Four area teams punched their ticket to Cookeville, Tenn. to compete for a state championship in what was a Friday night full of drama. One team earned a state title berth for the first time ever. Another is going back for the first time in a long time. And a state power was toppled.
The Class 6A state championship game will be missing one of its regular contenders this year. Oakland upended Maryville's quest to advance to the state title game for the 13th consecutive year after defeating the Rebels, 23-7. The last time George Quarles' team did not advance to the state championship game was in 2003. Both teams entered Friday's semifinal matchup undefeated with hopes to play in Cookeville the following weekend. The Patriots prevailed after holding Maryville to its lowest scoring outing of the season. The Rebels fall to 13-1 on the season. Oakland will face Whitehaven in the 6A title game.
Farragut and head coach Eddie Courtney advanced to the 5A state championship game for the first time in school history after knocking off South-Doyle, 45-14. The Admirals took a 7-0 lead after returning a blocked South-Doyle punt for a touchdown early in the first quarter and never looked back. Farragut will face Independence High School next Friday at 7 p.m. CST in Cookeville, Tenn.
The Central Bobcats are headed to the Class 4A state championship for the first time since 1999. This marks just the second time Central has advanced to the state title game in school history. The Bobcats trailed by seven points at halftime but outscored the Tigers 14-0 in the second half to give them the lead for good. Central will take on Memphis East December 3 at 3 p.m. CST in Cookeville, Tenn. in the title game.
Alcoa's quest for its 15th state title is still up for grabs after blanking previously unbeaten Sequatchie, 24-0, in Friday's semifinal game. The win propelled the Tornadoes to its 11th state title berth in the last 13 seasons. Alcoa will face Liberty Friday at 3 p.m. CST in Cookeville, Tenn. for the Class 3A state championship.
Marion County upended Austin-East's quest for its first state championship berth since 1991 after defeating the Roadrunners, 35-21. Austin-East scored 21 unanswered but was unable to take the lead after falling behind 35-0. Marion County will face Trezevant in the Class 2A state title game December 3 in Cookeville, Tenn.
Greenback's mission for a state title was preserved after defeating South-Pittsburg, 42-27 in the Class 1A semifinals Friday night. The Cherokees battled back from an early 14-0 deficit to remain undefeated. The last time Greenback boasted an undefeated season was in 1987, the same year the Cherokees won their only state title. Greenback will travel to Cookeville, Tenn to face Dresden at 11 a.m. CST for the Class 1A state championship.
The Webb School of Knoxville's semifinal win over St. George's on November 18 sets up a Division II-A state title matchup against Lausanne on December 1 at 3 p.m. CST in Cookeville, Tenn.