West Tennessee High School Football

Region 7-5A 2021 Preview

Region 7-5A is a very solid region going into the 2021 season. This region includes teams that have a chance to go deep into the playoffs such as Henry County and Springfield, as well as up and coming programs such as Northeast and Kenwood. Expect this region to be highly competitive with great matchups throughout the season. The teams in this region include Henry County, Northeast, Kenwood, Northwest, Portland, and Springfield. Let’s get into the preview.

Region 8-6A 2021 Preview

Region 8-6A may be the deepest region in the state. There are six teams that could go deep into the playoffs, but also miss the playoffs just as easily. Even the teams who I have finishing in the bottom two, Cordova and Arlington, would be playoff teams in most 6A regions this season. This region will be a gauntlet for everyone, and I’m extremely excited to see how it plays out. Teams in Region 8-6A include: Arlington, Bartlett, Cordova, Germantown, Collierville, Houston, White Station, and Whitehaven. Let’s get into the preview! Arlington Key Returning Players: RB John Davis, LB Carter Wood, DB Gabriel Torres Key Losses: QB Zach Baker, TE Jake Golday, DL Alex Maddox 2020 Record: 5-6 Arlington will need to replace the dynamic duo of Zach Baker and Jake Golday, if they want to compete in Region 8. I think the Tigers will rely on the running game more this season, as John Davis has a chance to be a star. It will be interesting to see what players step up for Arlington in 2021. 2021 Schedule Prediction (Wins in Bold, Losses in Standard Font) at MUS Memphis East Bartlett Memphis Overton White Station Cordova at Whitehaven Germantown at Houston Collierville Record Prediction: 3-7 (1-6) Bartlett Key Returning Players: QB William Matthews, WR Ahmani Davis, DL William Bantom Key Losses: RB Robert Giaimo, LB Justin Jefferson, QB Walt Tucker 2020 Record: 10-2 Robert Giaimo was one the state’s top running backs last season, so Bartlett will need to have a lot of younger players step up if they want to compete for a region title again. The Panthers were extremely impressive last year, going undefeated in the region, before eventually losing to Brentwood in the semifinals. I have them right outside of the top four teams, just because of the experience returning for other teams, but I would not be surprised at all if Bartlett finished inside the top four. 2021 Schedule Prediction (Wins in Bold, Losses in Standard Font) PURE at St. Benedict at Arlington Lausanne Germantown at White Station Houston Cordova at Collierville Whitehaven Record Prediction: 4-6 (2-5) Collierville Key Returning Players: QB Ethan Pettigrew, OL Ian Falkner, RB Troy Martin Key Losses: DL Ethan Hassler, WR Scottie Alexander, OL Noah Upchurch 2020 Record: 7-5 Collierville will be another program in Region 8 that could be competing for a region title, just as easily as they could miss the playoffs. I think the talent and experience the Dragons have returning on offense will be a huge boost, but they will need some players to step up on the defensive side of the ball in 2021 if they want to compete for a region title. 2021 Schedule Prediction (Wins in Bold, Losses in Standard Font) Wooddale Douglass at White Station Center Hill (MS) at Cordova at Whitehaven at Germantown Houston Bartlett at Arlington Record Prediction: 6-4 (3-4) Cordova Key Returning Players: WR Jeremiah Jordan, RB Deqwan Bevill Key Losses: N/A 2020 Record: N/A Cordova is one of the four teams in this region that did not play in 2020. Deqwan (Tank) Bevill was a star for the Wolves as a sophomore, and will be looking to take the next step as a senior. I think Cordova would be a playoff team in most regions in 6A, but Region 8 is loaded, and Cordova may still be a year or two away from seriously competing for a region title. 2021 Schedule Prediction (Wins in Bold, Losses in Standard Font) Memphis Central at ECS at Houston South Panola (MS) Collierville at Arlington White Station at Bartlett at Whitehaven Germantown Record Prediction: 2-8 (0-7) Germantown Key Returning Players/Additions: DB Kody Jones, WR Tahj Shabazz, OL Marcus James Key Losses: N/A 2020 Record: N/A While Germantown did not get to play in 2020, there is still a lot of buzz around the program going into 2021. This will be Gene Robinson’s first season coaching the Red Devils, even though he was actually hired in December of 2019. Kody Jones, who is a Michigan commit, will also play for Germantown for the first time in 2020, after transferring from Fairley before his junior year. The Red Devils will have every opportunity to be a region title contender in 2021, but I have them finishing second in the region for now. 2021 Schedule Prediction (Wins in Bold, Losses in Standard Font) at Christian Brothers MUS Whitehaven Hillcrest at Bartlett at Houston Collierville at Arlington White Station at Cordova Record Prediction: 7-3 (5-1) Houston Key Returning Players: RB Ben Stegall, OL Luke Needham, LB Christian Crew Key Losses: OL Harrison Wilkes, QB Gray Nischwitz, WR Carson Goold 2020 Record: 5-6 Houston has several solid players returning on both sides of the ball, and I have them as one of the Region 8 playoff teams going into the 2021 season. I think Ben Stegall is going to have a major breakout year, and could be in the running for some awards at the end of the season. I like the team that the Mustangs have going into 2021, and I would not be surprised at all if they are in region title contention at the end of the season. 2021 Schedule Prediction (Wins in Bold, Losses in Standard Font) Ridgeway at Briarcrest Cordova PURE at Whitehaven Germantown at Bartlett at Collierville Arlington at White Station Record Prediction: 6-4 (4-3) White Station Key Returning Players: QB Braylen Ragland, WR Shamari Covington Key Losses: N/A 2020 Record: N/A White Station did not play in 2020, and that’s unfortunate, because I think they would have been serious state title contenders, and the best public school team in Memphis. Braylen Ragland is going to be a star for White Station at quarterback, and will end up being one of the top recruits in the class of 2023. I think White Station will be one of the top contenders for the region title in 2021, even though they did not play in 2020. 2021 Schedule Prediction (Wins in Bold, Losses in Standard Font) Melrose at Memphis Central Collierville at Christian Brothers at Arlington Bartlett at Cordova Whitehaven at Germantown Houston Record Prediction: 7-3 (5-2) Whitehaven Key Returning Players: RB/DB Tristian Taylor, OL Taylor Williams, RB Derrius Boddie Jr. Key Losses: N/A 2020 Record: N/A Whitehaven has been the powerhouse program in Memphis for years now, but did not get to play in 2020. Region titles have become the standard for the Tigers, but this may be their toughest road yet. There may be a team or two with a little more pure talent this year, but experience and winning culture will go a long way in this region, so that’s why I’m going with Whitehaven to take home the Region 8 title this year. 2021 Schedule Prediction (Wins in Bold, Losses in Standard Font) Memphis Overton at Ridgeway at Germantown at Brentwood Academy Houston Collierville Arlington at White Station Cordova at Bartlett Record Prediction: 9-1 (7-0) Final Standings Prediction 1. Whitehaven 2. Germantown 3. White Station 4. Houston 5. Collierville 6. Bartlett 7. Arlington 8. Cordova

Ty Simpson Commits to Alabama

Ty Simpson had to make one of the biggest decisions of his life Friday afternoon, and every football fan in the state was on the edge of their seat to see where the coveted Westview quarterback recruit would end up. Simpson committed to Alabama, in a recruitment that really kept everyone guessing throughout the process. “It was an extremely difficult decision for me.” said Simpson, “I went to bed with a different school in mind, but I woke up and felt like Alabama was the best place for me.” His final five schools were Alabama, Clemson, Tennessee, Ole Miss, and UT-Martin. One thing that drove Simpson towards Alabama, was the coaching staff. “It really came down to player development and being NFL ready. Being coached by coaches like Nick Saban, Bill O’Brien, and Doug Marrone is something that you won’t find anywhere else.” said Simpson. Simpson is rated as a 5-star quarterback, and was a 3A Mr. Football semifinalist last season. The class of 2022 in Tennessee is arguably one of the best classes the state has ever seen, and not only that, but all of the top recruits are extremely close, so it will be interesting to see how this impacts the decisions of other top prospects in the state.

Top 5 Mr. Football Candidates Going Into 2021

It's never too early to start talking about Mr. Football awards, so here are my top 5 Mr. Football contenders in each class for the 2021 season. 6A Jordan James, RB, Oakland Reason: James was an All-State running back last season, and really found his groove towards the end of the season, before winning state championship MVP. Destin Wade, QB, Summit Reason: Wade was a 5A Mr. Football finalist last season, and should be able to carry over that success in 6A. Isaiah Horton, WR/DB, Oakland Reason: Horton is a problem on both sides of the ball, and being elite both ways goes a long way towards Mr. Football. Carson Jones, QB, Maryville Reason: Jones was named all-state last season by the TNFCA, and will be heavily relied on by one of the state's best programs. Chris Parson, QB, Ravenwood Reason: Parson will most likely be the guy for a high-powered Ravenwood offense, in which he will thrive. 5A Jordyn Potts, QB, Powell Reason: Potts was a Mr. Football semifinalist last year, and should increase his production, along with having a better team in 2021. De’Sean Bishop, RB, Karns Reason: Bishop was a star for Karns in 2020, and was a consensus all-state pick as a sophomore. Ryan Damron, QB, Henry County Reason: Damron is a dynamic passer, who will put up big numbers for a team who will compete for a state title in Henry County. Shannon Blair, WR/DB, Knoxville West Reason: Blair is dynamic on both sides of the ball for West, and will be the key factor for a West team that will be state title contenders. Samson Johnson, RB, Nolensville Reason: Johnson was the workhorse for Nolensville last season, and his usage and production will only go up in 2021. 4A Bryson Rollins, QB, Elizabethton Reason: Rollins was a Mr. Football finalist last season, and has two state championships under his belt already. He is the easy favorite in 4A for 2021. Anthony Brown, WR/DB, Milan Reason: Brown was a Mr. Football finalist last year in 3A, as he led Milan to a state championship appearance. Shawn Gary, RB, South Doyle Reason: Gary had a monster season last year for the Cherokees, as he led them to a 5A semifinal appearance. Kaydin Pope, WR/DB, Hardin County Reason: Pope was one of the best receivers in the state last season, and is my pick to lead the state in receiving yards next year. Isiah McClaine, RB, Lexington Reason: McClaine was one of the state’s biggest breakout players, and carried Lexington all the way to the state semifinals last season. 3A Caden Buckles, QB, Alcoa Reason: Buckles was the state championship game MVP last season for Alcoa, and will get a full season at quarterback this year. Will Page, QB, Stewart County Reason: Page was an all-state quarterback last season, and will be one of the favorites for Mr. Football if he can improve his numbers at all. Keaton Harig, QB, Loudon Reason: Harig will most likely see his statistical production increase from an all-state caliber season in 2020 for a top 3A program. Jacob Dooley, QB, Waverly Reason: Dooley had over 2,000 total yards in 2020, and if Dooley can match or improve upon that production, he will definitely be a Mr. Football contender in 2021. D’Arco Perkins-McCallister, DB/WR, Stratford Reason: Perkins-McCallister has picked up several power five offers over the offseason, and will be a do-it-all athlete for Stratford in 2021. 2A Ty Simpson, QB, Westview Reason: Simpson is one of the top recruits in the state, and was a Mr. Football semifinalist in 3A last season. Luke Myers, QB, South Greene Reason: Myers was a Mr. Football finalist last season for a very good South Greene program. Taylor Groves, WR/DB, East Robertson Reason: Groves is committed to Michigan, and will be a do-it-all athlete for East Robertson in 2021. Cameron Miller, WR/DB, MAHS Reason: Miller is a four star recruit, and will play in multiple different roles for a MAHS team that will be very good in 2021. Logan Carroll, QB, Meigs County Reason: Carroll lead Meigs County to a state title in 2020, and will see his usage go up even more in 2021. 1A Khalik Ganaway, RB, Peabody Reason: Ganaway won Mr. Football in 2A last season, so he is a clear favorite in 1A for the 2021 season. KJ Jackson, RB, Fayetteville Reason: Jackson ran for 1,000+ yards last season as a freshman, and really broke out in the state championship game for Fayetteville, winning MVP honors. Deandre Kelly, RB, South Pittsburg Reason: Kelly battled injuries last season, but has the potential to be a very solid replacement for Hunter Frame in 2021. Emmett Hegland, QB, Midway Reason: Hegland threw for over 2,500 yards in 2020, and will definitely be in the Mr. Football conversation if he improves on that production in 2021. Gio Davis, DL, South Pittsburg Reason: Davis has picked up several power five offers through the offseason, and will put up monster stats for a defensive lineman in 2021. DII-AAA Dallan Hayden, RB, Chrisitan Brothers Reason: Hayden won Mr. Football in 2020, and will probably not see any kind of dip in production in 2021. Marcel Reed, QB, MBA Reason: Reed has been the starting quarterback for MBA since his freshman season, and will put up monster numbers in 2021. Kaden Martin, QB, Knoxville Catholic Reason: Martin should put big numbers for a Catholic team that will contend for a state title in 2021. Kenny Minchey, QB, JP2 Reason: Minchey broke out for JP2 last season, and will put up big numbers in his first full season in 2021. Walter Nolen, DL, SBA Reason: Nolen is a consensus five star prospect, and will be dominant on the defensive line for SBA in 2021. DII-AA Alex Broome, RB, Lipscomb Academy Reason: Broome was a Mr. Football semifinalist last season, even after missing several games due to transfer rules. Langston Patterson, RB/LB, CPA Reason: Patterson was a Mr. Football finalist last season for CPA, and is a star on both sides of the ball. James Dunn, RB, CAK Reason: Dunn was a Mr. Football finalist last season, and will only see his offensive production go up in 2021. Cade Law, QB, CPA Reason: Law was the state championship game MVP for CPA last season, after leading the Lions to a state title. Luther Richesson, QB, Lipscomb Academy Reason: Richesson really got hot towards the end of the season for Lipscomb Academy in 2020, and will look to continue that success into 2021. DII-A Nakelin McAfee, RB, TKA Reason: McAfee was a Mr. Football semifinalist in 2020, and will be the star of TKA’s offense once again in 2021. Steele Haynes, WR/LB, USJ Reason: Haynes had 92 tackles, along with 871 receiving yards in 2020, and will continue to be a force on both sides of the ball for USJ in 2021. Garrett Weekly, QB/DB, TKA Reason: Weekly filled in very well at quarterback for TKA last season, to go along with seven interceptions on the defensive side of the ball. Aden Hooper, QB, MTCS Reason: Hooper was named to the all-state team by the TNFCA last season, and should see his production increase in 2021. Kam Boyd, RB, JCS Reason: Boyd will see his production and usage skyrocket in 2021, as JCS will most likely run the ball more with the graduation of star quarterback, Aaron Smith

Early Look At The Class Of 2023

While the class of 2022 in Tennessee may be historically deep, the class of 2023 has no shortage of very talented players. It is way too early to put an accurate ranking on these players, as some potential recruits in the class haven’t even seen serious varsity playing time in their careers to this point, whether that be because of injuries, or being stuck behind talented and older players at powerhouse schools. Here’s an early introduction to some of the top players in the class of 2023, so far.

Hudson Wolfe flips from Tennessee to Ole Miss

On Thursday, December 10th, Volunteer fans woke up to the announcement of Hudson Wolfe’s decommit to Tennessee. The Savannah, Tennessee native gained national attention by climbing to the number two ranked tight end in the nation, per Rivals.com. Wolfe committed to Tennessee this summer, on June 15th, naming Alabama, Georgia, Ole Miss, and Ohio State in his top 5. Wolfe announced his commitment to the University of Mississippi the day after his decommitment from the Volunteers. Ole Miss is known for producing quality tight ends, sending two to the NFL since 2017, both inside the first 35 picks. Wolfe has been noted as a vertical threat, utilizing his height, and exceptional hands. Ole Miss flipped the 4-star, with Wolfe likely seeing the spread offense as a better opportunity to show his talents as a receiving threat.

stateoftennesseehsfb.com's 4A All-State Team

QB: Axel Aldino, Dekalb County, Sr. QB: Bryson Rollins, Elizabethton, Jr. QB: Rivers Hunt, Hardin County, Sr. HB: Isaiah McClaine, Lexington, So. HB: Corterrion Moore, Ripley, Sr. HB: Josh Miller, Anderson County, Sr. HB: John Whitley, Hardin County, Sr. WR: Parker Hughes, Elizabethton, Sr. WR: Desmond Nokes, Dekalb County, Sr. WR: Kaydin Pope, Hardin County, Jr. WR: Alvin House III, Jackson North Side, Sr. TE: Landon Whittemore, Macon County, Sr. OL: Cole Morganstern, Elizabethton, Sr. OL: Ian Poe, Tullahoma, Jr. OL: Clay Odom, Greeneville, Sr. OL: Josh Williams, Lexington, Sr. OL: Will Lucas, White House, Sr. ATH: Jakobe Thomas, Tullahoma, Sr. ATH: Kevontez Hudson, Springfield, Sr. K: Connor Wood, Lexington, Sr. DEFENSE DL: Grant Reeder, Nolensville, Sr. DL: Tyreek Nard, Tullahoma, Sr. DL: Kevarius Smith, Springfield, Jr. DL: Trent Taylor, Elizabethton, Jr. LB: Stone Cummins, Anderson County, Sr. LB: Deuce Morton, Elizabethton, Sr. LB: Christian Stacey, Marshall County, Sr. LB: Anthony Brewer, Haywood, Jr. DB: Elijah Donaldson, Creek Wood, Sr. DB: Jaylen Lewis, Haywood, Jr. DB: Colton Dobson, Nolensville, Sr. DB: Isaac Knowles, Dekalb County, Jr. P: Daniel Bethel, Anderson County, Sr.

stateoftennesseehsfb.com 5A All-State Team

QB: Jordyn Potts, Powell, So. QB: Destin Wade, Summit, Jr. QB: Cole Henson, Morristown East, Sr. RB: Jermarcus Johnson, Henry County, Sr. RB: Shawn Gary, South-Doyle, Jr. RB: De’sean Bishop, Karns, So. RB: Tysean Jefferson, Beech, Sr. WR: Liam Fortner, Knoxville Central, Sr. WR: Brody Swafford, Walker Valley, Sr. WR: Brady Pierce, Summit, Jr. WR: Micah Simpson, Morristown East, Jr. TE: Terrell Brown, South-Doyle, Sr. OL: Jacob Hood, Hillsboro, Jr. OL: Nicolas Edwards, Clarksville, Sr. OL: Camron Gann, Powell, Jr. OL: Kane Lewis, Knoxville West, Sr. OL: Marshall Jefferson, Shelbyville, Sr. ATH: Prince Kollie, David Crockett, Sr. ATH: Kade Cunningham, Shelbyville, Jr. K: Ewan Johnson, South-Doyle, Sr. DEFENSE DL: Jaxon Adams, Oak Ridge, Sr. DL: Xander Allen, Halls, Sr. DL: Gage Robinson, Clarksville Northeast, Sr. DL: Tony Davis, David Crockett, Sr. LB: Drew Fisher, Rhea County, Jr. LB: Kalib Fortner, Knoxville Central, Sr. LB: Jacob Berven, Oak Ridge, Jr. LB: Ethan Scott, Knoxville West, Sr. DB: Jawon Odoms, Henry County, Sr. DB: Carson Whitehead, Powell, Jr. DB: Jaden Keller, Tennessee, Sr. DB: Preston Turner, Oak Ridge, Sr.

Mr. Football Winners Announced

The Mr. Football winners were announced Tuesday morning at Nissan Stadium, and here are the winners. 6A CJ Taylor, Warren County Taylor was a senior dual-threat quarterback, who passed for 492 yards and 3 touchdowns, while also running for 1,764 yards and 23 touchdowns. He was also very good defensively this season, accumulating 57 tackles and 3 INTs. Taylor is committed to Vanderbilt. 5A Prince Kollie, David Crockett Kollie is a senior running back and linebacker, who ran for 1,562 yards and 26 TDs, while also accumulating 109 tackles and 11 TFLs on defense. Kollie is committed to Notre Dame. 4A Parker Hughes, Elizabethton Hughes is a senior wide receiver, running back, and safety, who ran for 539 yards, had 1,326 receiving yards, and 27 total touchdowns. Hughes also had 45 tackles and 6 Interceptions on defense. Hughes led Elizabethton to their second consecutive state title this season. 3A Grey Carroll, Alcoa Carroll is a senior defensive lineman, who racked up 64 tackles, 24 TFLs, and 8 Sacks on the season. Carroll led Alcoa to their sixth consecutive state championship this season. Carroll is committed to Georgia Tech. 2A Khalik Ganaway, Peabody Ganaway is a junior running back, who rushed for 1,860 yards and 24 touchdowns, while leading Peabody to their third consecutive state title. 1A Hunter Frame, South Pittsburg Frame is a senior running back, who rushed for 1,848 yards and 36 touchdowns this season, while leading South Pittsburg to the 1A state title game. DII-AAA Dallan Hayden, Christian Brothers Hayden is a junior running back, who rushed for 2,010 yard and 24 touchdowns this season. He has several high major offers as a junior. DII-AA Dietrick Pennington, ECS Pennington is a senior offensive and defensive lineman, who paved the way for a dynamic running game at ECS. Pennington is committed to Clemson. DII-A Griffin Swinea, Davidson Academy Swinea is a senior running back, who ran for 1,922 yards and 34 touchdowns. He led Davidson Academy to their third consecutive state title this season.

6A All-State Team

QB: Cade Granzow, Brentwood, Sr. QB: Trevor Andrews, Ravenwood, Sr. QB: Connor Beavon, Franklin, Sr. RB: Ray Banner, Lavergne, Sr. RB: Jalen Hunt, McMinn County, Sr. RB: Robert Giamio, Bartlett, Sr. RB: Jordan James, Oakland, Jr. WR: Walker Merrill, Brentwood, Sr. WR: Isaiah Horton, Oakland, Jr. WR: Matt White, Farragut, Sr. WR: Tyroid Good, Cane Ridge, Sr. TE: Jake Briningstool, Ravenwood, Sr. OL: Bryce Goodner, McMinn County, Sr. OL: Jason Amsler, Franklin, Sr. OL: Fisher Anderson, Franklin, Jr. OL: Graham Keating, Oakland, Sr. OL: Harry Wilkes, Houston, Sr. ATH: CJ Taylor, Warren County, Sr. ATH: Jaxson Campbell, Independence, Sr. K: Trey Turk, Oakland, Sr. DEFENSE DL: Javon Nelson, Riverdale, Sr. DL: Ethan Hassler, Collierville, Sr. DL: Eric Gaston, Cane Ridge, Jr. DL: Ethan McLaurin, Oakland, Jr. LB: Spencer Rich, Brentwood, Sr. LB: Junior Colson, Ravenwood, Sr. LB: Caleb Herring, Riverdale, So. LB: Eli Purcell, Farragut, Sr. DB: Myles Pollard, Ravenwood, Jr. DB: John Howse, Brentwood, Sr. DB: DJ Burks, Maryville, Jr. DB: Kobe Manning, Oakland, Sr.

Peabody Uses Strong First Half to Win 3rd Consecutive 2A BlueCross Bowl Over Meigs County

Peabody used a very strong first half to beat Meigs County Saturday afternoon, and earn their 37th consecutive win, along with their 3rd consecutive BlueCross Bowl victory. Led by MVP Drequan Vaughn and a strong defensive effort, Peabody played to their strengths and came out with a victory. Vaughn finished with 17 Carries for 90 Yards and 3 touchdowns on the ground in the game. Drequan Vaughn got Peabody on the board in the first quarter with an 8-yard touchdown run, in which he carried several defenders into the endzone with him. It was his first of three first half touchdown runs. Meigs County had a 51-yard game tying touchdown pass that was called back for an illegal chop block, and this really seemed to kill their momentum offensively. Vaughn found the endzone two more times from short distances to extend the Golden Tide’s lead to 21-0 going into halftime. The Peabody defense dominated the entire first half, holding Meigs County to only 36 total yards. The Golden Tide had all the momentum headed into the locker room, as they dominated in every aspect of the game in the first half. The second half looked like it would be much of the same as Peabody picked off Logan Carroll for six to extend the lead to 28-0 in the third quarter. Just as Peabody looked like they might get a running clock, Meigs County started to make a comeback effort. The Tigers drove down and punched it on a 2-yard touchdown by Mr. Football finalist Will Meadows to make it 28-7. Meigs County then got a much needed fumble recovery, followed by another touchdown on a 1-yard touchdown run by Carroll, followed by a missed extra point to cut the Peabody lead to 28-13. Peabody crushed any hopes of a Meigs County comeback as they drove the ball down, and extended their lead to 35-13 on a 3-yard run by Sam Driggers late in the fourth. This was the dagger for the Golden Tide, as chants of “three-peat” rang throughout the stadium. This is Peabody’s 37th straight win overall, and their 3rd consecutive BlueCross Bowl victory. They will look for a 4th overall as they move down to 1A next season.

Elizabethton Dominates in Second Consecutive 4A BlueCross Bowl Win

Elizabethton was dominant in their second consecutive 4A BlueCross Bowl win over Haywood. Led by MVP Jake Roberts, the Cyclones got up big early and never looked back. Roberts finished with 2 catches for 79 yards and a touchdown receiving, while scoring two defensive touchdowns, a pick-six and a fumble return for a touchdown. The fumble return was the longest in BlueCross history at 82 yards. Elizabethton got rolling early with two touchdowns in the first four minutes, the first was a 55-yard touchdown run by Mr. Football finalist Parker Hughes. The second touchdown of the first four minutes was a 70-yard touchdown pass by the Cyclone’s other Mr. Football finalist Bryson Rollins to game MVP Jake Roberts to give Elizabethton an early 14-0 lead. The Cyclones would strike one more time in the first quarter on a 2-yard touchdown run by Rollins. Haywood finally showed some signs of life, as they drove the ball down and scored on an 8-yard touchdown run by Kylian Newbern. Elizabethton would score one more time in the first half on a 15-yard touchdown pass from Rollins to Hughes. The Cyclones took a 28-7 lead into halftime with all the momentum. After halftime though, it looked like Haywood may make this a game. The Tomcats forced a fumble and were driving down the field, making it deep into Elizabethton territory. Then, MVP Jake Roberts scooped up a Tomcat fumble, taking it for 82 yards to the endzone for a touchdown, and a new BlueCross Bowl record. From there, the wheels fell off the wagon for Haywood. On the very next drive, Roberts picked off a pass from Newbern, and took it to the endzone to extend the lead to 41-7 for Elizabethton. Haywood would score late to make the final score 41-14. This is Elizabethton’s 30th straight win, and their second consecutive 4A BlueCross Bowl title. 4A will add some very good teams next season in 3A semifinalists Pearl Cohn and Red Bank, along with 3A finalist Milan. It will be very interesting to see if Elizabethton can win their third in a row next season.

Alcoa dominates defensively to earn their 6th consecutive 3A BlueCross Bowl Title over Milan

Defense has been Alcoa’s calling card all season long, and nothing changed Friday morning in Cookeville, as they shut out Milan by a score of 35-0 to earn their sixth consecutive 3A BlueCross Bowl title. While the Alcoa defense was dominant all game long, the MVP came on the offensive side of the ball, quarterback Caden Buckles. Buckles went 19/24 with 288 yards and 2 touchdowns passing, and also had 62 yards rushing on 13 carries. Alcoa’s offense came out firing on the opening drive, as a few big plays led to a 2-yard touchdown run by Ahmauud Sankey. The Alcoa defense forced a three-and-out on Milan’s opening drive, and Sankey found the end zone once again, this time from 1-yard out.Then, once again, Milan ran 3 three plays, and had to send out the punt team. Alcoa struck quickly, as Caden Buckles found Taharin Sudderth from 41 yards out to extend the lead to 20-0 early in the second quarter. The rest of the half was stagnant for both teams offensively, and Alcoa took a 20-point lead into the locker room. For the first part of the second half, the Milan defense played pretty well, as Alcoa didn’t score in the second half until 52 seconds remained in the third quarter on a 19-yard touchdown pass from Buckles to Brayden Anderson. One more touchdown for Alcoa, this time a 31-yard touchdown run by Cam Burden, led to the final score of 35-0 after a 2-pt conversion attempt was successful to put the running clock into effect. This is Alcoa's 6th Consecutive 3A BlueCross Bowl championship, and the program's 19th overall. As for coach Gary Rankin, this is his 16th state title overall, he has 12 with Alcoa and 4 with Riverdale. Alcoa will remain in 3A next season, while Milan will prepare for a move to 4A
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