|Union City at Humboldt
PLACE, TIME: Barker Memorial Stadium, 7:30 p.m.
2010 RECORDS: UC 3-3 (1-1); Humboldt 4-3 (3-0).
COACHES (RECORDS): Union City: Darren Bowling (132-69 in 17th season; 25-7 in 3rd year at UC); Humboldt: Dan Bland (155-97 in 24th season.
LAST MEETING: 2009. Union City won, 42-14.
SERIES RECORD — Humboldt leads all-time, 45-35-2.
LAST WEEK — Union City hammered Greenfield, 56-21, while Humboldt outlasted Trenton, 13-3.
NEXT WEEK — Union City hosts Halls, while Humboldt plays at Greenfield.
KEY PLAYERS: Union City — QB Chase Bowling, RB/LB Keylon Hyde, LB Brett Gore, OL/DL Joseph Shanks, WR/DB Travis Rutland, Slot Deandrez Williams. Humboldt — RBs Quan Campbell, Ryeon Wedley and Antonio Brooks, QB Brian Harris, DB Zack Shepherd.
OUTLOOK: The District 14A playoff picture will either be crystal clear or even more fuzzy at the top when the outcome of this showdown is decided. Humboldt — already with wins over Lake County, Trenton and South Fulton — can essentially lock up the league championship with a victory, while UC cannot only greatly help its postseason cause, but also brighten the hopes of LC, Peabody and SF with a triumph that would also keep its dream of a third straight district/region title alive. Both teams depend almost solely on their respective running games as the Vikings have completed just 12 passes for 119 yards total in seven games while Union City has just nine completions — but for 337 yards and five TDs — in six contests. Hyde, just a sophomore, needs just 71 yards to eclipse the 1,000-yard rushing mark, while Campbell is closing in on his third such campaign with over 800 yards to-date.
Obion Central at Dyersburg
PLACE, TIME: J.C. Sawyers Stadium, 7:30 p.m.
2010 RECORDS: OC 2-4 (0-2); Dyersburg 2-4 (1-2).
COACHES (RECORDS): Obion Central: Shawn Jackson (15-22 in 4th season, 7-19 in 3rd season at OC); Dyersburg: Bart Stowe (62-50 in 10th season; 7-10 in 2nd year at Dyersburg).
LAST MEETING: 2009. Obion Central won, 22-20.
SERIES RECORD — Dyersburg leads all-time, 12-3.
LAST WEEK — Obion Central lost to Covington, 35-30, while Dyersburg stunned previously-unbeaten Crockett County, 42-35.
NEXT WEEK — Obion Central hosts Westview, while Dyersburg plays Milan at home.
KEY PLAYERS: Obion Central — RB LaDevin Fair, QB Trey Phipps, LB Josh Quinton, OL Spenser Maloney, WRs Mason McGrew and Tanner Cary. Dyersburg — RBs Trevor Caldwell, Demite Warren and Marquisten Joe, DE Brandon Jennings, QB Hayden Alford.
OUTLOOK: The loser here — barring a minor miracle — will likely be eliminated from the Class 4A playoff chase. And the two teams will likely be in contrasting moods. OC is coming off a bitter five-point loss to Covington last week in a contest in which they could neither stop the Chargers’ running game nor overcome three turnovers — one inside the 10. D’burg, meanwhile, stunned then No. 2-ranked and previously unbeaten Crockett County to post back-to-back wins after a 0-4 start, scoring the deciding TD in the final two minutes after blowing a 35-13 fourth quarter lead. The Rebels’ season-long struggles against the run resurfaced last week with Carlos Williams running for 309 yards, and opponents are averaging 361 yards-per-game vs. OC this season. Both of the Rebels’ region losses this year have come by less than a touchdown margin.
South Fulton at Lake County
PLACE, TIME: Bill Wray Field, 7 p.m.
2010 RECORDS: SF 4-2 (1-2); Lake Co. 5-1 (1-1).
COACHES (RECORDS): South Fulton: Kelly Spivey (16-12 in 3rd season); Lake County: David Barger (42-39 in 8th season).
LAST MEETING: 2009. SF won, 27-9.
SERIES RECORD — Lake County leads all-time, 25-12.
LAST WEEK — South Fulton beat Halls, 34-7, while Lake County topped Hayti (Mo.), 40-22.
NEXT WEEK — South Fulton plays at Reidland, while Lake County visits Trenton.
KEY PLAYERS: South Fulton — QB JaQuay Garmon, RBs J.P. Fowler and Chance Barnes, LB/RB Cody Tatum and Will Kneuppel, WR Khiry Lewis. Lake County — QB Sam Hays, RB Ricky Boyd, WB Rafael Tyler, LB Caylan Bargery.
OUTLOOK: The Devils’ road to the playoffs gets much tougher this week with the fifth-ranked Falcons, and also includes 4-2 Reidland, always-tough Trenton and reigning Class 1A state champion Union City over the next three Fridays. SF likely needs to win two of those games to assure itself of a return trip to the playoffs, though one victory in the next month could help the Redmen sneak in. LC, on the other hand, starts a telling three-game stretch vs. South Fulton that also includes Trenton and Union City, and will determine the Falcons’ ultimate postseason fate. There are explosive playmakers on both sides, with Hays’ numbers (900 passing yards, 14 TDs and 465 rushing yards and 5 scores) supporting the fact that the Lake County signal-caller is a true dual threat. Tyler has 10 touchdown grabs among his 24 receptions. SF’s victory against the Green and Gold last season was likely the team’s best overall performance of the season and snapped Lake County’s five-game winning streak in the series.