Regular season finales tonight
by JOE CANNON Banner Assistant Sports Editor
Nov 01, 2013 | 500 views | 0 0 comments | 7 7 recommendations | email to a friend | print
In less than 24 hours it will be known which teams have made the 2013 TSSAA football playoffs field and where they will be playing, but before that can happen tonight’s regular season finales will have a lot to say about who’s in and who’s out.

In a “win and their in” situation, Bradley Central (5-4, 2-3 District 5-AAA) travels to Collegedale to face eighth-ranked (5A) East Hamilton (7-2, 5-1) this evening with the Hurricanes still battling for the district championship.

If the Bears can calm the Hurricanes, Bradley will make the Class 6A field, plus hand the 5-AAA title to fifth-ranked Cleveland High (7-3, 5-1). A loss to the district newcomers will put Bradley on the postseason bubble with several other .500 teams.

Sixth-ranked Ooltewah (7-2, 4-1) will travel to Athens this evening to face the suddenly hot McMinn County (4-5, 3-2) squad, who is clinging to a thread of hope to return to the playoffs if they can knock off the Owls.

East Hamilton needs to hold off the Bears and have the Cherokees to prevail tonight in order to claim the 5-AAA crown. If both the Hurricanes and Owls win, then Ooltewah will get the title in the three-way tiebreaker rules.

Already in the postseason field, Polk County (7-2, 3-0), ranked No. 8 in this week’s Class 3A poll, will look to run its streak of district victories to 21 as 5-AA newcomer Loudon (3-6, 0-3) comes to Benton. The Big Red Train has already claimed its fifth straight district championships and secured its 13th consecutive trip to the TSSAA playoffs.

After a strong start to the season, Walker Valley (3-6, 0-5) is playing for pride this evening in Soddy-Daisy (3-6, 0-5). The Mustangs won three of their first four games this year, but then got hit with several injuries and are trying to stop a five-game slide and end the campaign on a positive note.

The Trojans won their first two games this season but have dropped the last seven, although one was overturned due to Tyner having used an ineligible players.

After tonight’s games are final, the TSSAA will work all night getting the brackets set for all eight divisions and will announce the pairings Saturday morning at 11 via a webcast on the site.

Opening round games will be held on Nov. 8 with the top four seeds in each quadrant hosting games.