It’s put up or shut up time… Teams ready for most important part of prep football season

Published 12:48 am Tuesday, November 5, 2019

Since the final horn of the 2018 season until the final horn that sounded Friday night to end the 2019 prep football regular season, all teams have been working toward one thing and that is what begins this coming Friday night.
The 2019 TSSAA Football Championship begins in earnest as the teams that were fortunate enough to put together a solid season will be extending their season for at least one more game as each game comes with some hefty ramifications – win and live to play another contest, lose and pack up the gear for another year.
For local teams, three of the five schools began the playoffs at the friendly confines of their home field in Cloudland, Hampton, and Elizabethton. For Unaka and Happy Valley, the first round presents a mountain of a challenge but that is what playoff football is all about – meeting adversity head-on and become overachievers.
Cloudland has played lights out in the last three weeks beating Class 2-A opponent Johnson County and Class 3-A opponent Sullivan North both on the road heading into their first game with Harriman.
Coach Scott Potter has the Highlanders playing at a high level which couldn’t come at a better time entering the playoffs this week. The Roan Mountain natives are smelling something good brewing and Orr Field will be packed for Friday’s game.
Speaking of playing some stellar football, the Hampton Bulldogs have put their bite where their bark is and that has Bulldog opponents in the playoffs concerned as Hampton just like the autumn foliage is beginning to peak at the right time.
Putting up some big numbers in their last few contests, the Bulldogs will be looking to chase the Cumberland Gap Panthers back down toward their part of the mountains when the two tangle at J.C. Campbell Stadium on Friday.
The Elizabethton Cyclones have been the talk of the state after defeating Greeneville and knocking the Greene Devils off their perch as the number one team in the state and taking that rein over.
However, the Cyclones cannot rest on their laurels after completing their first perfect regular season since 1951 Friday against Sullivan Central as they probably have the largest target of anyone in Class 4A on their chest as every team regardless of their record will be gunning to be the team to take Elizabethton down.
The Cyclones, like the Bulldogs and Highlanders, have home field throughout the playoffs which will help but just like all the teams in the county will need a large gathering of their supporters to bring energy to the stands that will translate to the players and coaches if these teams are to continue their march toward Cookeville.
Happy Valley is in the postseason but after a Friday night that saw the Warriors take a big hit in a loss to South Greene that knocked Coach Jason Jarrett’s squad from first in the conference to the fourth place qualifier, the Warriors will have to man up and get seriously ready for their contest at Meigs County which is a huge challenge in itself.
The Warriors have been solid all season defensively and that defense will have a huge load on their shoulders this coming Friday in stopping the Tigers on the road. What Happy Valley will need more than anything is an infusion of energy from someone to step up and help the offense find much-needed points if the Warriors are to survive and advance.
Coach O’Brien Bennett knows exactly how Jarrett feels as he and his coaching staff must get ready in a hurry for a solid Greenback team that has some Division 1 player presence on its team.
The Rangers left everything on the field at Sunbright Friday night ringing up 30 points to win over the Tigers and the offense will need to continue its effectiveness on the road against Greenback.
All kickoffs for the playoffs began a half-hour earlier at 7 pm.
The following are all the matchups for this week’s first-round playoff contest by classes.
Class 1A

Harriman (3-7) at Cloudland (5-5)

Jellico (3-7) at Oliver Springs (8-2)

Coalfield (7-3) at Hancock Co. (3-7)

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Unaka (2-8) at Greenback (8-2)

Jo Byrns (2-8) at South Pittsburg (9-0)

Sale Creek (4-6) at Clay Co. (7-3)

Gordonsville (3-7) at Copper Basin (6-4)

Whitwell (2-8) at Monterey (10-0)

Hollow Rock-Bruceton (5-5) at TBD

TBD at McEwen (7-3)

Collinwood (5-5) at TBD

TBD at Huntingdon (10-0)

Booker T. Washington (5-5) at Lake Co. (10-0)

Greenfield (7-3) at MASE (7-3)

Memphis East (6-4) at West Carroll (6-4)

Dresden (4-6) at Memphis Middle College (4-6)

Class 2A

Cumberland Gap (4-6) at Hampton (8-2)

Sullivan North (5-5) at Oneida (6-4)

Rockwood (5-5) at South Greene (9-1)

Happy Valley (7-3) at Meigs Co. (9-1)

Westmoreland (5-5) at Tyner (7-3)

Marion Co. (2-8) at Trousdale Co. (8-1)

East Robertson (5-5) at Bledsoe Co. (7-3)

Tellico Plains (3-7) at Watertown (8-2)

Hickman Co. (5-5) at Forrest (10-0)

Eagleville (7-3) at Houston Co. (9-1)

Riverside (5-5) at Lewis Co. (7-2)

Summertown (6-4) at Waverly (6-4)

MAHS (6-4) at Peabody (10-0)

McKenzie (5-5) at Mitchell (8-2)

Douglass (6-4) at Union City (6-4)

Adamsville (4-6) at Fairley (8-2)

Class 3A

Kingston (6-4) at Chuckey-Doak (6-4)

Johnson County (4-6) at Austin-East (7-3)

Gatlinburg-Pittman (8-2) at Unicoi Co. (6-4)

West Greene (5-5) at Alcoa (9-1)

York Institute (3-7) at Loudon (10-0)

Sweetwater (7-3) at Smith Co. (6-4)

Sequatchie Co. (6-4) at Red Bank (8-1)

Signal Mountain (4-6) at Upperman (9-1)

Stewart Co. (6-4) at Pearl-Cohn (10-0)

East Nashville (8-2) at Sycamore (5-5)

Camden (4-6) at Stratford (7-3)

Giles Co. (4-6) at Fairview (8-2)

Sheffield (1-9) at South Gibson (9-1)

Covington (8-2) at Melrose (6-4)

Raleigh Egypt (3-6) at Milan (5-5)

Westview (6-4) at Wooddale (8-2)

Class 4A

East Ridge (6-4) at Elizabethton (10-0)

Sullivan South (5-5) at East Hamilton (7-3)

Howard (7-3) at Greeneville (8-2)

Grainger (6-4) at Anderson Co. (9-1)

Maplewood (3-7) at Livingston Academy (10-0)

Macon Co. (5-5) at Nolensville (8-2)

Tullahoma (7-3) at DeKalb Co. (6-4)

Stone Memorial (3-7) at Marshall Co. (8-2)

Jackson South Side (3-7) at Springfield (7-3)

White House Heritage (7-3) at Lexington (5-5)

Jackson North Side (6-4) at Creek Wood (8-2)

Portland (4-6) at Hardin Co. (9-1)

Craigmont (2-8) at Haywood (9-1)

Ripley (5-5) at Fayette Ware (8-2)

Bolton (1-9) at Crockett Co. (6-4)

Dyersburg (3-7) at Millington (8-2)

Class 5A

Gibbs (7-3) at Tennessee High (9-1)

David Crockett (7-3) at Knoxville Central (8-2)

Knoxville Halls (7-3) at Daniel Boone (6-4)

Chereokee (6-4) at South-Doyle (7-3)

Lenoir City (1-9) at Powell (10-0)

Knoxville Fulton (3-7) at Rhea Co. (8-2)

Walker Valley (4-6) at Knoxville West (9-1)

Oak Ridge (5-5) at Soddy-Daisy (6-4)

Hunters Lane (3-7) at Page (9-1)

Summit (8-2) at Gallatin (9-1)

Hillsboro (5-5) at Shelbyville (9-1)

Columbia (6-4) at Beech (10-0)

Ridgeway (5-5) at Henry Co. (8-2)

Clarksville (6-4) at Munford (7-3)

Kirby (8-2) at Dyer Co. (8-2)

Kenwood (2-8) at Southwind (6-4)

Class 6A

William Blount (4-6) at Dobyns Bennett (8-2)

Bearden (4-6) at McMinn Co. (9-1)

Bradley Central (7-3) at Farragut (5-5)

Science Hill (4-6) at Maryville (10-0)

Lebanon (5-5) at Oakland (10-0)

Riverdale (7-3) at Mt. Juliet (6-4)

Wilson Central (6-4) at Blackman (6-4)

Cookeville (5-5) at Hendersonville (5-5)

Franklin (5-5) at Cane Ridge (7-3)

Stewarts Creek (8-2) at Ravenwood (9-1)

Independence (6-4) at Smyrna (6-4)

McGavock (3-7) at Brentwood (8-2)

Germantown (2-8) at Houston (10-0)

Bartlett (6-4) at White Station (6-4)

Memphis Central (4-6) at Collierville (5-5)

Cordova (4-6) at Whitehaven (8-1)