Pirates, Owls and Warriors make statement in playoff opener
South Pittsburg 56, Grace Academy 13
SOUTH PITTSBURG, Tenn. (WRCB) -- Don't mess with the defending champs.
The TSSAA did just that in South Pittsburg's eyes, and the Pirates took out their frustrations with a 56-13 rout of visiting Grace Academy in the opening round of the Class 1A playoffs Friday night.
South Pittsburg, who was irked by a No. 3 seed from the TSSAA, unloaded on the Golden Eagles for 50 first-half points en route to the mercy rule win. The Pirates scored seven offensive touchdowns in the first two quarters, and added a defensive score and a safety.
Demetric Johnson ran for 162 yards and three touchdowns, while Jiajuan Lankford added 73 yards and a pair of scores.
The Pirates (9-2) advance to play No. 2 Greenback (9-1) in next week's second round. Greenback had a bye Friday night.
Ooltewah 42, Shelbyville Central 20
OOLTEWAH, Tenn. (WRCB) -- Ooltewah's defense has received a lot of attention this season, but it was the Owls' offense that made the loudest statement Friday night.
Ooltewah scored on its first six possessions and cruised to a 42-20 win over visiting Shelbyville Central in the opening round of the Class 5A playoffs. The Owls (8-3) advance to face top-ranked Powell (11-0) next week. The Panthers crushed Anderson County 54-12 on Friday night.
Bradley Stephens was near perfect, connecting on 12-of-14 passes for 205 yards and a pair of scores, including an incredible 65-yard juggling catch by P.J. Toney. Desmond Pittman rushed 26 times for 200 yards and two touchdowns, while TJ Davis and Jay Rudwall also scored on the ground.
Bledsoe County 44, Meigs County 25
PIKEVILLE, Tenn. (WRCB) -- Bring on Alcoa.
Bledsoe County will get a shot at the seven-time defending state champs next week after beating Meigs County 44-25 in the first round of the Class 3A postseason on Friday night.
The win, which gave the Warriors a 10-win season for the first time in 16 years, now sets up a second-round date with No. 4 seed Alcoa, who beat Tyner 17-7 on Friday night. Bledsoe County, who is the quadrant's top seed, will host that game in Pikeville.
The Warriors' first playoff win since 1998 came courtesy of Cody Holloway's two touchdown passes and Brandon Smith's two touchdown runs. Holloway, who finished 13-of-20 passing for 162 yards with two interceptions, also added a score on the ground.
After opening up a 25-0 first-half lead, Bledsoe County (10-1) watched the Tigers rally to within six points early in the fourth quarter. Smith responded with the second of his two scoring jaunts before Holloway's TD run sealed the win.
For the rest of the scores from Week 11 of Friday Night Football, click here.