Stone Memorial at Alcoa Yes, Christian Academy of Knoxville is waiting in Week 10, but it’s not Week 10 yet. Alcoa’s coach Gary Rankin isn’t the kind to look beyond the current week. Still, for Stone Memorial (2-5, 0-3) to take this one would require a lot of doing. The top-ranked Tornadoes (7-0, 3-0) are just awfully good up front, with nine players available for duty along the offensive line. Senior running back Jaron Toney, with 25 rushing touchdowns on the year, is more than halfway to Ralph King’s state record of 43. He’s likely to get a lot closer in this one.
Heritage at Bearden The Bulldogs (5-2, 2-2 4AAA) aren’t the easiest opponent for a team looking to end a four-game skid, but the Mountaineers (3-4, 1-3) are well rested after a week off and have the horses to do it. Specifically, Heritage is big enough up front and has the versatility on offense to make it happen. Senior Michael Cermak changes a lot for the Mountaineers on offense at receiver. Quarterback Tyler Hartley has come a long way in his first season running the spread. He’s just about there. Evan Brown, Cody England and Chris Overstreet are big hitters each on defense. Just don’t let Bulldog junior Dervin Young get loose.
Maryville at Farragut If you’re going, get there early. A capacity crowd is expected for a game that will go a long way in deciding the District 4AAA champion. The Rebels (6-1, 3-0) and Admirals (6-1, 3-0) sit alone atop the district standings. Both feature talented quarterbacks in Maryville’s Philip Juhlin and Farragut’s Reese Browning. Both have a feature back in the Rebels’ Buddy Jones and the Admirals DeAndre Purdy. How Maryville’s defense matches up with a sizeable Farragut offense line will decide much. The winner needs only a win in either of its last two games to claim the district championship.
Lenoir City at William Blount It’ll take some doing for the Governors (3-4, 1-3) to catch District 4AAA frontrunners Maryville and Farragut for the league’s two automatic qualifier spots for the Class 6A playoffs. A wildcard berth is a lot closer. Record withstanding, William Blount is one of the district’s most dangerous teams. No one has yet to really blow the Governors out. Quarterback Zach Witt and backs Caleb Elkins, Matt Hasenstaub and Robbie Irwin are really getting the hang of first-year coach David Gregory’s new offense. The Panthers (1-5, 0-3) were routed by Heritage’s Mountaineers in Week 2, and the Governors may have just a little too much for Lenoir City to pick up its first district win.