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Game Day

Game Day
Dyersburg at Obion Central

    PLACE, TIME: Rebel Field; 7 p.m.
2011 RECORDS: Dyersburg 7-2 (5-1); OC 8-2 (5-1).
COACHES (RECORDS):  Dyersburg: Bart Stowe (70-55 in 11th season); Obion Central: Shawn Jackson (26-25 in 5th season).
LAST MEETING: 2010. Obion Central won 48-7.
SERIES RECORD: Dyersburg leads 12-4.
KEY PLAYERS: Dyersburg — QB Haden Alford, RB Sharquawn Henderson, LB Oshawn Smith. Obion Central — QB Trey Phipps, LB Josh Quinton, RB/DB LaDevin Fair, WR/LB Tanner Cary, WR/DB Mason McGrew, LB Nathan Spaulding.
 OUTLOOK: This one has major implications as far as playoff seedlings go, but both teams — in all likelihood — will be on the road to Memphis for the first round of the postseason. The most sensible projection for the West quad has the winner finishing in third place in District play and with a No. 5 seed in the eight-team quadrant that will travel to play Kingsbury — a No. 4 seed — in Round 1 of the playoffs. Kingsbury (3-7) won’t have a winning record after beating Douglass last night, but will be an automatic qualifier as a league runnerup from District 15AA. The loser of the D’burg/OC game will be a sixth seed and play at Fairley, the District 16AA second-place team behind Mitchell. Fairley will come in with a 7-3 mark after losing to Sheffield 12-0 on Thursday night. Dyersburg will be either 7-3 or 8-2, while Central could be 9-1 and still not earn a home playoff game because of its entry as a wildcard behind Milan and Covington from District 13AA. Confused? None of this will be for certain until Saturday morning when the TSSAA officially announces its playoff brackets for all classifications. As far as the game itself, the third-ranked Rebels will look to set another school record with their ninth win in the regular season — something that has never been done before. They surely planted a seed last year when they scored on their first six possessions on their way to a 42-0 halftime lead in a shellacking of the Trojans. OC’s multiple weapons include a 2,400-yard passer in Phipps (33 TDs); a 1,000-yard rusher in Fair; and three receivers (McGrew, Cary and Marcus Parr) with more than 400 yards each. D’burg, meanwhile, will enter on a six-game winning streak. The only notable win during that stretch, was a 14-0 blanking of Westview. The Trojans lost to Covington 21-8, but led 8-0 into the fourth quarter. The team’s pass defense, though, is reportedly shaky at best. Offensively, Dyersburg will run some wing-T, some midline option and misdirection. Alford is a veteran, but will throw only when absolutely necessary. It’s Senior Night at OCCHS and more than 50 fall sports athletes will be honored in pre-game ceremonies, including 19 football players.

Humboldt @ Union City

  PLACE, TIME: War Memorial Stadium; 7:30 p.m.
2011 RECORDS:  Humboldt 8-1 (5-0); UC 4-5 (4-1).
COACHES (RECORDS):  Humboldt: Dan Bland (167-99 in 25th season); Union City: Darren Bowling (138-77 in 18th season).
LAST MEETING: 2010 — Humboldt won 38-15.
SERIES RECORD — Humboldt leads, 46-35-2.
KEY PLAYERS: Humboldt — RBs C.C. Moody, Ryeon Medley, WR Antonio Brooks, WR Chris McLilly, QB Jalen Montague. Union City — RB/LB Keylon Hyde, QB Travis Rutland OL/DL Joseph Shanks, Slot/SS Khiry Lewis, LB Tymaine Strickland, OL/DL Michael Dysart.
  OUTLOOK: Despite four losses by more than 15 points each — three of those by 30 or greater — the Tornadoes have positioned themselves for a shot at the District 14A championship and a top seed and first-round bye in the upcoming Class 1A playoffs. In defense of UC, those four aforementioned setbacks all came vs. Top 5 ranked teams in different classifications, those teams (Obion Central, Wayne County, Huntingdon, Dresden) currently sporting a 34-2 cumulative record. Union City’s other loss came vs. Lake County, a team that could end up 7-3 and with a top seed in the West quad. Current projections have the Twisters as a No. 4 seed if they lose, matched against Memphis Academy of Health Sciences in Round 1. That could change, however, pending Week 10 results. The Tornadoes cut their turnovers down to two last week and held on to beat South Fulton and clinch a playoff berth. Hyde went over the 1,000-yard mark for the second straight year with a 175-yard, two-TD rushing effort, while Lewis (team’s leading scorer with 96 points) also had more than 100 rushing yards and the game-sealing interception against his former club. Getting two-way starter Brett Gore back helped along the offensive line and at linebacker. Humboldt has won seven in a row — its only loss to Class 3A No. 2 Milan 10-0. The Vikings will be gunning for their second straight league title and moved up to No. 4 in this week’s Associated Press Class 2A state poll. As usual, the Vikes have tremendous speed on both sides of the ball with Moody their main weapon. H’boldt forced six turnovers in beating Lake County last week, but did give up more than 330 yards to the Falcons. A Humboldt victory would not only give the Vikings the District 14A title, but also likely the top seed in the Class 2A West quad for the upcoming playoffs. Four UCHS seniors will be honored during halftime ceremonies. Published in The Messenger 10.28.11

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