The TSSAA’s Division I high school football playoffs involving Northeast Tennessee teams will have several rematches Friday night in the opening round. Brackets were completed Saturday.
Daniel Boone (8-2) will be hosting Tennessee High (6-4) and Cherokee (6-4) will visit Morristown West (6-4) in 5A action.
Facing a regular-season foe again would not apply to Dobyns-Bennett until the following week. The Indians (10-0) will entertain Bearden (8-2) in their opener. With a victory, the Indians would be going against either Sevier County (9-1) or Jefferson County (8-2) on Nov. 9.
Science Hill (9-1) must play at Oak Ridge (9-1) in the first round. Should the Hilltoppers win, the probable opponent for Round 2 would be No. 1-ranked Maryville (10-0), which faces Hardin Valley (5-5) at the outset.
Sullivan South (5-5) also qualified — but didn’t learn it from the Hermitage office.
The Rebels were overlooked when the 5A pairings were announced. Anthony Richardson, South’s athletic director, called TSSAA executive director Bernard Childress’ attention to the error.
South will be playing at Columbia Central (8-2).
Childress admitted the TSSAA was at fault and agreed to pay the team’s travel expenses to Columbia, which is located 315 miles from Kingsport.
“We’re being placed in the wrong quadrant and should not have to go that far,” Richardson said. “We’re not at all happy about it. We should be playing at Morristown West.”
Should the Rebels win, they would have to travel back to the midstate area the following week and face either Tullahoma or White County of Sparta. Cleveland (5-5) was dropped from the bracket and replaced by South.
This gives the Big 8 Conference five teams in the playoffs.
In 3A action, Sullivan North (9-1) will entertain Unicoi County (5-5) in an opening-round matchup. Johnson County (4-6) will be at Elizabethton (8-2).
Elsewhere in 3A, Chuckey-Doak (6-4) will be at Gatlinburg-Pittman (6-4) and West Greene (5-5) at Cumberland Gap (7-3).
Defending state champion Greeneville (7-3) will be at home against Sequoyah (6-4) on the first night in 4A.
Hampton (9-1) will host Silverdale (9-1) in a 2A game. Midway (5-5) goes to Cloudland (7-3) for a 1A contest.
The road to the BlueCross Bowl, a grouping of six state championship games Nov. 30 and Dec. 1 at Tucker Stadium on the Tennessee Tech campus in Cookeville, is long and winding. It requires four wins to reach the finals.
General admission is $12 and tickets are valid for all championship games on the day purchased. There will be no advance ticket sales.
Title games in 1A, 3A and 5A are scheduled on Friday and 2A, 4A and 6A on Saturday. These games will be televised by the TSSAA Network throughout the state.
Wayne County (1A), Friendship Christian (2A), CAK (3A), Greeneville (4A), Henry County (5A) and Maryville (6A) won championships last year.