1A: #3 Huntingdon (12-2) vs. #2 Gordonsville (12-1)
- Huntingdon is back in the state championship game after a seven year absence. Huntingdon athlete Jacob Warbritton has a shot at breaking the state rushing record of 3,068 yards set last year by Powell running back Dy’Shawn Mobley. Warbritton has gained 2,938 yards on the ground this season and will be a tough player for Gordonsville to contain. Warbritton was a finalist for the Division 1, Class A Back Mr. Football Award
- Gordonsville is the slight favorite. The Tigers lone loss came in week zero when they fell to Smith County 28-27. Their defense has held opponents to 10.8 points per game this season. QB Payton Watson, a multi-year starter (2,130 total yards, 24 touchdowns), and RB Kaelin Watson (1,874 yards and 25 touchdowns) lead the way for the Tigers offense. OL/DL Tyler Coen won the Division 1, Class A Lineman Mr. Football Award
- Gordonsville’s last state title came in 1984
3A #3 Christian Academy of Knoxville (13-1) vs. #3 Milan (12-2)
- This game is a rematch of last year’s 3A state championship game. CAK won that matchup 49-14 behind the arm of QB Charlie High, one of the best quarterbacks in Tennessee high school football history, and an offense that scored more than 40 points per game.
- High finished that game with an insane stat line (32-41, 476 yards and 7 touchdowns) as CAK won their first state title. High, the 2012 Mr. Football Back Award winner, is back this season and the Warriors offense is just as potent as it was a year ago. When you consider High broke every passing record in the state last year, that’s really saying something. For the year, High’s completed 75.6% of his passes for 4,697 yards and 53 touchdowns.
- For Milan to hang with CAK, they will have to control the clock with their running game. RB Arkel Coleman recorded 47 carries for 231 yards in the Bulldogs 16-8 win over CPA in the semifinals. He may need to log 47 carries again this week for Milan to have a chance. He ran for 165 yards in last year’s contest.
- Three other players to watch: CAK WR Josh Smith (1093 yards, 14 touchdowns), WR/LB Davis Howell (1,776 receiving yards, 20 touchdowns), and OL Brett Kendrick. Smith and Kendrick are Tennessee commitments. Kendrick won the Division 1, Class AA Lineman Mr. Football Award. Howell is the state's all-time leader in career receptions with 343 and he needs 7 more to break the national high school football record for career receptions.
5A: #1 Columbia (12-2) vs #1 Beech (12-2)
- Columbia’s run to the state championship game is a bit of a surprise. First year head coach Howard Stone did a magnificent job leading his team to this game. They raced out to a 19-7 lead last week against Powell, but got outplayed in the 2nd half. Though they only gained one first down in the second half, the Lions managed to score on a couple of big plays to win 32-27.
- Senior quarterback Matt Markham and running back Chris Martin are both in their 3rd year as starters. Both were key contributors for the Lions when they defeated Hendersonville 28-7 in the 2010 5A Blue Cross Bowl. Markham threw for 182 yards in that game while Martin ran for 125 yards.
- Beech features running back Jalen Hurd, one of the TOP players in the country for 2014. Hurd’s run for 2, 944 yards and 35 touchdowns in 12 GAMES this season. The junior gained 394 yards in the Bucs’ 64-31 semifinal win at Jackson North Side last week. In 4 playoff games, Hurd’s gained 987 yards while averaging 10.4 yards per carry. Like Warbritton, Hurd has a good chance to break the state rushing record of 3,068 yards. The Buccaneers won the state championship in 2009.
- The Buccaneers also feature a stingy defense that posted four shutouts this season and held 3 other opponents to seven points or less.
2A: #1 Friendship Christian (12-1) vs. #1 Adamsville (12-1)
- Friendship Christian is the defending 2A state champion. This year’s team has a different component than last years, a lethal passing game. Junior quarterback AJ Long has thrown for nearly 2,400 yards and 35 touchdowns to go along with 640 yards on the ground. Sophomore Stephen Hollis (119 carries for 1,084 yards) is a threat on the ground. The Commanders offense scored 40 points or more in 10 of their 13 games this season.
- Adamsville is in the state in the state championship game for the first time in school history. In fact, the Cardinals have won more postseason games in the last four seasons than they did in the previous 25.
- Adamsville is a ball control, defense first type of team. As a team, the Cardinals have gained more than 3,000 yards on the ground. Senior QB Dalton Plank (964 yards passing, 14 touchdowns) and junior running back Zack Neary (146 carries, 959 yards) are the two to watch for Adamsville. The Cardinals’ defense has given up a grand total of 13 points in three postseason games.
4A: #1 Covington (14-0) vs. #2 Fulton (12-2)
- On paper, this is a terrific matchup. Covington is looking for its first state title in school history. The Chargers have already set a school record for wins in a season behind a large senior class, and an offense that’s scoring more than 41 points per game. The Chargers dress 24 seniors, including star running back Johnston White and quarterback T.A. Watson. White gained more than 2,000 yards last year and he’s already topped the 2,600 yard mark this season. He ran for 401 yards and five touchdowns in a game earlier this year and was a Class AA Mr. Football finalist.
- Fulton is back in the state championship game for the first time since 2007. The Falcons have won three state championships in the last 10 seasons with a chance to add a fourth this weekend. RB Daryl Rollins ran for 332 yards and three touchdowns in the Falcons 41-27 win at Giles County in the semifinals. For the season, Rollins has gained 2,258 yards, 30 touchdowns and is averaging more than 12 yards per carry.
6A: #1 Whitehaven (14-0) at #1 Maryville (14-0)
- Many consider this to be the game of the weekend. These two teams meet in a rematch of the 2011 6A BlueCross Bowl. Maryville handed Whitehaven their only loss last season, 23-7. Whitehaven has been waiting for this game ever since.
- Whitehaven features speed and athleticism across the field. Their defense has held opponent to 6.1 points per game in their last nine contests, while the offense has scored 41+ in 8 of 9.
- Running back Mark Dodson (2,977 yards), a 4-star prospect headed to Ole Miss, ran for 304 and 3 touchdowns on 22 carries in Whitehaven’s 41-35 win over Mt. Juliet last week. Like Hurd and Warbritton, Dodson has a chance to break Mobley’s record. CB Darius Simms and WR Gerald Perry, both 3-star players, are committed to Vanderbilt. In all Whitehaven could have as many as seven D1 players.
- Maryville, well, they’re the two time defending state champions. The Rebels extended their win streak to 43, the longest active streak in the state, with a 47-43 semifinal win over Siegel. Their offense has scored 38 points or more in 13 of the 14 games they’ve played this season.
- Though they may not have as much high-end talent, the Rebels might be the better team from top to bottom. They have the experience and head coach George Quarles coaching record, 193-13, speaks for it’s self.
- Maryville will lean on junior running back Shawn Prevo. He’s already logged 39 BlueCross Bowl carries in his career. Senior QB Nick Myers completed 23-of-30 passes for 259 yards and a score in the win over Siegel last week. He also scored twice on the ground. Myers has done a great job taking over for multi-year starter Patton Robinette. Robinette, now at Vanderbilt, led Maryville to a pair of state championships.