TSSAA playoff football picks, preview

Oakland has been tested this season with a difficult schedule, but the Patriots have nevertheless reeled off 12 consecutive victories.

Lebanon's 11 wins this season are the most in program history, and they'll be playing in the state quarterfinals for the first time since 1995 when they face the Patriots at home Friday night.

The winner will earn a semifinals berth and play the Maryvile-Farragut winner the Friday after Thanksgiving.

"We know it's the third round of the playoffs, and a lot of people expected an Oakland-Riverdale rematch," Oakland coach Kevin Creasy said. "What (Lebanon) did (against Riverdale) was impressive and definitely go our attention.

"We go on the road and that's always tough. They're playing with a lot of momentum and they've a lot of good players and coaches over there. Taking the show on the road is just part of it. You look at what Lebanon has done and it's impressive. They've got some impressive players and it starts with their quarterback (Jaylen Abston)."

While the Blue Devils are entering uncharted waters, the Patriots are accustomed to playing in big-time games.

"Our guys are going to play the way we're used to playing," Creasy said. "We have a great coaching staff and those guys always have everyone ready to play. We're always focused and understand the magnitude of the situation."

Cougars one win from title game

MTCS has reached the semifinals of the Division II-A playoffs and will face Nashville Christian at home Friday night. The winner will play for the state title in Chattanooga on Dec. 2.

The Cougars earned a semifinals berth by beating Trinity Christian 42-23 last week, while Nashville Christian defeated Jackson Christian 35-14.

Nashville Christian is 10-2 this season, with its only losses coming against BGA (28-21) and DCA (7-3). MTCS is 8-3 and has won eight straight.

"We need to focus all of our attention on Nashville Christian because they're a very good football team," said first-year MTCS coach Kolby Tackett. "But we also have to focus on us. We have enough issues with us that we have to fix. We can't worry about the externals. We're going to try and fix them and go play.

"If outside people determined our record, we'd probably be 0-10. Nobody thinks we can win. I'm sure we're a huge underdog and understandably so, but it's not going to affect our locker room."

Picks: Oakland 34, Lebanon 14; Nashville Christian 38, MTCS 16.

Last week: 2-1. Season: 63-15

Class 6A Playoff Pairings

Quarterfinals

Farragut at Maryville

Oakland at Lebanon

Beech at Hendersonville

Ravenwood at Summit

Division II-A Playoff Pairings

Semifinals

DCA at USJ

Nashville Christian at MTCS