Mr. Football's Top Picks

Each week our own Mr. Football, Ken Lay tells us which games we can't afford to miss and maybe what to expect in each. He alos takes a look back at the previous week...

Central (7-2) at West (5-4)

This one is for playoff positioning. The winner of this Region 3-4A tilt will take second and have at least one home playoff game. The loser will head to Chattanooga and literally face a tougher road.

Central will likely be without one of its emotional defensive leaders as defensive end and sack master Orlando Blair will likely be out with a concussion. Aaron Heck (linebacker) and tailback Jamie Wilson (knee injury) did not play in the Bobcats' 21-0 win over the Clinton Dragons in Fountain City. Defensive back Wyl McMillan played but he wont be in the line-up against the Rebels because he suffered a broken arm against the Dragons.

The Bobcats played nearly flawless football in victories over Middlesboro, Halls, Farragut and Lenoir City. They faltered in consecutive losses to Bearden and Maryville. They rebounded somewhat to beat South-Doyle, Powell and Clinton.

The Bobcats, however have been their own worst enemies at times in their latter wins.

The Rebels, despite their sub-par overall record have won five of their six conference games. West has posted big wins over Clinton, Halls, Powell, Lenoir City and the Cherokees. They were routed by Maryville at home (49-12) Their other three losses have been close ones.

Central and West have long been two of the more athletic teams in the KFL. This may be the Rebels most talented squad in awhile. Ken Easterly, Yashan Campbell, Will Coley and TJ Wilson are all potent weapons in a loaded offensive arsenal for junior quarterback Jake Ryan who has emerged as a top player in his own right.

My Pick: Central

Other Key Match-ups

Oak Ridge (5-4) at Farragut (6-3)

This one's always big between these two rivals. The Wildcats need this one if they have any shot at making the playoffs in 2006. The Admirals are in but would like to get this one to create some momentum.

Coach Stanton Stevens took his alma mater to the state finals last year. But this year it all comes down to this. For Oak Ridge, it's win or go home. They've been hit with a rash of injuries and that will make an already tough game even more difficult.

My Pick: Farragut

Gibbs (3-6) at Seymour (5-4)

This battle of Eagles will feature a pair of potentially dangerous offenses and playoff positioning is at stake here. The winner has a shot at second place in Region 1-3A. There's a logjam behind Carter for second place and this will clear up the picture a little.

My Pick: Seymour

Scott (4-5) at Catholic (9-0)

The Irish have already locked up the Region 2-3A title but they'll want this one to culminate their perfect regular season. The Highlanders, who have been pesky this season, would like nothing more than to spoil the party

My Pick: Catholic

A Look Back at Week 9

Catholic wins second straight Region 2-3A title: The Irish have competed in Region 2-3A and they've won two championships. Catholic clinched its second Region 2-3A title Friday night with a 28-7 win over Kingston in Roane County. Catholic looks to cap off a perfect regular season and celebrate Senior Night with a victory over Scott.

The Highlanders are 4-5 this year and would like nothing better than to ruin the Perfect 10 for the Irish, who have won four consecutive conference titles. They won back-to-back championships in Division II East before moving up to Division I before the 2005 season.

West clinches playoff spot: The Rebels beat Powell 17-3 to claim a playoff spot. It was Scott Cummings' first win over the Panthers and the Rebels first win over the Panthers in five seasons. The Panthers, despite the loss, appear to have fourth place locked up in Region 3-4A.

The Rebels, who have made the most of their five wins (all have come in conference play), will finish second if they can beat the Central Bobcats at home. Cummings, however, will need to get his first win over veteran Central coach Joel Helton. Cummings, who is in his fifth season at his alma mater, is 0-5 against the ‘Cats, including a pair of losses in 2003.

West and Central are tied for second in the Region at 5-1. The Rebels have the horses to make this one closer or win. Central has dominated West in recent years.

A week for milestones: Several teams earned playoff berths in Week 9 but it was also a big week for individuals as Catholic's Harrison Smith reached topped 1,000 yards rushing for the seasons. He'' at 1,091 heading into the regular season finale.

At Gibbs: senior quarterback Aaron Large didn't have his best game in his home finale but he did enough to lead the Eagles past Pigeon Forge 14-12.

That win likely means that Gibbs will be playing football in November. But Large's 119 yards was enough to make him the top passer in Eagles' history. He has 1,599 yards through the air this season.

That eclipses both the single-season and career record in Corryton. Large broke the single-game record in Week 2 when he torched a young Union County secondary for over 300 yards. That effort is still the only 300-yard passing game in Gibbs High history. Last week, Large was 7-for-16 with a pair of touchdown strikes.

Just call Tyler Maples the touchdown maker: Maryville wide receiver and University of Tennessee commitment Tyler Maples caught a pair of touchdown passes in the Rebels' 42-10 victory at Halls Friday night. He's now the record holder for touchdown receptions in Maryville High's storied football history.

Spartans get 300th win: It took a late goal line stand for Webb to make some history Friday night but the Spartans' 31-30 victory over Austin-East represents the school's 300th all-time victory. Many of good players have played and starred there, including New York Jets quarterback Chad Pennington.

Week 9 Scores

Alcoa 62, Oliver Springs 7
Anderson County 20, Scott 12
CAK 35, Rockwood 31
Catholic 28, Kingston 7
Central 21, Clinton 0
Maryville 42, Halls 10
West 17, Powell 3
Coalfield 14, Harriman 0
Cosby 17, King's Academy 0
Farragut 28, Soddy-Daisy 0
Fulton 48, Carter 3
Gatlinburg-Pittman 49, Cumberland Gap 12
Grace Christian 24, Cloudland 18
Kingsport Dobyns-Bennett 50, Campbell County 6
Loudon 37, Wartburg Central 7
Midway 41, Greenback 21
Ooltewah 23, Oak Ridge 6
Rutledge 33, Union County 8
Science Hill 21, Karns 17
Webb 31, Austin-East 30
Gibbs 14, Pigeon Forge 12
Sevier Co. 42, Bearden 21
William Blount 21, Bradley Central 13
Morristown East 28, Greeneville 23
Morristown West 36, Cherokee 14
South-Doyle 26, Lenoir City 20 (OT)
Seymour 35, Claiborne 8
Jefferson County 42, Cumberland County 21
McMinn County 55, Heritage 14

Week 10 Schedule

Central at West
Booker T. Washington at Alcoa
Union County at Anderson County
Kingston at Austin-East
Jefferson County at Bearden
Rutledge at Carter
Powell at Clinton
Scott at Catholic
Morristown West at Cocke County
Grace Christian at Cosby
Oak Ridge at Farragut
South-Doyle at Halls
Oneida at Greenback
Campbell County at Karns
Maryville at Lenoir City
Fulton at Livingston Academy
King's Academy at Lookout Valley
Daniel Boone at Morristown East
Rockwood at Loudon
Claiborne at Pigeon Forge
Gibbs at Seymour
CAK at Sweetwater
Evangelical Christian at Webb
Heritage at William Blount

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