The weekend we’ve all anticipated has finally arrived. Here’s a brief breakdown of the teams involved in Division I championship games this coming Friday and Saturday in Cookeville.
Maryville – The Rebels made it quite clear why they wind up in so many state title games. They expect to be there. Despite a valiant effort by Siegel quarterback Brent Stockstill, the Rebels just wouldn’t give up.
Whitehaven – Last year’s loss to Maryville was a huge disappointment for the Tigers. But it has also motivated the team to play harder this year. This team is loaded with talent (at least three SEC commitments).
PREDICTED WINNER – Whitehaven.
Columbia – First year Coach Howard Stone has the Lions back in the title game after a huge win over Powell, last year’s runner-up. The Maury Countians will have their hands full trying to slow down Beech’s Jalen Hurd who rushed for nearly 400 yards last week.
Beech – Considered by many as the nation’s top junior, Beech running back Jalen Hurd can break a game wide open. A mid-season injury is in the past. He and a great offensive line will put on a show.
PREDICTED WINNER – Beech.
Fulton – It’s been five years since the Falcons played for a state title in football. The Falcons looked awfully impressive against Giles County last week. Whether they have enough for Covington’s strong ground attack remains to be seen.
Covington – Although the Chargers have never won a state title, they’ve been to the big game three times in the past. Covington certainly has the talent to win this year’s game.
PREDICTED WINNER – Covington.
CAK – Two players on this team have already committed to play for UT’s Vols next year. And QB Charlie High continues to rewrite the TSSAA record book with his gaudy passing numbers. Two straight wins over Alcoa in post-season play is enough to get my attention.
Milan – Milan has finished runner-up in three of the last four years. The Bulldogs lost to Mr. Hugh and company last year and will again have a hard time defending the Warriors again this year.
PREDICTED WINNER – CAK
Friendship Christian – The Commanders are moving to Division II next year and would like nothing better than to close out their Division I run with a second straight title. Junior QB A.J. Long is a difference maker.
Adamsville – Coach Brandon Gray is making this small West Tennessee community famous for something other than Buford Pussor and Ray Blanton. The team may be a year or two away from winning a title but has plenty of talent to score the upset.
PREDICTED WINNER – Adamsville.
Gordonsville – The Tigers are hungry. It’s been 28 years since they won their only football title. South Pitt and its speed are out of the picture. Destiny awaits the Big Blue.
Huntingdon – A solid Wing-T team, the Mustangs have lost to district foe West Carroll and 3A Milan. They avenged the West Carroll loss two weeks ago and are scoring with a vengeance.
PREDICTED WINNER – Gordonsville.
Murphy Fair has published Tennessee High School Football for 25 years. His website (murphyfair.com) gives high school fans further insight into the prep football scene.