The Oak Ridge Wildcats will host Rhea County in a first-round Class 5A football playoff game today. The game will start at 7 p.m. Friday, November 2, on Blankenship Field in Oak Ridge.
The two teams last met in the playoffs four years ago, in November 2014, when Oak Ridge had a thrilling fourth-quarter comeback, narrowing a three-touchdown deficit to one. But the Wildcats were unable to make up for missed opportunities and turnovers and fell to the Golden Eagles 35-21 in a state quarterfinal playoff game. At 12-0, both teams were undefeated before the game, which made it a historic showdown on Blankenship Field.
This year’s Rhea County team has a losing record at 4-5 in Region 4, while the Wildcats are 8-2 and finished second in Region 3.
But high school sports website 5StarPreps.com said that Rhea County, known for its Wing-T offense, is “no gimme” against Oak Ridge.
The winner of tonight’s Oak Ridge-Rhea County game will advance to the second round to play the winner of the first-round game between Clinton, a 4-6 team from Region 3, and Soddy-Daisy, a 5-4 team from Region 4. The winners of the second-round games will then advance to the state quarterfinals.
In the two other Region 3-Region 4 games, Fulton (9-1 and the top team team in Region 3 after last week’s 21-13 win at Oak Ridge) will host Lenoir City (5-5 in Region 4), and Knoxville Catholic (6-3 in Region 4) will host West (4-6 in Region 3).
More information will be added as it becomes available.
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