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Preseason football questions have found their answers

Douglas Fritz • Updated Oct 23, 2017 at 6:08 PM

There is still one week remaining for high school football teams to put an exclamation point on the regular season.

But some questions that were bouncing around in August have already been answered. Here’s a look at some of them:

Would Knox Farragut struggle with the move to Class 6A?

The Admirals won’t be able to fully prove it until the playoffs, but their 8-1 record and 4-1 region mark are proof they can compete just fine in Tennessee’s highest level of classification.

Would Daniel Boone and David Crockett have legitimate shots at their first-ever region title?

The Trailblazers blasted every region foe by at least four touchdowns before edging the Pioneers by one score, 28-21, on Friday. So yes, both schools had their chance, and Boone took advantage.

Would Greeneville continue is habit of blowing away league foes in a bigger, perhaps stronger, region?

This question was going to be yes until the Greene Devils found themselves tied 3-3 at halftime against Elizabethton. They still won by two touchdowns, but this game was competitive.

Like Boone and Crockett, would Johnson County and Unicoi County be legitimate title contenders in a softened Class 3A league?

The Longhorns haven’t lost a game, and the Blue Devils still have a chance to steal the title as they meet in Week 11. So the answer is yes.

Would Happy Valley remain as the king in Region 1-2A?

It sure looked that way for the first five games of the season, but the Warriors lost a couple of tough ones before a one-point victory by Sullivan North put the Raiders on top.

Would Cloudland bounce back after a 5-7 season in 2016?

The Highlanders should be 8-2 heading into the postseason, so they have restored the roar on Roan Mountain.

Playoff matchups

Here’s a look at potential matchups for the first round of the playoffs, which are scheduled for Nov. 23. These pairings are likely scenarios, and not locked in place.

Class 6A

Ooltewah at Dobyns-Bennett

Cleveland at Knox Farragut

Science Hill at Bradley Central

Knox Bearden at Maryville

Class 5A

Sevier County at Daniel Boone

Corryton Gibbs at Tennessee High

David Crockett at South Doyle

Morristown East at Knox Halls

Class 4A

East Ridge at Greeneville

Sequoyah at Elizabethton

Sullivan South at Chattanooga Central

Grainger at Anderson County

Class 3A

Northview Academy at Johnson County

Kingston at West Greene

Unicoi County at Austin-East

Claiborne at Alcoa

Class 2A

Cumberland Gap at Sullivan North

Oneida at Happy Valley

Hampton at Rockwood

South Greene at Meigs County

Class 1A

Midway at Cloudland

Making progress

It could have been easy to write off the Dobyns-Bennett Indians after they started the season with a record of 2-3.

But with losses to tough teams like Greeneville and Alcoa in that mix, the Indians weren’t done with their 2017 season.

Four straight wins later, including a 42-34 victory over Knox Farragut, and the D-B is knocking at the door of a home-field playoff game. Also, the Indians control their own destiny for the top seed from Region 1-6A.

Division I state scoring leaders

1. Anderson County — 52.7

2. Cordova — 52.2

3. Waverly — 49.6

4. Coalfield — 47.9

5. Huntingdon — 47.5

Others: No. 7 Greeneville (45.1).

Division I state defensive leaders

1. Mt. Juliet — 2.6

2. Whitwell — 5.6

3. Whitehaven — 6.7

4. White House — 8.2

5. Jo Byrns — 9.0

Others: No. 8 Happy Valley (10.0), No. 9 Johnson County (10.2), No. 10 Greeneville (10.3).

Football games of the week

Daniel Boone at Cherokee

Morristown East at David Crockett

Dobyns-Bennett at Jefferson County

Unicoi County at Johnson County

Trailblazers at Chiefs — Daniel Boone has locked up the top spot in Region 1-5A, but can finish off a perfect league mark by stopping offensive-minded Cherokee.

Hurricanes vs. Pioneers — A playoff berth could be at stake for both teams, so it should be a tense battle.

Indians vs. Patriots — Can Dobyns-Bennett take advantage of Science Hill’s missed step against Jeff County? Or will the Patriots strike another surprise win?

Blue Devils vs. Longhorns — The Region 1-3A title is still in sight for Unicoi County, but to get there the Blue Devils will have to do something no other team has done this season: beat Johnson County.

Pick of the Week

Johnson County 21, Unicoi County 14

The thing that makes the Longhorns so tough is their ability to get things done on both sides of the football.

Picks record: 7-3.

Player of the Week

Carter Everett, Elizabethton

The junior quarterback threw the ball all over the field in a 52-27 win over Sullivan South.

Everett passed for a school-record 431 yards and five touchdowns completing 32 of 49 attempts.

The Hogs Award

Daniel Boone Trailblazers

Facing their biggest rival, the Trail Hogs rooted out 356 yards rushing on 42 attempts for an average of 8.5 yards per carry.

Defensive unit of the Week

Happy Valley Warriors

Needing a victory to snap a three-game losing streak, the Warriors’ defense did its part in a 33-7 victory over West Greene.

The Warriors forced a pair of turnovers, and held the Buffaloes scoreless until late in the fourth quarter.

Girls soccer

Science Hill will take a shot at a Class AAA state title, but it won’t be easy.

The third-ranked Lady Hilltoppers (17-3-2) drew No. 2 ranked Franklin (13-2-1) for Wednesday’s quarterfinal contest. The match is scheduled for 5 p.m. (EDT) at the Richard Siegel Soccer Complex in Murfreesboro.

In Class AA, two-time defending state champion and top-ranked Greeneville (16-4-3) will play Covington (18-3) at 8 p.m.

And in Class A, Chuckey-Doak (12-6-1) will play McKenzie (9-5) at 3 p.m.

Volleyball

Berean Christian topped South Greene in three games to win the Class A state title.

It was the fifth state runner-up finish for the Lady Rebels and their third in a row.

In Class AA, Portland defeated Knox Catholic in the finals.

And in Class AAA, Brentwood won the title by knocking off city rival Ravenwood in five games.

Football rankings

Dobyns-Bennett’s late-season surge and Science Hill’s upset loss to Jefferson County made the Hilltoppers’ early blowout of the Indians look like a distant memory. D-B jumped over the Hilltoppers into the No. 2 spot in this week’s rankings.

Here is the 11th installment of the Northeast Tennessee Football Top 10:

Team (W-L) — Prv

1. Greeneville (9-0) — 1

2. Dobyns-Bennett (6-3) — 3

3. Science Hill (7-3) — 2

4. Elizabethton (7-2) — 4

5. Daniel Boone (7-2) — 5

6. Johnson County (9-0) — 7

7. David Crockett (5-4) — 6

8. Sullivan North (7-2) — 9

9. Sullivan South (6-3) — 8

10. Happy Valley (6-3) — 10

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