Wednesday, October 1, 2014 · 6:18 p.m.

The Nooga Nine

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There weren't any changes in the rankings this week, but two more teams were defeated last week in the quarterfinals. No. 1 East Hamilton fell at unbeaten Giles County, while No. 4 Ooltewah gave up 31-unanswered points to Columbia in its lopsided defeat. No. 2 Boyd-Buchanan is the only team left standing in the semifinal round.

  1. 1. East Hamilton
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The Hurricanes gave No. 1 Giles County its toughest test of the season last Friday, but they were unable to hold on to a 16-14 fourth-quarter advantage against the Bobcats. In its last go around in Class 4A, East Hamilton advanced to the quarterfinals for the first time in school history, but its hard not to wonder if the ‘Canes would battling for a shot at the title game Friday if not for the loss of star running back Logan Jackson. The 6-1, 205-pound senior, who suffered a season-ending ACL tear in East Hamilton’s first-round win over Marshall County, racked up 1,624 yards and 25 touchdowns on the season. 

Last week: Giles County 22, East Hamilton 16

  1. 2. Boyd-Buchanan (12-1)
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The Buccaneers strung together 21-unanswered points in the second half at Knoxville Grace, rolling into the Class 2A semifinals last Friday in Knoxville. Boyd-Buchanan, the only Chattanooga area team still alive in the playoffs, will travel to Friendship Christian Friday for a much-anticipated rematch with the Commanders. The Bucs suffered a season-ended 21-20 home loss to Friendship in last season’s quarterfinals, and they’d like nothing more than to return the favor this year. 

Last week: Boyd-Buchanan 35, Knoxville Grace 13

This week: at Friendship Christian

  1. 3. Baylor (8-4) 
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The Red Raiders’ season came to an end with a 20-14 loss at Memphis University School two weeks ago. Baylor, which had a chance to tie or take the lead late in the fourth quarter, put up a good fight against the Owls, but wasn’t able to pull off the upset. The Red Raiders beat the teams it should have this season, but they weren’t quite in the same class as the top-tier teams in Division II-AA.

  1. 4. Ooltewah (9-4)
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The Owls appeared to be cruising toward a Class 5A semifinal berth midway through the first quarter of last week’s game at No. 1 Columbia. Then the Lions reeled off 17 straight second-quarter points, junior running back Desmond Pittman left the game with an ankle injury early in the third quarter and Ooltewah ultimately suffered a 31-13 season-ending loss. 

Last week: Columbia 31, Ooltewah 13

  1. 5. Silverdale (10-2)
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The Seahawks couldn’t quite reach the Class 2A quarterfinals, which would have set up a highly anticipated rematch with Boyd-Buchanan, the team responsible for Silverdale’s only regular-season loss. While they didn’t get the result they were hoping for, the Seahawks’ eight-point loss to Knoxville Grace was still impressive. It was the Rams’ smallest margin of victory in more than a month. 

  1. 6. Notre Dame (9-3)
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The Fighting Irish made huge strides in Charles Fant’s first year as head coach. Notre Dame earned a second-place finish in District 7-AA, and with its starting lineup filled with freshmen and sophomores, the Fighting Irish’s future certainly seems bright. 

  1. 7. South Pittsburg (8-4)
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The Pirates scored just 13 points in their season-ending loss at No. 2 Gordonsville, their lowest point total of the season. South Pittsburg began the season with four lopsided wins, but things were never the same after its 55-54 loss to Signal Mountain on Sept. 21. The Pirates, who lost two of their final three regular-season games, went 5-3 from that point on. 

  1. 8. Signal Mountain (7-4)
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The Eagles started the season with the highest of hopes, but 2012 didn’t turn out the way they had planned. Following its 1-3 start, Signal Mountain seemed to have found its groove. The Eagles had won six straight and had scored 61 points in each of their final two regular-season games. All that momentum didn’t translate to the field in the first round of the Class 4A playoffs, though, as Signal Mountain was knocked off by Page 42-41.

  1. 9. Bradley Central (6-4)
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The Bears concluded their 2012 season with consecutive losses to District 5-AAA foe McMinn County. The Cherokees defeated Bradley Central 34-29 in their regular-season finale three weeks ago, and they cruised to a 42-22 first-round victory the following week. Injuries certainly played a role in the Bears’ up-and-down season, while senior quarterback Bryce Copeland carried his team as far as he could. 

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