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The Playoff Chase

Gibbs at Heritage TV game highlights return to region play
William Blount’s Tommy Myers stretches for extra yardage after being upended by Heritage’s Kyle Valentine (21) last week. Photo by Brandon Shinn

Region play returns for Blount County’s four high schools tonight, and no contest looms larger than Gibbs at Heritage.

Kickoff at Jack Renfro Stadium is 7:30 p.m.

WBIR has the television broadcast.

Maryville's Blake Oliveira, left, Tyler Zwolinski (23) and Trajuan Purty (44) swarm an Alcoa ball carrier.

Maryville’s Blake Oliveira, left, Tyler Zwolinski (23) and Trajuan Purty (44) swarm an Alcoa ball carrier. Photo Jolanda Jansma

Top-ranked Maryville (4-0, 1-0 Region 1-6A) visits No. 4 Science Hill (3-0, 1-0) for a much-anticipated league clash, with William Blount (2-2, 0-1) on the road at 1-6A foe Bearden (2-2, 0-1) in Knoxville.

Class 3A No. 2-ranked Alcoa (3-1, 1-0 Region 2-3A) travels to Scott County (2-2, 0-1) to restart the region schedule.

WBIR really scored in selecting the Mountaineers (1-3, 1-0 Region 2-5A) and Eagles (3-1, 1-0) as its PrepXtra Game of the Week. While the Rebels and Hilltoppers are sure to stage a mighty battle, both schools, as do Bearden and William Blount, enter the game with a playoff berth at season’s end a non-issue.

All 32 Class 6A schools statewide qualify for postseason under reclassification for 2015.

While it’s certainly possible Scott County could upset the Tornadoes, with Alcoa surely still smarting from a 20-14 loss to Maryville a week ago, it’s not likely. At Heritage, there’s not only more uncertainty in the outcome, there’s a great deal more riding on it.

Region 2-5A contains defending state champion West, a prohibitive favorite to win the new league. Most view the rest of the region there for the taking, with the top four at the end of the regular season advancing to the playoffs.

It’s why Heritage’s 57-56 overtime win over South-Doyle two weeks ago meant so much. It’s why Gibbs holding off Powell, 34-27, in Week 3 meant so much. It’s why winning tonight is bigger for the Mountaineers than last week’s 28-20 loss to William Blount and bigger for the Eagles than last week’s 33-25 victory at Karns.

Week 5: The playoff chase begins.

Region 2-3A

Scott County3-27-3
McMinn Central2-34-6

Region 2-5A


Region 1-6A

Hardin Valley5-27-3
Bradley Central5-28-2
Science Hill4-37-3
Jefferson County1-63-7
William Blount1-62-8

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