Tonight marks final home games
by JOE CANNON Banner Assistant Sports Editor
Oct 25, 2013 | 461 views | 0 0 comments | 17 17 recommendations | email to a friend | print
For the final time this gridiron season all three Bradley County high school teams will be on their home fields this evening, while Polk County is making the tough trip to top-ranked South Pittsburg.

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.