Dozens of East Tennessee teams took the field on Friday night for the first round of the TSSAA playoffs.
Oak Ridge quarterback Rian Hall scored his second rushing touchdown of the night with less than a minute remaining to give the Wildcats a 35-28 win over Science Hill. The senior finished with 172 rushing yards.
The Wildcats advance to face Maryville next week. Cody Carroll had a big game at receiver as the Rebels took care of Hardin Valley, 42-10.
Sevier County and Jefferson County squared off in a rematch of a tightly contested regular season game. The Smoky Bears jumped out to a 14-0 lead with the passing game and used the rushing attack to hold on for a 27-14 win. Sevier County takes on Dobyns-Bennett next week. The Indians handed the Smoky Bears their only loss of the season back in September.
The West-South-Doyle game was highly anticipated but it was controlled by the Rebels from the start. West jumped ahead 21-0 early and went on to win 27-7.
Powell easily handled Central for the second time in three weeks, 35-3. The Panthers will face West in a rematch of last year’s 5A state semifinal game.
Morristown West is the No. 2 seed in that same quadrant. Cherokee was looking to put away the Trojans in the third quarter with a 14-0 lead and a first and goal but Garrett Salansky forced a fumble and Alex Alford recovered to ignite a fire for Morristown West.
Cherokee later tried a wide receiver reverse pass on 3rd-and-27 but Austin Bishop picked it off and returned it deep into Chiefs territory to set up a Malachi Horton touchdown run. Morristown West fought back to win 31-29 and will host Tennessee High next week.
Fulton repeated its performance from an earlier meeting with Carter, smashing the Hornets 55-0. Daryl Rollins raced for 171 rushing yards and three touchdowns on just eight carries.
The Falcons will host what will be a highly anticipated contest with two-time defending 4A champs Greeneville.
In 3A, Kingston pulled off a big upset over No. 2 seed Polk County to setup a rematch with District 4-AA foe CAK. The Warriors beat Loudon, 56-21.
Alcoa had some late game trouble with McMinn Central but the Chargers comeback fell short, 28-18. Alcoa hosts Sweetwater next week.
Gatlinburg-Pittman also advanced to the second round with a convincing 48-21 win over Chuckey-Doak. The Highlanders will travel to No. 1 seed Elizabethton.
Grace Christian, Oneida, Greenback, Coalfield and Webb all had first round byes.