By MIKE HUTCHENS
Messenger Sports Editor
Union City will carry a No. 9 state ranking into the Class 1A state playoffs.
The Golden Tornadoes moved up one spot in the final Associated Press Top 10 of the season Monday following a 28-17 victory over Humboldt that gave them an automatic postseason bid and a first-round bye.
UC, which will enter the ‘second season’ with a 7-3 record, had been listed at No. 10 for four consecutive weeks in the state listing of Single-A teams.
The locals were ranked as high as No. 2 early in the season, but fell down — though not ever completely out — of the poll after a four-game stretch in which they lost three times.
Union City received 39 total points in the final statewide vote of writers and broadcasters and replaced Copper Basin — a 48-14 loser to Class 2A No. 2 Boyd Buchanan last week — in the ninth spot in 1A.
The Twisters will host the winner of the first-round matchup between Lake County (5-5) and fourth-ranked Huntingdon (8-2) in Round 2. Either opponent would provide a rematch for the Purple and Gold as UC won a 34-28 overtime decision vs. LC on Oct. 5, while the Mustangs soundly defeated the Tornadoes at War Memorial Stadium, handing them their first loss after three victories, 38-22 Sept. 7.
Gordonsville and Moore County — the latter the lone unbeaten Class A team remaining — were listed 1 and 2 in the final poll of the season.
South Pittsburg, a perennial Single-A power that lost to new 2A No. 1 Grace Christian 47-27, fell from third to fifth and will enter the playoffs with a 7-3 mark.
West Carroll (8-2) remained sixth after beating McKenzie 21-14 to claim the second automatic bid from District 13A.
Dresden’s first loss of the season — a 38-6 shellacking at the hands of Huntingdon in Week 10 — cost the Lions their No. 1 ranking in Class 2A.
Dresden fell to No. 5, behind the aforementioned Grace Christian, Boyd Buchanan, reigning state champion Friendship Christian School and Adamsville.
The Lions will have an extra week to lick their wounds as they earned a bye in Round 1 of the playoffs and a top seed in the West Quad after winning the tie-breaker for the district title via most overall wins over West Carroll and Huntingdon.
Dresden will play the winner of the first-round game between Trinity Christian (6-4) and Booker T. Washington (3-7), at home on Nov. 9.
Trenton, which won its first district championship in 20 years by sailing unbeaten through 14A, remained ninth after clubbing Greenfield 42-3 in its regular season finale.
Despite its title run, Peabody (7-3) was still just a three-seed in the state’s complicated playoff system and must play an opening round game — a rematch in fact — vs. Humboldt (6-4) this week.
The Tide beat H’boldt in Week 8 of the regular season 21-14, ultimately ending the Vikes’ two-year reign atop District 14A.
In the final Class 3A poll, South Gibson was fifth after completing just its second full varsity season with a perfect 10-0 record. Milan, with eight wins in 10 games and the state runnerup to Christian Academy of Knoxville last year, stayed at No. 8.
SG is a one-seed in the playoffs in the eight-team West Quad and will play 4-6 East Hickman in Round 1 of the postseason, while Milan was seeded third in the same bracket and will host Manassas (6-4) in its playoff opener.
Unbeaten Covington (10-0) ended up second, Lexington (9-1) fifth and Dyersburg (9-1) eighth in the last 4A poll of the 2012 campaign.
And while the Chargers and Lexington are rightfully top seeds in Quad 4 and 3, respectively, D’burg — whose only loss of the season was a 20-3 setback vs. Covington in Week 2 — is a sixth seed and will travel to play Trezevant (8-2) in Memphis in the first round.
Jackson Northside, another rural West Tennessee team to end its regular season unblemished in 10 games, is second and defending state champion Henry County sixth in Class 5A.
University School of Jackson, 10-0 as well, was ranked No. 7 in Division II.
A complete listing of the polls can be found on page 9.
Sports editor Mike Hutchens can be contacted by email at email@example.com.
Published in The Messenger 10.30.12