The Upperman Bees football team punched their ticket into the Class 4A State semifinals on Friday night, as they went to Chattanooga and left town with a 42-28 victory over the Red Bank Lions. The win ears Upperman (12-1) at date next Friday night at Elizabethton (11-1), who upset the top ranked team in Class 4A, Greeneville, 13-7.
The Bees ran twice as many plays as the Lions (72 to 36) and out-gained them in total offense 498 to 333, and used a 21-0 fourth quarter advantage to earn the win. Upperman also held a huge edge in time of possession, as they owned the ball for 35:17, while the Red Bank offense possessed it for only 12:43. The Bees also had no turnovers in the game, while the Lions had one.
Terrance Dedmon and Jaxson Rollins were the offensive stars of the night. Dedmon rushed for 178 yards on a mere 18 carries – an average of 9.9 yards per carry, while Rollins rushed for 172 yards and four touchdowns on 27 carries. As a team, Upperman ran for 434 yards on 62 total carries, and averaged seven yards per carry. Carter Shanks had another strong game on defense with 5.5 total tackles, while Rollins tallied five. Jyron McClellan had 2.5 stops, one for loss, and 1.5 sacks.
Upperman last appeared in the State semifinals in 2018, when they were defeated at home by eventual State Champ, Alcoa, 27-14, in Class 3A. The winner of next Friday’s Upperman-Elizabthton game will meet the winner of Haywood (13-0) at Tullahoma (13-0) in the Class 4A BlueCross Bowl at Finely Stadium in Chattanooga, Saturday, December 4, at 11:00 a.m.
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