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State of Tennessee High School Football

Coverage for all of Tennessee High School Football


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Coverage for all of Tennessee High School Football

Week 7 Game Picks

The Week 7 slate is as loaded as ever, making for what should be one of the best weeks of the season so far. Our guest picker this week is former Baylor and current Austin Peay quarterback Neyland Jean. Jean was a two-year starter at Baylor and was a 3-star prospect coming out of high school. Let’s get into our staff’s standings and picks. 1. Hunter DeNote 39-21 T-2. Isaac Leedham 38-22 T-2. Carter Mansfield 38-22 4. Kelsey Crabtree 37-23 5. Cooper Haines 36-24 6. Guest Picker 35-25 7. Isaac Lutrell 34-26 8. Braedon Henson 32-28 Game of the Week DII-AAA #3 McCallie (4-1) at DII-AAA #2 Baylor (5-0) DeNote: Baylor Leedham: Baylor Mansfield: Baylor Crabtree: Baylor Haines: Baylor Jean: Baylor Lutrell: Baylor Henson: Baylor Other Games 2A #14 Bledsoe County (4-2) at 2A #1 Tyner Academy (6-0) DeNote: Tyner Academy Leedham: Tyner Academy Mansfield: Tyner Academy Crabtree: Bledsoe County Haines: Tyner Academy Jean: Tyner Academy Lutrell: Tyner Academy Henson: Bledsoe County 5A #12 Oak Ridge (3-2) at 5A #8 Powell (4-2) DeNote: Powell Leedham: Powell Mansfield: Powell Crabtree: Powell Haines: Powell Jean: Powell Lutrell: Powell Henson: Oak Ridge 6A #1 Oakland (5-0) at 6A #8 Blackman (5-1) DeNote: Oakland Leedham: Oakland Mansfield: Oakland Crabtree: Oakland Haines: Oakland Jean: Blackman Lutrell: Oakland Henson: Oakland 6A #12 Cane Ridge (5-1) at 6A #10 Smyrna (5-0) DeNote: Smyrna Leedham: Cane Ridge Mansfield: Cane Ridge Crabtree: Smyrna Haines: Cane Ridge Jean: Cane Ridge Lutrell: Smyrna Henson: Smyrna 5A #7 Henry County (4-2) at 5A #3 Springfield (6-0) DeNote: Springfield Leedham: Springfield Mansfield: Henry County Crabtree: Henry County Haines: Henry County Jean: Springfield Lutrell: Henry County Henson: Henry County 6A #7 Germantown (5-1) at 6A #4 Collierville (6-0) DeNote: Collierville Leedham: Germantown Mansfield: Germantown Crabtree: Collierville Haines: Germantown Jean: Germantown Lutrell: Germantown Henson: Germantown 6A #15 Bartlett (4-2) at 6A #3 Houston (5-1) DeNote: Houston Leedham: Houston Mansfield: Houston Crabtree: Houston Haines: Houston Jean: Houston Lutrell: Houston Henson: Houston DII-AAA #1 MBA (6-0) at DII-AAA #5 JP2 (5-1) DeNote: MBA Leedham: MBA Mansfield: MBA Crabtree: MBA Haines: MBA Jean: MBA Lutrell: MBA Henson: JP2 DII-AA #6 Franklin Road Academy (5-1) at DII-AA #5 CPA (3-3) DeNote: FRA Leedham: FRA Mansfield: CPA Crabtree: CPA Haines: CPA Jean: CPA Lutrell: CPA Henson: CPA

Week 6 Game Picks

We are just a little bit past the halfway point of the high school football season, and we have another good slate of games here in Week 6. Our guest picker is former Houston and current Texas State running back Lincoln Pare. Pare won the 6A Mr. Football award in 2019 with the Mustangs, rushing for 2,804 yards as a senior. Let’s get into the standings and the picks. 1. Hunter DeNote 33-17 T-2. Cooper Haines 32-18 T-2. Isaac Leedham 32-18 T-2. Carter Mansfield 32-18 5. Kelsey Crabtree 31-19 6. Guest Picker 30-20 7. Isaac Lutrell 28-22 8. Braedon Henson 25-25 Game of the Week 6A #13 Houston (4-1) at 6A #2 Germantown (5-0) DeNote: Germantown Haines: Germantown Leedham: Germantown Mansfield: Germantown Crabtree: Houston Pare: Houston Lutrell: Germantown Henson: Germantown Other Games DII-A #2 (4-0) Jackson Christian at DII-A #3 USJ (4-1) (Thu.) DeNote: USJ Haines: USJ Leedham: USJ Mansfield: Jackson Christian Crabtree: Jackson Christian Pare: USJ Lutrell: USJ Henson: USJ 5A #1 Knox West (5-0) at 3A #1 Alcoa (5-0) (Thu.) DeNote: Alcoa Haines: Alcoa Leedham: Alcoa Mansfield: Knox West Crabtree: Alcoa Pare: Alcoa Lutrell: Alcoa Henson: Knox West 4A #1 Greeneville (5-0) at 6A #5 Dobyns-Bennett (5-0) DeNote: Greeneville Haines: Dobyns-Bennett Leedham: Greeneville Mansfield: Greeneville Crabtree: Greeneville Pare: Dobyns-Bennett Lutrell: Greeneville Henson: Dobyns-Bennett DII-AAA #1 MBA (5-0) at DII-AAA #4 Brentwood Academy (4-1) DeNote: MBA Haines: MBA Leedham: MBA Mansfield: MBA Crabtree: Brentwood Academy Pare: MBA Lutrell: MBA Henson: Brentwood Academy 5A #2 Page (5-0) at 3A #4 Giles County (4-1) DeNote: Page Haines: Page Leedham: Page Mansfield: Page Crabtree: Page Pare: Giles County Lutrell: Giles County Henson: Page 1A #3 Coalfield (5-0) at 1A #8 Gordonsville (3-2) DeNote: Coalfield Haines: Coalfield Leedham: Coalfield Mansfield: Coalfield Crabtree: Coalfield Pare: Coalfield Lutrell: Gordonsville Henson: Gordonsville 5A #3 Green Hill (4-1) at 5A #12 White County (4-1) DeNote: White County Haines: Green Hill Leedham: White County Mansfield: White County Crabtree: White County Pare: Green Hill Lutrell: White County Henson: White County 3A #2 East Nashville (5-0) at 6A #11 (3-2) Independence DeNote: East Nashville Haines: East Nashville Leedham: East Nashville Mansfield: East Nashville Crabtree: East Nashville Pare: Independence Lutrell: East Nashville Henson: Independence 6A #14 Rockvale (4-1) at 5A #5 Nolensville (5-0) DeNote: Nolensville Haines: Nolensville Leedham: Nolensville Mansfield: Nolensville Crabtree: Nolensville Pare: Nolensville Lutrell: Nolensville Henson: Nolensville

Week 5 Game Picks

Week 5 of the high school football season is upon us and the slate is loaded with region games between ranked teams that will have a major impact on seeding when the playoffs come around. Our guest picker this week is former Brentwood and current Vanderbilt defensive back John Howse. Howse was an all-state performer for the Bruins and was a key piece for the Brentwood state title game run in 2020. Let’s get into the standings and the picks. T-1. Hunter DeNote 24-16 T-1. Carter Mansfield 24-16 T-3. Isaac Leedham 23-17 T-3. Isaac Lutrell 23-17 T-3. Guest Picker 23-17 T-6. Kelsey Crabtree 22-18 T-6. Cooper Haines 22-18 8. Braedon Henson 21-19 Game of the Week Brentwood (3-1) at 6A #8 Ravenwood (2-2) DeNote: Ravenwood Mansfield: Ravenwood Leedham: Ravenwood Lutrell: Brentwood Howse: Brentwood Crabtree: Ravenwood Haines: Ravenwood Henson: Brentwood Other Games DII-AAA #2 Baylor (3-0) at DII-AAA #4 Pope John Paul II (4-0) DeNote: Baylor Mansfield: Baylor Leedham: JP2 Lutrell: JP2 Howse: Baylor Crabtree: Baylor Haines: Baylor Henson: JP2 DII-AA #10 CAK (2-2) at DII-AA #2 Knox Webb (4-0) DeNote: Knox Webb Mansfield: Knox Webb Leedham: Knox Webb Lutrell: Knox Webb Howse: Knox Webb Crabtree: Knox Webb Haines: Knox Webb Henson: Knox Webb 1A #12 Oakdale (4-0) at 1A #3 Coalfield (4-0) DeNote: Coalfield Mansfield: Coalfield Leedham: Coalfield Lutrell: Coalfield Howse: Coalfield Crabtree: Coalfield Haines: Coalfield Henson: Oakdale 5A #1 Knox West (4-0) at 5A #11 Sevier County (4-0) DeNote: Knox West Mansfield: Knox West Leedham: Knox West Lutrell: Knox West Howse: Knox West Crabtree: Knox West Haines: Knox West Henson: Knox West 1A #11 Moore County (4-0) at 1A #2 Fayetteville (4-0) DeNote: Fayetteville Mansfield: Fayetteville Leedham: Fayetteville Lutrell: Fayetteville Howse: Fayetteville Crabtree: Fayetteville Haines: Fayetteville Henson: Moore County 5A #10 White County (4-0) at 5A #7 Mt. Juliet (2-1) DeNote: Mt. Juliet Mansfield: White County Leedham: Mt. Juliet Lutrell: White County Howse: Mt. Juliet Crabtree: Mt. Juliet Haines: Mt. Juliet Henson: Mt. Juliet 5A #9 Powell (2-2) at 5A #15 Clinton (3-1) DeNote: Powell Mansfield: Powell Leedham: Powell Lutrell: Clinton Howse: Clinton Crabtree: Powell Haines: Powell Henson: Clinton 4A #3 Haywood (3-0) at 4A #7 Milan (4-0) DeNote: Haywood Mansfield: Haywood Leedham: Haywood Lutrell: Milan Howse: Milan Crabtree: Milan Haines: Haywood Henson: Milan DII-AAA #9 Christian Brothers (2-2) at DII-AAA #8 (2-2) Briarcrest DeNote: Briarcrest Mansfield: Briarcrest Leedham: Christian Brothers Lutrell: Christian Brothers Howse: Christian Brothers Crabtree: Christian Brothers Haines: Christian Brothers Henson: Christian Brothers

Silverdale Upsets Boyd Buchanan

There is nothing like the environment of a rivalry football game on Friday night! The stadium was packed with thousands of fans trying to see the rivalry between Boyd Buchanan and Silverdale. They were treated to one of the better games of the year to date! Silverdale’s student section celebrates (Credit: Silverdale Baptist Academy) The Buccaneers came into this game toting an undefeated 4-0 record and the level of confidence within the program was at the highest it has been at in a while. The Silverdale Seahawks came in with a 2-2 record and hungry for a high-profile win. As is common in an emotional rivalry game, both sides came in with their best game plan and an opened up offensive playbook helped lead the Seahawks to a victory on Friday night.

What Makes a Rivalry: Hardin County vs. Adamsville

Small towns dot the landscape of Tennessee and provide some of the richest high school football culture anywhere in the south. Hardin County High School and Adamsville High School are separated by just 11-miles and the Harrison-McGarity Carpenter bridge. Historically, the series between the two has been dominated by Hardin County winning 21 of the 28 matchups. The 21-7 HCHS series lead can be a bit misleading, however, with 9 of the games being one-possession games along with 5 games decided by 3-points or fewer. Many of the students have grown up competing against each other which creates two deeply involved communities coming together for the games. When Hardin County is the hosting school, both the HCHS parking lot and the neighboring Savannah Church of Christ’s parking lot are filled, typically leaving cars littered along Pickwick Street and Stadium Drive. When the Cardinals play host, cars line US-64 for 3-4 miles near the high school. Hardin County has pulled away in the last 5-years, taking a narrow 15-13 win in 2017, though the Cardinals have failed to score on the Tigers since then. HCHS dominated in a 44-0 win over the Cardinals Friday, in preparation for region play this week against South Side. The Hardin County defense looks to be a dominant force in 4A this season. Junior talents Sam Tanner and Wes Blankenship both grabbed interceptions, along with Kevin Tarver Jr. and out-of-state transfer David Stout both recording sacks. The Cardinal's opening drive was cut short by the Sam Tanner interception, leading to a one-play Tylin Irvin 11-yard touchdown, though a wide left PAT left the Tigers with a 6-0 lead. A quick 3-and-out put the Tigers at their own 18. Quarterback Carter Smith connected with Kam Haymon on a go-route for the 82-yard score, giving the Tigers a 13-0 lead with over 6-minutes left in the first. The Cardinals failed to get a responding drive going, leading to a Wes Blankenship punt block scoop and score, making the HCHS lead 20-0. The Tigers began the second quarter at the Cardinal 15-yard line, though the AHS defense held HCHS to a field goal, with Hardin County holding a 23-0 lead for most of the second quarter. The Tigers lead a perfect 2-minute drive, with Smith hitting Brayden Wilkes from 18-yards out with 4-seconds left in the half, and a squib kick sent the teams to halftime. Under new rules, the entire second half had a running clock, though the Tigers added a Peyton Stricklin rushing touchdown from a yard out, along with a 69-yard touchdown rush from freshman Ben White midway through the fourth. Next week the Cardinals host Scotts Hill as region play begins in much of West Tennessee.

MBA Avenges Last Season's Loss in Blowout of Pearl-Cohn

The matchup Friday night between Pearl-Cohn and MBA was much anticipated, due to the last two meetings in 2019 and 2021 being decided by a total of 11 points. However, this year’s matchup was not as exciting, as the MBA defense made stop after stop on Friday night to dominate Pearl-Cohn. The Big Red defense allowed only 184 total yards to the Pearl-Cohn and only allowed one touchdown. The MBA offense is led by senior quarterback and four-star Ole Miss commitment Marcel Reed and Senior running back Johnothan Moore. MBA got on the scoreboard first as Reed found Hutton Durrett on an 18-yard toss to go up 7-0 in the first quarter. Reed then found his way into the end zone on a 33-yard scamper to give MBA a 14-0 lead with 10:00 minutes left in the 2nd quarter.

Daniel Boone Routs West Ridge in Shutout

This time last year, West Ridge High School was handed a technical win over Daniel Boone due to forfeit; this year, they weren’t so lucky. On Friday, the Wolves of West Ridge hosted border-county foe Daniel Boone for the first time since the Wolve’s inception last year. Although playing their first 6A school since the midpoint of last season, the ‘Blazers added to their preseason hype, showing no debility in the face of a larger program. West Ridge came into the game a week after their 41-6 blowout over Volunteer High, where Wolves’ tailback Cale Bryant posted a whopping 276 all-purpose yards, and a total of four touchdowns. Daniel Boone also rode into the contest on a high note. Last week, the Trailblazers beat South Greene 26-0 on their first show on new field turf, showing off the arm of Junior quarterback Luke Jenkins and the leg of highly-touted Senior kicker Ben Shrewsbury. FIRST QUARTER West Ridge possessed the ball to start the game, but that wouldn’t last long as just a few minutes in, the Trailblazers would pounce on a midfield fumble. It looked like Boone would start off with a bang after a 40-yard pass to Senior ATH Rylan Trout, but a quick drive would result in a missed field goal. However, Daniel Boone didn’t stay away from the ball for long, as a subsequent West Ridge punt would fly into the endzone for a safety. The Trailblazers took advantage of the field possession, as Junior tailback Aiden Riner would punch into the endzone to extend Boone’s lead to nine – and it was all Boone from that point on. SECOND QUARTER Following a few strong Boone defensive stops, West Ridge was forced out of their comfort zone, moving from their under-center option formation to a more contemporary shotgun-style scheme. “If we got ahead of them, that was a big thing,” said veteran Daniel Boone coach Jeremy Jenkins. “They just wouldn’t be able to run the ball consistently.” On a 3rd and short situation, a Trey Frazier pass was picked off by ‘Blazer corner Brogan Jones, and returned all the way home for a score. Even after a 19-0 deficit, the Wolves were unable to get anything going, punting away every possession. On the other hand, Daniel Boone refused to slow down, tacking on a 2-play, 76 yard drive on two passes to Boone Senior Landon Kirkpatrick. They would take a 26-0 lead at halftime. SECOND HALF Daniel Boone got the ball to start the second half of the contest, and came running out of the gate with a 64 yard reverse to Rylan Trout all the way down to the 1, where Aiden Riner punched in his second score. A 33-0 score would stretch the entire second half, as neither team made much noise, both running the clock out with rushing plays. MOVING FORWARD This wasn’t exactly the week-two momentum pusher that the Wolves were looking for before traveling to red-hot Science Hill next week in a divisional matchup. However, Science Hill also suffered a tough loss this week, making next week's rivalry game a crucial one. Daniel Boone got exactly what they wanted this week out of their senior-heavy squad, especially being a team known for finishing the season strong. “It’s great preparation..all week for these guys to start off strong like this.” said Jeremy Jenkins. Jenkins’ Trailblazers hope this preparation stays consistent next Saturday in their divisional opener at home against Cherokee.

Baylor Wins Battle of DII-AAA Heavyweights

In what could be an early season preview of the DII-AAA playoffs, Baylor made a statement, dominating Ensworth 35-17. “This game really showed the character of our defense tonight.” Baylor Head Coach Erik Kimrey said. “We have a long way to go and there’s a lot of things we need to clean up, but I’m certainly proud to be able to come up here and get away with a win.” Caleb Hampton was unstoppable on the ground, gashing the Ensworth defense for two touchdowns on the night, and making several eye-popping plays. While Hampton is committed to play baseball at the University of South Carolina he has been turning more than a few heads in the football recruiting world, and if anyone knows what a college running back looks like, it’s Kimrey, who was hired this offseason by Baylor from his position as the tight ends coach at the University of South Carolina. “He’s a Power Five running back and he shows that everytime he touches the ball.” Kimrey said. “He’s not only that, but he’s a tremendous leader in our program.” Defense was the other strongsuit for Baylor, as they pitched a second half shutout in a game that they only led 21-17 at halftime. “That was a really dynamic offense,” Kimrey said. “We need to adjust a few things (at halftime), so we put another number in the box to stop the run game and put some pressure on the quarterback and we bent a little bit at times, but down the field we were able to get stops.” Baylor will open up region play next Friday at home against Knoxville Catholic, while Ensworth will host their region opener against Christian Brothers.

Week 2 Game Picks

After an extremely exciting first week in high school football throughout Tennessee, Week Two has just as many high-quality games on the slate. Our guest picker this week is Ensworth legend Corn Elder. Elder won three state championships in football and two Mr. Football awards while at Ensworth. He was an All-ACC performer at Miami, before being drafted in the fifth round of the 2017 NFL draft by the Carolina Panthers. Elder also played in the NFL with the New York Giants, Washing Commanders, and Detroit Lions, along with two other separate stints with the Panthers. Let’s get into the picks. Standings T-1. Kelsey Crabtree 5-5 T-1. Cooper Haines 5-5 T-1. Braedon Henson 5-5 T-1. Isaac Leedham 5-5 T-4. Isaac Lutrell 4-6 T-4. Carter Mansfield 4-6 T-4. Guest Picker 4-6 7. Hunter DeNote 3-7 Game of the Week DII-AAA #6 Baylor (1-0) at DII-AAA #2 Ensworth (1-0) Crabtree: Baylor Haines: Ensworth Henson: Baylor Leedham: Ensworth Lutrell: Ensworth Mansfield: Ensworth Elder: Ensworth DeNote: Ensworth Other Games 3A #3 Giles County (1-0) at 5A #8 Nolensville (1-0) Crabtree: Giles County Haines: Nolensville Henson: Nolensville Leedham: Nolensville Lutrell: Nolensville Mansfield: Nolensville Elder: Giles County DeNote: Nolensville 6A #2 Maryville (1-0) at 5A #5 Powell (0-1) (Thu.) Crabtree: Maryville Haines: Maryville Henson: Maryville Leedham: Maryville Lutrell: Maryville Mansfield: Maryville Elder: Maryville DeNote: Maryville DII-A #1 USJ (1-0) at 2A #15 Union City (1-0) Crabtree: USJ Haines: USJ Henson: USJ Leedham: USJ Lutrell: Union City Mansfield: USJ Elder: USJ DeNote: USJ 6A #15 Beech (0-1) at 5A #2 Henry County (1-0) Crabtree: Henry County Haines: Henry County Henson: Henry County Leedham: Henry County Lutrell: Henry County Mansfield: Henry County Elder: Beech DeNote: Henry County 1A #5 Peabody (0-1) at 2A #7 Westview (0-1) Crabtree: Peabody Haines: Peabody Henson: Westview Leedham: Peabody Lutrell: Peabody Mansfield: Peabody Elder: Peabody DeNote: Westview Coffee County (0-1) at 4A #6 Tullahoma (1-0) Crabtree: Tullahoma Haines: Tullahoma Henson: Tullahoma Leedham: Tullahoma Lutrell: Tullahoma Mansfield: Tullahoma Elder: Tullahoma DeNote: Tullahoma 4A #5 Pearl-Cohn (0-1) at DII-AAA #3 MBA (1-0) Crabtree: MBA Haines: MBA Henson: Pearl-Cohn Leedham: MBA Lutrell: MBA Mansfield: MBA Elder: MBA DeNote: MBA 6A #11 Germantown (1-0) at DII-AAA #8 MUS (1-0) Crabtree: MUS Haines: Germantown Henson: MUS Leedham: MUS Lutrell: MUS Mansfield: MUS Elder: MUS DeNote: MUS DII-AA #2 CPA (1-0) at DII-AAA #7 Brentwood Academy (0-1) Crabtree: CPA Haines: CPA Henson: CPA Leedham: CPA Lutrell: Brentwood Academy Mansfield: Brentwood Academy Elder: Brentwood Academy DeNote: CPA

McKenzie Dominates Rival Huntingdon to Open the Season

Last year’s 1A State title runner-up, McKenzie, opened their season with a bang on the road at Huntingdon, with a dominant 34-12 win. HHS deferred the opening kickoff, which 4-star Marquez Taylor returned for a touchdown, giving the Rebels an early 7-0 lead. The Mustangs responded with a drive to their own 47, where the MHS defense prevented a 4th & 1 conversion. Only two plays were necessary for McKenzie to capitalize on the fourth down stop. After an out route dump off to Taylor, quarterback Jackson Cassidy connected with Zach Aird from 33-yards out, giving McKenzie a 14-0 lead with 8:20 left in the first quarter. The Mustangs drove back to their own 47, though a fumble presented Huntingdon with a 2nd & 36, resulting in a punt on 4th & long. The Taylor show continued, with the senior grabbing two back-to-back receptions, though a holding call in the red zone would set back the Rebels to a field goal attempt, which Zach Aird hit from 25-yards out, extending the McKenzie lead to 17-0. The Mustangs answered with a 76-yard Easton Byars catch and run, placing HHS on the Rebel 1-yard line to start the 2nd quarter. Mustang quarterback Gray Eubanks dove in to make it 17-6, with the PAT falling no good. Both teams traded possessions, when a Mustang punt fell to the McKenzie 10-yard line. A high snap put Cassidy in the back of the endzone, where he connected with Zay Webber, who turned the broken play into a 92-yard touchdown, making the McKenzie lead 24-6 with just under 5-minutes remaining in the first half. Huntingdon was unable to create points to open the second half, and a punt set the Rebels at their own 34. After a 3-yard Zay Webber pickup, Jackson Cassidy was flushed out of the pocket, and scampered into a 63-yard touchdown rush, giving the Rebels a commanding 31-6 lead. The Rebels extended their lead late, thanks to an Etijay Tharpe reception to the Mustang 10-yard line. The Huntingdon defense prevented the Rebels from reaching the end zone, sending out Aird to slip in a 33-yard field goal, making the lead 34-6. The Mustangs found a drive with 5-minutes left in the game, grinding the clock down to 19-seconds after a Gray Eubanks dive from a yard out, cutting the final McKenzie lead to 34-12. The Rebels bring an explosive offense into the 2022-23 season and host Chester County this Friday. Huntingdon looks to rebound with a matchup at Jackson South Side.

Strong Run Game Ends Science Hill's Losing Streak Against Elizabethton

Science Hill and Elizabethton can only mean one thing: high school football has officially begun. On Friday, the two programs continued their long history of kicking-off the season together in the second rendition of the newly coined ‘Railroad Rumble.’ Coming into the game, the Cyclones had not lost a battle with the Hilltoppers since the 2017 campaign, including last year’s matchup at ETSU’s William B. Greene Stadium. All it took was 48 minutes on the gridiron, however, and a strong Science Hill run game, to rid the Hilltoppers of their Elizabethton stigma. Prior to Friday’s game, both teams had question marks on both sides of the ball, including at quarterback. Elizabethton coach Shawn Witten ultimately decided on Sophomore Jeriah Griffin to lead the Cyclone offense, with Science Hill coach Stacy Carter giving Junior Jaysahn Swartz the start. The big takeaway from this year’s ‘Rumble was no big play or player, rather the colossal amount of penalties by each team. By the game’s midway point, the teams had combined for over a dozen infractions. “Just too many mistakes,” said Shawn Witten, “but we’ll fix it, we’ll respond and get ourselves better.” The Cyclones would get the ball first, but a promising pass-heavy drive would culminate in a 33-yard missed field goal. Science Hill looked as if they would take advantage of the miscue, but a 3rd and Short pass would be picked off by Cyclone Junior Cam Baker. It wouldn’t be long, however, before Hilltopper Steven Famoyian would return the favor with a pick of his own. “He jumped that route pretty good,” said Stacy Carter, “But hey, we can’t throw much either.” Jaysahn Swartz would capitalize with a goal line option keeper for a touchdown. Max Turan’s PAT was good. The ‘Toppers would extend their lead to 14 in the second quarter, courtesy of a Trevor Whitson score. The first half wouldn’t go quietly, however. With 6 minutes left, Science Hill punted to Cyclone Senior Cade Russell. However, before Russell caught the punt, he was brutally interfered with by the ‘Toppers long-snapper, causing flags to fly and a sizable scuffle to ensue between both benches. Coach Shawn Witten knew the hurt of losing his star Senior return-man. “It’s unfortunate. I thought it could’ve been handled a lot better because that’s not what we do. That’s not our game.” It took the officials over five minutes to make a decision on the brutal hit, but ultimately Science Hill’s starting center would be ejected, and Elizabethton would be predominantly penalized for the scuffle. The play would give the Cyclones a bit of extra momentum, setting Jeriah Griffin up for a 45 yard lob pass to Senior wideout Teddy Orton with 39 seconds remaining in the half. The second half of the contest was slow, sloppy football. Science Hill’s loss of their center proved to be detrimental, as three second half snaps would go over Jaysahn Swartz head. A Max Turan field goal would be the only score of the half, as both teams struggled offensively. A Derrick Smith interception would put the nail in Elizabethton’s week-one coffin. Ultimately, Elizabethton’s lack of experience and strength would prove to be a major fault, with Science Hill taking advantage of their strong offensive line. The Hilltoppers rushed for nearly 200 yards in the contest, showing promise in the new, run-heavy offensive scheme. Elizabethton has a bye next week, before heading to powerhouse Greeneville on the second of September. “We have to work on everything on both sides of the ball, and we have two weeks to do that,” said Shawn Witten. Science Hill hopes to take this momentum moving forward into what Stacy Carter calls “The Gauntlet.” A schedule that includes Anderson County next week, Powell, and Maryville all by September end, Science Hill still has much to work on.

Week 1 Game Picks

Football is finally back, and the slate is loaded for Thursday, Friday, and Saturday of this week. Check out our staff’s picks for week one along with our guest picker, former Ravenwood quarterback, and current Louisiana-Monroe quarterback Brian Garcia’s picks. Standings T-1. Kelsey Crabtree T-1. Hunter DeNote T-1. Cooper Haines T-1. Braedon Henson T-1. Isaac Leedham T-1. Isaac Lutrell T-1. Carter Mansfield T-1. Guest Picker Game of the Week DII-AAA #3 MBA at 6A #3 Ravenwood DeNote: Ravenwood Haines: MBA Henson: MBA Leedham: MBA Lutrell: Ravenwood Mansfield: Ravenwood Garcia: Ravenwood Other Games Science Hill at 4A #3 Elizabethton Crabtree: DeNote: Elizabethton Haines: Elizabethton Henson: Elizabethton Leedham: Elizabethton Lutrell: Elizabethton Mansfield: Elizabethton Garcia: Elizabethton 5A #1 Powell at 4A #4 Anderson County Crabtree: DeNote: Powell Haines: Powell Henson: Powell Leedham: Powell Lutrell: Powell Mansfield: Powell Garcia: Powell 5A #8 Oak Ridge at South-Doyle Crabtree: DeNote: Oak Ridge Haines: Oak Ridge Henson: South-Doyle Leedham: Oak Ridge Lutrell: Oak Ridge Mansfield: Oak Ridge Garcia: Oak Ridge 1A #4 Fayetteville at 2A #10 Watertown Crabtree: DeNote: Fayetteville Haines: Fayetteville Henson: Fayetteville Leedham: Fayetteville Lutrell: Watertown Mansfield: Fayetteville Guest Picker: Watertown 5A #5 Page at 3A #5 Fairview Crabtree: DeNote: Page Haines: Page Henson: Page Leedham: Page Lutrell: Page Mansfield: Page Garcia: Page 5A #4 Henry County at 6A #8 Summit Crabtree: DeNote: Summit Haines: Summit Henson: Summit Leedham: Henry County Lutrell: Henry County Mansfield: Summit Garcia: Summit 6A #6 Independence at DII-AA #3 CPA Crabtree: DeNote: Independence Haines: CPA Henson: CPA Leedham: Independence Lutrell: CPA Mansfield: Independence Garcia: Independence 1A #5 Gordonsville at 3A #9 Smith County (Sat.) Crabtree: DeNote: Gordonsville Haines: Gordonsville Henson: Smith County Leedham: Gordonsville Lutrell: Gordonsville Mansfield: Smith County Garcia: Smith County DII-AAA #10 Christian Brothers at Germantown (Sat.) Crabtree: DeNote: Christian Brothers Haines: Christian Brothers Henson: Christian Brothers Leedham: Christian Brothers Lutrell: Christian Brothers Mansfield: Christian Brothers Garcia: Germantown

Scrimmage Notes: USJ vs Peabody

Making a deep playoff run is a major accomplishment for many programs across the state, though for DII Class A powerhouse USJ, and recent 2A juggernaut Peabody, both teams look to play in December. Peabody’s path to Chattanooga ran through McKenzie, who edged the Tide out in a 36-30 nailbiter. Peabody graduated an elite 2022 senior class, though they bring back a larger senior class than last year's. The University School of Jackson’s 42-14 loss to Donelson Christian in last year's DII Class A semifinals meant the end of a Bruin backfield with Steele Haynes at tailback. The Bruins return plenty of depth in all areas, with Kevin Finch being a mainstay in the USJ backfield. Naturally, a preseason scrimmage between the two state semifinalists would produce fireworks. Peabody opened up the action, with Sam Driggers finding Garrett Webber from 21-yards out. USJ responded to the 6-0 deficit with a drive, which was finished by a Kevin Finch rushing touchdown from the 4-yard line. Peabody responded quickly, through a Sam Driggers rushing touchdown, taking a 12-7 lead. The Bruins responded with a drive, though a Quentarious Brooks interception in the endzone ended the threat. With 18-seconds before halftime, USJ quarterback Berkeley Pettigrew rolled out and led Noah Spencer upfield to score with 4.3 seconds remaining in the half. A Peabody inside run would send the two teams into the locker rooms with USJ leading 14-12. The Bruins received the ball in the second half, leading to a long Kevin Finch touchdown run. The Bruins went up 21-12 and looked to contain the ground game of Peabody. The Tide would respond with a drive finished with a Sam Driggers rushing touchdown with 7:08 left in the third quarter. The Bruins looked for a reply, driving inside the 10-yard line, though another Quentarious Brooks endzone interception sent Peabody’s offense back onto the field. The fourth quarter saw the rotation of many younger players, though neither side managed to score. Both sides scored 3-touchdowns and showed flashes of success. USJ brings plenty of size to the perimeter, which opens up the running game for Kevin Finch. The Bruins look primed to make another DII-A playoff run. Peabody replaces talent with more talent. The Golden Tide brings a large line, and an explosive backfield and looks to make another run at a state title. USJ finish their preseason at Dyersburg’s jamboree next Friday, while Peabody will open their season at Milan on the 18th.
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