Media Day for the 2019 TSSAA BlueCross Bowl Championships is Monday in Nashville.
More information about the opponents for Greenback, Alcoa, Central and Maryville will begin to surface.
But here’s what we know right now …
Friday, Dec. 6
Class 1A: Greenback (12-2) vs. Lake County (14-0), 11 a.m. CT
About Lake County …
Lake County finally got over the semifinal hump, an obstacle that the Falcons couldn’t hurdle the previous two seasons. The program has won two state championships (1985, 1980) but hasn’t played in a championship game since 1994.
Lake County is led by 2019 Mr. Football semifinalist Tanner Snyder, a 6-foot-3, 240-pound senior quarterback and linebacker. He threw for more than 1,000 and rushed for more than 1,000 yards in the regular season — with a combined 35 passing and rushing touchdowns.
Oddly enough, Greenback beat Lake County in the opening round of the 2019 Class A state baseball tournament this past spring en route to a state title. The pitcher for Lake County that day? Tanner Snyder.
Anyway, keep an eye on the Falcons using unorthodox formations near the goal line and then shifting them quickly into normal looks to try to create mismatches and easy scores.
Class 3A: Alcoa (13-1) vs. Pearl-Cohn (14-0), 3 p.m. CT
About Pearl-Cohn …
Pearl-Cohn eliminated Covington in the semifinals, and Covington had been runner-up to Alcoa in the 2017 and 2018 Class 3A championship games. The Firebirds have won two state titles (1996, 1997) and just one runner-up finish (2015, Class 4A loss to Catholic).
Alcoa head coach Gary Rankin told us on 5Star Live on Friday, following Alcoa’s semifinal win, that preparing for Pearl-Cohn would not be as complex as the prep work that would have ensued for Covington’s Wing-T.
Still, Pearl-Cohn’s offense has plenty of pop.
Led by junior quarterback Martino Owens, Pearl-Cohn features a 2,000-yard passer who minimizes his mistakes (four INTs). But he isn’t a dual-threat guy. His rushing numbers are nothing to marvel at.
He actually got injured in the quarterfinals and returned for the semifinals and helped grind out a 21-20 win. Keep an eye on Desean Wade, who leads the Firebirds with more than 20 tackles for loss and 13 sacks. He isn’t big (5-9) on the defensive line but he’s productive.
Class 5A: Central (12-2) vs. Summit (12-2), 7 p.m. CT
About Summit …
This week will mark Summit’s first appearance in a state-title game. The program is only nine years old, having started varsity play in 2011 with an 0-10 record.
The Spartans are all about the run on offense, as they just threw nine passes (completing two) in their semifinal win over Dyer County. Keaten Wade led Summit in its semifinal win over Dyer County with 15 rushed for 173 yards and two TDs.
Kentucky has offered the 6-foot-5, 210-pound Wade, whose brother — Destin Wade (6-3, 200) — also has a Kentucky offer. Destin Wade ran for 88 yards and two scores and passed for 101 yards and a TD in a quarterfinal win over Shelbyville.
Saturday, Dec. 7
Class 6A: Maryville (14-0) vs. Ravenwood (13-1), 7 p.m. CT
About Ravenwood …
Maryville and Ravenwood have history.
Ravenwood stormed to a huge lead over the Rebels in the 2014 state championship; however, Maryville rallied and won in overtime 35-34, stopping a two-point conversion try for the victory. Ravenwood got revenge, though, winning the 2015 state title 26-17 over the Rebels.
This year, though, the Raptors are led by 2019 Mr. Football semifinalist and Rice receiver commitment Andrew Mason (5-11, 160) and recent Oklahoma defensive lineman commitment Reggie Grimes (6-4, 240).
But that’s not all. Ravenwood features 10 players who have FBS offers.
“They were just real big up front (defensively) and they moved fast laterally,” Mr. Football finalist and Houston RB Lincoln Pare told The Daily Memphian on Friday night.
Ravenwood’s defense held Pare, a running back with more than 2,600 yards this season, to 140 yards on 40 carries Friday.