BLUECROSS BOWL MATCHUPS
At Tennessee Tech, Cookeville
DII-A: St. George’s (12-1) vs. Northpoint Christian (13-0), 3 p.m.
DII-AA: Brentwood Academy (11-1) vs. MBA (11-1), 7 p.m.
1A: Nashville Christian (13-1) vs. Greenback (12-2), 11 a.m.
3A: CPA (13-1) vs. Alcoa (13-1), 3 p.m.
5A: Independence (14-0) vs. Sevier County (12-2), 7 p.m.
2A: Marion County (13-1) vs. Trezevant (11-3), 11 a.m.
4A: Knoxville Catholic (10-4) vs. Pearl-Cohn (10-4), 3 p.m.
6A: Ravenwood (13-1) vs. Maryville (14-0), 7 p.m.
Nate Johnson, WR, Independence: 9 receptions, 230 yards, 5 TDs, rushing TD in 56-15 win over Centennial in 5A semifinals. Read more
Daniel Bituli, RB/LB, Nashville Christian: 83 yards rushing, 2 TDs, TD reception, 35-yard interception return in 42-7 win over Peabody in 1A semifinals. Read more
Andrew Bunch, QB, Independence: 367 yards passing, 5 TDs, 32 yards rushing, TD in 56-15 win over Centennial in 5A semifinals. Read more
Lazarius Patterson, RB, Oakland: 114 yards rushing in 27-13 loss to Maryville in 6A semifinals. Read more
Zarius Gamble: WR, Oakland: 79-yard TD reception in 27-13 loss to Maryville in 6A semifinals. Read more
Chris Rowland, ATH, Ravenwood: 80-yard kickoff return for TD, 32 yards rushing, TD in 20-13 win over Whitehaven in 6A semifinals. Read more
Crews Holt, K, Ravenwood: Two field goals, including 55-yarder, in 20-13 win over Whitehaven in 6A semifinals. Read more
Kamron Liggett, RB, Marshall Co.: 52 yards rushing, 4 TDs in 54-35 loss to Knox Catholic in 4A semifinals. Read more
Ashton Posey, QB, Marshall Co.: 34-of-52, 328 yards passing in 54-35 loss to Knox Catholic in 4A semifinals. Read more
Ke’Juan Vaughn, RB, Pearl-Cohn: 108 yards rushing, 2 TDs in 27-14 win over Memphis East in 4A semifinals. Read more
Price Perdue, WR, CPA: 7 receptions, 104 yards, TD in 21-0 win over Liberty Tech Magnet in 3A semifinals. Read more
Taylor Thompson, WR, Columbia Acad.: 7 receptions, 105 yards, TD in 21-14 loss to Greenback in 1A semifinals. Read more
Mareio McGraw, RB, Nashville Christian: 5 carries, 108 yards, TD in 42-7 win over Peabody in 1A semifinals. Read more
AROUND THE MIDSTATE
Should they be 7A? Maryville is 100-4 since jumping from Class 4A to 6A in 2009. The latest in those wins was a 27-13 victory over Oakland in the 6A semifinals Friday night. Read more
While Maryville has had some close calls (including a 35-34 win over Ravenwood in last year’s BlueCross Bowl) and even (barely) a handful of losses during that stretch, the numbers certainly reflect the dominance for the Rebels.
Maryville has reached 12 consecutive BlueCross Bowls. It has won 44 consecutive games (the last loss coming to Whitehaven, 36-35 in the 2012 state title game) and 88 of 89.
Ravenwood, which jumped out to a big lead early on Maryville in last year’s BlueCross Bowl, will get an opportunity to unseat the Rebels next Saturday (7 p.m.) at Tennessee Tech.
Starting right: Several teams got the ball rolling early in Friday’s playoff games.
Centennial opened its 5A semis contest against rival Independence with a successful onside kick. That ultimately led to a Cougars field goal and 3-0 lead. Centennial lost, however, 56-15. Read more
Nashville Christian got off to a blazing start against visiting Peabody, as Mareio McGraw raced 59 yards for a score on the first play from scrimmage to give the Eagles the momentum in the 1A semifinals. Read more
Pearl-Cohn forced early turnovers and scored all 27 points in the first quarter in a 27-14 win over Memphis East in the 4A semifinals. Read more
Bad matchup: Centennial had an outstanding season by almost any team’s standards.
The Cougars won 12 games with only two setbacks. Those two setbacks came to the same team, and neither was pretty. Independence defeated Centennial 49-6 in August, giving the Eagles a combined 105-21 advantage over the Cougars in the two games. Read more
“They got momentum and you can’t give Independence momentum. We talked about just staying together as a team, staying with C.C.C. – courage, commitment and character. That’s what we tried to do, but hats off to Independence for kicking our tails.” — Centennial senior standout Tyrel Dodson, a Texas A&M commitment, after the Cougars’ second loss to Independence this season, 56-15, in Friday’s 5A semifinals.Read more
“It’s about to be a tie ballgame, unless we go for two. They’ve never been behind all year. I thought it would be a great way to see how they would respond. More than likely, they would have responded like a state championship program. But we will never know because a guy throws a flag on the biggest play of the ball game.” — Oakland coach Kevin Creasy, on a play in which JaCoby Stevens intercepted a pass and returned it near the goal line, only to have most of the return negated by a penalty, with the Patriots trailing by a TD late in the third quarter at nationally ranked Maryville. Oakland lost 27-13. Read more
“He’s quick, man. It’s a lot of running routes and timing. We do it all summer to get it real crisp and we can light it up sometimes.” – Independence QB Andrew Bunch, on star wide receiver Nate Johnson, who racked up 230 yards receiving and six total touchdowns in a 56-15 win over Centennial. Read more
“Daniel is an amazing player, but what is best about him is that he’s so unselfish – if someone else would have scored those four touchdowns he would have been just as happy.” — Nashville Christian coach Jeff Brothers, referring to star senior and Tennessee commitment Daniel Bituli, who had four total touchdowns (two rushing, one receiving, one interception return) in a 42-7 win over Peabody in the 1A semifinals.Read more
“I was going to punt the ball, he came up and grabbed me by the arm, and said, ‘Coach, I feel like I’ve got it,’ I said, ‘Do it, dude, do it,’” – Ravenwood coach Will Hester, on placekicker Crews Holt’s career-high 55-yard field goal that aided a 20-13 win over Whitehaven in the 6A semifinals.Read more
“I hope the two of us keep coaching and this isn’t the rubber match. To be there three years in a row is pretty rare. I hope we don’t lose sight of how special it is to keep playing.” — CPA coach Ingle Martin, on a third straight matchup with Gary Rankin and Alcoa in the 3A finals next week. Read more