Oak Ridge had a strong third quarter, scoring twice against Maryville and tying a Friday night second-round playoff game at 25.
But it wasn’t enough. The top-ranked Rebels answered with two touchdowns of their own in the fourth quarter and beat the Wildcats 39-25.
The Wildcats were down 25-10 at halftime, but the football team mounted a comeback in the third quarter with a 16-play drive and an interception by quarterback Rian Hall.
But the momentum shifted back to Maryville and its running game in the fourth quarter, and Hall was injured and had to leave the game with a little more than eight minutes to play.
It was the second match-up between the Wildcats (10-2) and Rebels (12-0) this year. Oak Ridge lost both, one during the regular season and the second during Friday night’s Class 6A playoff game in Maryville.
The Rebels will play the Dobyns-Bennett Indians (12-0) in Maryville next week.
Oak Ridge beat Science Hill 35-28 in a first-round playoff game last week.
The Wildcats finished the regular season 9-1, the best since 2005, and the football team was undefeated in the district and also district champions.