McMinn grinds out 3 OT win

A pair of Region 2, 5A teams had their playoff lives firmly on the line Friday night in Blount County, as the 4-3 McMinn County Cherokees visited the 4-3 William Blount Governors.

Both teams lost to Ooltewah and Farragut early on, yet both managed to defeat perennial great Oak Ridge. The Govs also avenged last year's bitter loss to Sevier County in this year's season opener, 24-12.

McMinn County would prevail, in 3 overtimes, 46-38. It would be McMinn's second region win in OT this season (Oak Ridge).

The Cherokees got 165 rushing yards and 4 TD's from senior RB Trace McDermont, including the game winner in the final OT.

Blount is now 4-4 on the season and will need help to get into the playoffs.

Looking Ahead

The Govs have two relatively easy games coming up to end the season. The Bradley Central Bears are up first. The Bears are 4-4 thru Week 8 (2-3 region). The Heritage Mountaineers follow, to wrap up the season.

Week 7 saw the Bradley Bears give a gutsy performance in the first half vs. regional rival Farragut, only to fade in the second half and lose 33-7.

The Bears forced two turnovers in the first half of the game, but couldn't punch the ball in on the extra possessions, missing on a kickoff once, then being stuffed at the 1 yard line on the second. McMinn would have a pair of turnovers of their own in Week 8 vs. Heritage, but managed to overcome their mistakes.

Bradley likes the power run game and will run Joel Moody and Will Jenkins at opposing defenses often. Moody is the featured back. He gained 132 yards on 25 carries in Week 7. He also had 169 yards rushing and a 69 yard TD run vs. Heritage in Week 8.

Logan Watson and Eric Lindsey will be the Bears marquee receiving threats.

DB Mark Gibson is one of Bradley's biggest threats on defense, with 4 picks on the season. Matt Rishenhoover compliments Gibson well on the other side of the field.

Bradley only allowed 19 points in their 3 wins thru Week 7, but gave up an average of 40 points in their 4 losses thru the same time frame. The Bears defeated Heritage 25-20 in Week 8.

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