Playoff picture starting to take shape

Douglas Fritz • Oct 14, 2013 at 5:41 PM

Football playoff quadrants are starting to get a fairly firm shape as teams head into Week 8 of the season.Here's a class-by-class look at how things currently stand for Quadrant 1 teams:Class 6AIt's looking like a pretty stable quadrant with Maryville No. 1 and Sevier County No. 2.Meanwhile, the Science Hill/Dobyns-Bennett winner should be No. 3 unless Knox Powell beats both Campbell County and Oak Ridge and wins its district. If the Science Hill/D-B winner is No. 3, the loser could be No. 6 and these teams could play back-to-back weeks.Right now, Morristown East and Powell would be No. 4 and No. 5. That would leave Hardin Valley (No. 7) and Jefferson County (No. 8) in the final two spots.Class 5AAnderson County should be No. 1, barring an upset.It's pretty fuzzy after that. Campbell County, Oak Ridge and even South-Doyle could figure in the mix from No. 1 down to No. 4. And Knox West is in that group as well.David Crockett is currently No. 5, and cannot get a seeded finish in its conference. Therefore the Pioneers probably won't be able to compete with the aforementioned teams for a home playoff game.Daniel Boone is currently in at No. 8 while Tennessee High is on the outside looking in, but the Vikings have a softer finish to their schedule than the Trailblazers.Class 4AGreeneville and Knox Fulton will likely be No. 1 and No. 2 in some order. The Greene Devils currently hold a tiebreaker edge.Knox Carter could get into that mix, but would have to upset Fulton in Week 10. Sullivan South has some tiebreaker problems with both the Falcons and Greene Devils at this point.The most likely scenario puts the Elizabethton-South winner at No. 3 with Carter at No. 4. The Elizabethton-South loser could be No. 5 with Scott likely No. 6.It is possible, if Elizabethton beats South, South could be No. 4 and Carter could fall to No. 5 despite a potential 9-1 record.One wild card is Knox Catholic. If Grainger and Claiborne don't both make the playoffs, Catholic could be in at No. 4 or No. 5 and bump everybody else down a notch.Class 3AAlcoa should settle at No. 1 with Gatlinburg-Pittman making a strong case for No. 2.Chuckey-Doak could end up at No. 3, and is currently battling Sullivan North for that position.West Greene, Happy Valley and Johnson County are still in the mix while two-time defending Class 3A state champion Christian Academy of Knoxville will have to scratch and claw just to get in at No. 7 or No. 8. Strength of schedule should keep CAK (2-5) in the mix as long as it gets to four wins.Class 2AIf Hampton loses to South Greene and Cloudland, the Bulldogs face a fairly strong possibility of missing the playoffs.The four-win Bulldogs are currently sitting at No. 7 for Quadrant 1, but only six teams qualify in Class 2A. All of the state's other current four-win teams — six of them — should easily get to five wins, and the Bulldogs' strength of schedule is currently hurting them in a tiebreaker scenario. Potentially only three of Hampton's opponents will get to the .500 mark.Also, a South Greene win over Hampton would likely lock the Bulldogs out of an automatic berth by preventing them from earning a second-place league finish.Class 1ACloudland currently stands as the No. 1 seed. The only threat would be if the Highlanders finish second in their league, opening the door for Coalfield to push past them for the top seed in the quadrant.— — —Follow Douglas Fritz on Twitter @FritzBlitzzz.— — —Points of interest: Four area teams are among the state's highest scorers. Greeneville is No. 3 at 50.7 per game followed by No. 7 Sullivan South (44.3), No. 9 Elizabethton (43.9) and No. 11 Science Hill (43.0). …Greeneville still leads the state in scoring defense (3.9 per game) while Cloudland (8.7) stands at No. 9.— — —Volleyball update: Science Hill may get one more shot at elusive Dobyns-Bennett, but the Lady Hilltoppers will have to take care of Seymour first.In the semifinals of the Region 1-AAA tournament today at D-B's Buck Van Huss Dome, Science Hill will play Seymour at 6 p.m. The winner likely gets D-B, which plays Sevier County at 4:30, in the 8 p.m. championship match.“We haven't played Seymour or seen them,” said Lady Hilltoppers' head coach Louise Stallworth. “But they have a big middle hitter and a left-handed setter, and that can spell trouble.”Science Hill will try to shake off the effects of a District 1-AAA championship loss to the Indians, where the Lady 'Toppers couldn't hold a two-set lead.“The girls were very disappointed and very upset,” said Stallworth. “But as far as their spirits, they are fired up and ready to play and hopefully get another shot at D-B.”Overall, Stallworth said she has been pleased with her team, which is 31-16 on the season.“They have surprised me to some degree,” she said. “I knew we had the athletes, but we knew we had people who had to learn how to play volleyball. I didn't know how fast we would progress. It took about a third of the season.“One of the biggest things that has helped us is Keisha Gregory. She has really come into her own, and made a tremendous difference in the offensive attack.”— — —Soccer update: Science Hill gets a fresh start as postseason play arrives. With a record of 4-10-2, the Lady Hilltoppers will try to turn it around in the District 1-AAA tournament.The 'Toppers played Sullivan Central in the quarterfinals Monday night, needing a win to reach today's semifinals at Tipton Stadium.The championship is scheduled for Thursday at 7 p.m. …University High and Elizabethton square off in the District 1-A/AA semifinals tonight at Rider Field at 6 p.m.UH defeated Elizabethton 2-0 in the first regular season matchup while the Lady Cyclones won the second contest, 3-0.The loser is eliminated while the winner moves to Thursday's championship game at Sullivan South at 4:30 p.m.— — —Football games of the week: Daniel Boone at Tennessee High, Sullivan South at Sullivan North, Cloudland at South Greene.Trailblazers vs. Vikings — A tough schedule has caught up with Daniel Boone, but the Trailblazers still have a shot at reaching postseason play. To get there, this game is likely a must-win situation.Rebels vs. Raiders — Having allowed just 21 points in its last five games, including three shutouts, South's defense could prove to be too tough for Sullivan North's ground-first offense to crack.Highlanders vs. Rebels — After opening the season with losses in four of its first five games, South Greene became a bit of a forgotten team in the Mountain East Conference. But the Rebels are undefeated in league play and tied for first place with Cloudland.— — —Pick of the Week — Cloudland 29, South Greene 22.This game should be a lot closer than it looked like it would be a few weeks ago. The Rebels have gotten their act together, but should still have trouble slowing down the Highlanders' powerful offense.Picks record: 8-0.Since 2010: 27-1 (regular season), 34-2 (overall).— — —Player of the week — Ryan Burger of David Crockett.Slinging it all over the yard, Burger had a memorable evening. The sophomore quarterback hit on 27 of 42 passes for 481 yards and five touchdown while leading the Pioneers to a 43-42 win over Volunteer.Burger also rushed 10 times for 45 yards, giving him 526 yards of total offense — which could be a record for Northeast Tennessee.— — —The Hogs Award — Elizabethton Cyclones.With the area's leading rusher out of the lineup, the “Clone Hogs” burrowed their way through Sullivan North's defense in a 51-23 win.Despite the injury absence of Ethan Thomas, the Cyclones' linemen pushed the team to 280 yards rushing on 35 attempts for an average of eight yards per carry.Pass protection was fortress sound with the Cyclones connecting on 8 of 10 attempts for 80 percent completions.— — —Defensive unit of the week — Sullivan South Rebels.It was another night at the lockdown for a Rebels' opponent.In a 44-0 South victory, Sullivan East managed only 26 yards of total offense. The Rebels held the Patriots to minus-10 yards rushing on 33 attempts. They picked off a pass, recovered a fumble and forced five punts.— — —This Week in Prep History — October 20, 1995.Daniel Boone receiver Josh Elliott scored four touchdowns in one quarter as his team defeated Happy Valley 42-6. Elliott caught scoring passes of 7, 17 and 23 yards in the second quarter.He capped off the impressive 12 minutes with a 58-yard interception return for a touchdown.— — —Greeneville remains the king in this week's Prep Top 10. David Crockett jumps two spots to No. 8.Team W-L Prv1. Greeneville 7-0 12. Sullivan South 7-0 23. Elizabethton 6-1 34. Science Hill 5-2 45. Dobyns-Bennett 5-3 56. Cloudland 7-0 77. Tennessee High 3-4 68. David Crockett 5-3 109. Sullivan North 5-3 910. Daniel Boone 3-4 8

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