Mr. Football's Top Picks

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The Prime Time Pick

McCallie (4-0) at Alcoa (2-2)

No one can say that the Tornadoes play a weak schedule. Gary Rankin inherited a talented team but he also inherited a tough early-season schedule. Alcoa is the top pick to go to Murfreesboro and come home with a third consecutive Class 2A trophy. The Tornadoes will certainly be battle-tested when they get to the mid-state.

Alcoa has played two teams with legitimate title hopes and lost by three points to both Maryville (the Class 4A powerhouse) and Fulton, a perennial 3A title contender. Alcoa has blown past CAK and Loudon (who were both supposed to challenge them for the Region Championship).

Well, the Warriors and the Redskins have proven to be pretenders. McCallie, this week's opponent, has eyes on a Division II title also and they'll give Alcoa another stiff test in Blount County.

Other Key Match-ups

West (2-2) at Morristown West (4-0)

The Rebels have shown that they'll compete with Maryville and Central for the Region 3-4A title. They'll get their shot at Blount County's Rebels and Bobcats later this season. West has won two straight over South-Doyle and Halls after two heartbreaking home losses to Webb and Bearden. The Rebels will have to be at the top of their game if they're to get out of Hamblen County with a win over the Trojans.

West appears to have its offense clicking with quarterback Jake Ryan, running back TJ Wilson and deep threat Ken Easterly at wide out. We'll see if this is the case Friday night.

Central (4-0) at Bearden (3-2)

The Bulldogs are much improved under new head coach and football legend Bill Wilson. They're also smarting from the beating Central handed them last season in Fountain City. There, Joel Helton's squad hung 55 first-half points on the Dogs en route to a 55-28 victory.

This could be a classic trap game for the Bobcats, who face Maryville next week. Look for this one to be closer than the game last season.

William Blount (3-1) at Maryville (5-0)

This is a showdown for Blount County bragging rights. It could've featured two undefeated teams but Ooltewah had other ideas when the Indians knocked the Governors from their top perch last week. Ooltewah nabbed a 28-24 decision. Could the Govs have a chance?

Maybe. They'll be ready to play. But they'll need to do everything right and hope Brent Burnette, Derek Hunt, Tyler Maples and company has Central on their minds. This won't happen simply because George Quarles won't let it.

Tyner (3-1) at Fulton (4-0)

The Falcons appear headed to Murfreesboro on the fast train. Catholic will certainly have something to say about that though. So far, however, the Falcons have answered every challenge.

They've beaten Austin-East, Anderson County and Boyd Buchanan easily. They also have a road win over Alcoa in a close one. Tyner may come to Knoxville a give Fulton a test. It's an exam that the Falcons should pass.

A look back at Week 4

Blowouts and offense were the features of Week 4.

Austin-East led the way as they racked of 70 points in a victory over Scott. The 70-18 win was the Road runners second straight after three losses to open the season.

Carter surrendered its first points of the season. But the Hornets thrashed Pigeon Forge 64-12. Carter has a showdown at home against Morristown East this week. This will be the toughest test the Hornets have had to this point.

Alcoa was angry after a tough home loss to Fulton and they took their frustration out on Region 2-2A rival Loudon and came off the field with a 63-14 victory.

West has finally put things together and the Rebels 52-17 win over Halls may be the lift West needs to make a run to the playoffs. Jake Ryan and company torched Kevin Julian's defense and scored 45 first-half points.

Maryville extended its winning streak to 35 games and did so with a 45-7 win at Powell. The Panthers (1-3) were supposed to challenge the Red Rebels for the title this season. No challenge from the resident squad of West Emory Road again this year. Powell usually gets a second shot at Maryville in the playoffs. But they'll have to make the postseason first and that hardly seems to be a lock at this point.

Details of Central's demise were grossly exaggerated during the preseason. Everyone saw a team that lost David Gaston and Zach Helton and others to graduation. But Clark McMillan, Andreas Taylor and Jamie Wilson have become primary offensive weapons. They also feature a defensive front led by defensive end Orlando Blair and defensive tackle Corry Jeffries. Josh Owens is also a heavy hitter at linebacker.

The Bobcats put a big beating on Lenoir City to improve to 4-0 with a 42-2 victory. McMillan, Central's junior quarterback, threw three touchdown passes. Taylor caught two. Owens (also a fullback) nabbed one. McMillan also ran for a TD. Wilson scored from the ground and the air. He caught a late scoring pass from back-up quarterback Courtland Styles, Jr.

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