The Blue Cross Bowl is less than three weeks away. Nine Knoxville area teams remain as we head into the quarterfinal round of the playoffs.
#2 Dobyns-Bennett (12-0) at #1 Maryville (12-0)- Two of the state's best programs battle down in Blount County. Maryville has the most all-time state championships at 14 while Dobyns-Bennett sits right behind them with 13. Dobyns-Bennett hasn't won a title since 1964 while Maryville has won seven in the last decade.
The Indians lead the all-time series, 2-1, but Maryville won the most recent meeting. The Rebels beat D-B in the first round of the 2009 playoffs, 41-0. Dobyns-Bennett narrowly edged Sevier County 28-21 last week, stuffing the Smoky Bears on 4th-and-goal from the one in the fourth quarter to preserve the win. Oak Ridge gave Maryville a fight before the Rebels pulled away 39-25.
#6 Tennessee (8-4) at #1 Powell (11-1)- The Panthers have been strong all year, despite having to replace their head coach and the program's all-time leaders in total offense in Dy'shawn Mobley and Dustin McPhetridge. It helps that the Powell defense deploys the program's all-time leaders in interceptions and sacks- Jonathan Strozyk and Shar'ron Moore.
The No. 6 seed Vikings have pulled off a pair of upsets in the playoffs, beating Daniel Boone and Morristown West. Powell is coming off a 28-17 win over Knoxville West.
#2 Fulton (10-2) at #1 Livingston Academy (11-1)- Fulton finally got its revenge on Greeneville with a 42-14 beatdown last week. Daryl Rollins led the way with 256 rushing yards. The Falcons took down Livingston Academy in the second round of last year's playoffs, 38-12, but both teams have gotten stronger. The Wildcats only loss came by one point to White House. Fulton will have to make the nearly two hour trip out to Overton County.
#3 CAK (11-1) at #1 Alcoa (11-1)- This rivalry really intensified last season when CAK beat Alcoa in the regular season and knocked the Tornadoes out of the playoffs in the quarterfinals, ending their seven-year reign as state champions. Both of those games were played at CAK. Alcoa took this year's regular season meeting, 31-28 at home and will host the rematch as well.
Alcoa converted two-point attempts on each of its first three touchdowns.Warriors receiver Davis Howell broke his thumb in the first meeting but still managed to haul in two touchdown receptions in the second half. Jaquez Tyson scored the go-ahead TD for Alcoa and helped wind down the clock in the fourth after the Tornadoes defense stopped Charlie High and company on fourth-and-4 in Alcoa territory.
#3 Boyd Buchanan (11-1) at #1 Grace Christian (10-1)- The Rams took down Silverdale, 28-20 last week without the services of Mr. Football finalist Will McKamey. Nathan Silver filled in admirably for the injured senior, rushing for 152 yards; and Jesse Garren added a rushing touchdown as well.
Boyd Buchanan came into its quarterfinal game last season with just one loss but was eliminated by Friendship Christian.
#2 Coalfield (10-1) at #1 Greenback (10-1)- Coalfield knocked Greenback out of the 2010 playoffs in the first round en route to a semifinal appearance. The Yellow Jackets trailed Cloudland early last week but a quickly mounted a 19-6 lead in just a few second quarter plays and took the game 38-14.
#2 Donelson Christian (DCA) (8-4) at #1 Webb (9-1)- Webb is just one win away from its third Blue Cross Bowl appearance in four years. T.K. Kelly led the way with six touchdowns as the Spartans overcame Harding Academy's massive defensive line for a 49-21 win last week. Webb beat DCA 42-6 back in September.