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High School Football: State Semifinals, Friday

KNOXVILLE, Tennessee (WVLT) — The TSSAA state playoffs continue with a semi-final round for public schools, while private schools have a week before championship weekend.

A handful of our East Tennessee teams are still vying for a trip to Chattanooga and the Blue Cross Cup on the line.

Class-6A

Maryville (10-3) in Oakland (12-1) – 19:00

With playoff victories over Morristown East, Bearden and Science Hill, Derek Hunt’s Maryville Red Rebels are poised to try for a big win in Oakland on Friday night in the state semi-finals. Defense has been key for the Rebels, who are averaging 8 points per game in the postseason, including the Hurricanes. They’ll need that kind of defense against a 51-point playoff-average Patriot team. Oakland is 12-1 this season and undefeated at home, where this eternal showdown at the end of the season should take place.

Class-5A

West (13-0) at Powell (11-2) – 19:00

En route to the 2021 class 5A state championship, the Panthers held the West for just 82 yards en route to a 35–7 victory. It will no doubt be on the mind of Lamar Brown’s Rebels, who have worked their way to a perfect 13-0 record. Matt Lowe’s Panthers will be busy trying to stop a team averaging 57 points per game in the playoffs. On the other side of the field, the defending state champions are gaining momentum. After losing their first two games, they have won 11 in a row and are one home win away from returning to the state. You will be able to watch this game on MyVLT with a pre-game show at 6:30 and starting at 7.

Class-4A

Anderson Co. (13-0) at Red Bank (11-2) – 19:00

A huge quarterfinal win over rival Greenville took the Mavericks to the state semifinals against Red Bank High School. Greenville has beaten Anderson County in the playoffs each of the four times they have met in the past five years. Anderson County is playing in the state semi-finals for the first time in 26 years. Head coach Davey Gillum was a running back for the Mavs on that 1996 team. Red Bank started the season with seven consecutive wins before suffering consecutive losses to Fayetteville and East Hamilton, whom they would defeat in the quarter-finals to advance to this game.

Class-3A

Alcoa (12-1) at Giles Co. (10-3) – 19:00

Brian Nicks is trying to win his first state championship as Alcoa’s head coach, which would be an unprecedented eighth in a row for the Tornadoes. But first they need to get to Giles County in Pulaski, Tennessee. Giles County finished 4-0 in the regional game and defeated Brainerd in the first round, Loudon in the second round and Sweetwater in the quarter-finals to set up this matchup with perennial Power Alcoa. As good as Alcoa is, Class-5A #1 West is a waste. They also have a pair of Mister Football finalists in Jordan Harris and Lance Williams.

Class-1A

Coalfield (12-1) at Clay Co (12-1) – 19:00

It’s a 12-1 battle as Coalfield travels to Clay County on Friday night. The Yellow Jackets had a brilliant postseason, leading the opposition 167–18. This is a classic attack vs. defense battle. Clay County loses an average of only 4 points per game in the playoffs. The win will take the Yellow Vests to the final for the first time since 2014, when they finished second in class 1A.

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