In a key matchup of District 5-AAA title importance, third-ranked Ooltewah (7-1, 4-0) will invade Benny Monroe Stadium to square off against seventh-ranked Cleveland High (6-3, 4-1). It will be the fourth time this season Coach Ron Crawford’s crew will go up against a fellow state-ranked team.
The Owls can secure the district crown with a victory this evening, while the Blue Raiders need to hand the visitors their first district loss to secure at least a tie for the title.
Depending on their playoff draw, Cleveland could possibly host a postseason contest in November.
Meanwhile across town this evening, Bradley Central (4-4, 1-3) will entertain Soddy-Daisy (3-5, 0-4) in the 1,000th game of the Bear program, which dates back to 1916. The Black-and-Gold will honor all former players, coaches and managers before the contest.
Coach Damon Floyd’s Bears desperately need a victory over the Trojans to stop a three-game skid and try to salvage a shot at the school’s first-ever four year TSSAA playoff run. Bradley will need to a win over fourth-ranked East Hamilton (7-1, 4-1) in the regular season finale Nov. 1 to guarantee a spot in the postseason.
Walker Valley (3-5, 0-4) still has an outside chance to return to the playoffs, but will have to knock off McMinn County (3-5, 2-2) this evening at “The Corral” and then beat Soddy-Daisy on the road in Week 10.
All three county teams will honor their senior players this evening before the contests kick off at 7:30 p.m.
In an interesting non-district game this evening, East Hamilton will travel to Evensville to face former 5-AAA member and currently 10th-ranked Rhea County (7-1).
Meanwhile, Polk County (7-1), ranked sixth in the latest Associated Press Class 3 A poll, will make the 75-mile trip west to face South Pittsburg (7-1), which just reclaimed the No. 1 spot in the Class 1A poll this week.
The two perennial state-ranked squads have split their four previous meetings, with the Pirates winning 21-14 last season in Benton.
Coach Derrick Davis’ Wildcats will wrap up the regular season with their Senior Night next week as they host Loudon.
In other games involving District 5-AA teams this evening, Loudon will travel to Knoxville to face Austin-East, while Sweetwater will journey to Kingston and Sequoyah will visit Clinton. McMinn Central has a bye week.