both the trip and the game, that many of the seniors on this years team said was their favorite from their time at Monterey. They looked to do the same this past Friday night going over two hours down south to Fayetteville. It did not go their way. A 39-14 loss brought the Wildcats home and their season to an end. This team has nothing to be ashamed of though. You heard head coach Scott Hughes talk all year about how nothing was expected of this team, certainly not to make the playoffs. Well they did make the postseason, as a three seed, and they went and competed for more than a half on the road.
York hosting Eagleton Academy- York “did not attempt a pass” that according to York head coach Derwin Wright. Yet they win 61-7, running their way to one of their most complete games. Coach Wright understood this could be this type of game early on in film study and said he challenged his team to step up and play a complete game. Don’t turn the ball over, cause turnovers, and dominate. They did all that and then some. Again, ran for all their yards and points, had two pick-6’s on defense, and did not turn the ball over once themselves; dominant. Now they set their sights on a rematch with Oneida, this time in Jamestown.
DeKalb at Red Bank- The Tigers thanks to a win over White County understood they were the four seed regardless of their result in Baxter. Therefore, they took the trip to just outside Chattanooga with some confidence, not so much concerned with last week’s lopsided result. In fact, head coach Steve Trapp thought they played well against the Bees. Unfortunately, concern abounded with 6:14 to go in the first quarter when star Malachi Trapp was possibly horse collar tackled on his way out of bounds. No penalty flags flew, but what did was silence as Trapp immediately was in clear pain and ultimately had to be carted off into an ambulance and taken to nearby Erlanger. The tigers would move the ball well afterward, but clearly struggled when it came time for someone to make a play on third down or fourth down without him. They ultimately fell 30-0 to a very speedy and quick Lions team, bringing an end to a very up and down season riddled with injuries including two to Trapp.
Upperman hosts East Ridge- The Bees, to the surprise of no one, rolled to a big time win in round one in Baxter over East Ridge. 56-14 with over 250 yards rushing, holding their opponent to 1 for 8 on third and fourth down, and 5 different Bees scoring touchdowns, it was a masterclass by head coach Adam Caine and his team. Still things he said he wants to clean up though. Finishing games strong, response out of the half, etc. They will get that chance this week as for the second time in three weeks they play host to Stone memorial who will be looking for payback after getting ran out of Baxter by four plus scores.
Stone at Hixon- No one entered the playoffs with less momentum than the Panthers. Albeit it, they had three straight losses to three very talented teams, on the road, in York, Upperman, and Macon, but still three losses are three losses. On top of that, thanks to that loss to Macon they then had to travel outside Chattanooga to Hixon who last year they saw their starting QB go down against in the playoffs. Then this year it happens again, as Nick Osmun goes down. The Panthers rallied to a 34-14 victory however, and really came out with a purpose scoring on their first four drives, and never punting in the first half. Head Coach Derik Samber was encouraged by his team’s ability to put the last few weeks behind them, guys step up to replace others, and by the fact that after the game Osmun was walking under his own power putting weight on his injury. it is another house of horrors for Stone next week as they return to Baxter just three weeks after being embarrassed by the Bees.
Clay hosting Sale Creek- A rough first half turned into a 38-19 win for the Bulldogs. Head Coach Bruce Lamb and his team were happy to be back in Celina despite that double OT loss to Gordonsville that technically slid them to the two seed. They played host to Sale Creek and coach Lamb was quick to point out they really beat themselves in the first half. He was proud of the way his team came out of the locker room and halftime and cleaned it up. Now they go on the road for possibly the biggest challenge anyone in the state will face, at South Pittsburgh. 11-0 and considered one of the, if not the, top team regardless of classification in the state.
Other scores of interest: Smith County 40 to 14 over Forrest, East Robertson 42 Cascade 0, Whitwell 55 and Red Boiling Springs 12, Macon rolls 41 to 7 over Loudon, Gordonsville a one point win 13-12 over Chattanooga Prep