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Rebels playing right numbers in rise up polls

Rebels playing right numbers in rise up polls
By MIKE HUTCHENS
Messenger Sports Editor
9-9-6-5-4.
It’s not the winning lottery number, but rather Obion Central’s gradual rise in the Associated Press Class 4A state football rankings.
The Rebels, who last week posted their highest-ever standing in the poll, repeated that this week with a No. 4 position in the weekly statewide vote of writers and broadcasters.
OC (6-0) replaced Chattanooga Red Bank and now trails only No. 1 ranked Lexington, Greeneville and Signal Mountain in the AP poll. Central collected 163 total points and garnered one of 23 first-place ballots cast.
Obion Central is one of just three Class 4A unbeaten teams in the state — the other two (Lexington and No. 5 Chester County) also rural West Tennessee entries.
The Rebels, who trailed for the first time all season in what ultimately was a 50-30 victory over Montgomery Central, can set a record for the most consecutive wins to start a season and the longest winning streak in school history with a triumph at home vs. South Gibson (4-1) this week.
Lexington, the top-rated 4A team for three weeks now, narrowly held on to that distinction by just a single point after Greeneville whipped perennial Class 3A power and reigning state champion Alcoa 42-14 to close what had been a considerably-wider gap. Lexington received one more first-place vote (11-10) than did G’ville.
Signal Mountain, the Class 2A state titleist last year, also posted an impressive victory to solidify its status at No. 3. SM thrashed Chattanooga rival and previous single-A No. 1 South Pittsburg, 65-36. The loss cost SP the top ranking in Class 1A, the Pirates replaced in that role by Wayne County.
OC’s District 13AA brethren Covington (4-1) joined the 4A Top 10 for the first time at No. 9. The Chargers’ only loss came vs. Tipton County rival Brighton, a 5A entry with just one loss.
Milan remained No. 1 in Class 3A, while Huntingdon is still fourth in single-A despite a change at the top of the poll.
Perry County (5-0) moved up to second, though that will likely change next week with the word from the TSSAA confirmed Monday that the Vikings will be forced to vacate three wins for playing ineligible players.
Class 2A’s Top 10 has four area entries, Humboldt (fifth), Dresden (sixth), Adamsville (eighth) and McKenzie (ninth). The Vikings, who edged McKenzie, stayed put from last week, with Dresden and A’ville moving up and the Rebels sliding three spots.
In Class 5A this week, unbeaten Henry County (6-0) held onto the No. 3 spot in preparation for its showdown with District 10AAA rival Clarksville Northeast. Northeast fell to neighboring Clarksville, 42-41, last week to fall three places in the rankings to tenth.
Dyer County (5-1)moved up from 10th to sixth.
For a complete AP Top 10 in all classifications, see page nine.
Sports editor Mike Hutchens can be contacted by e-mail at mhutch@ucmessenger.com Published in The Messenger 9.27.11

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