Saturday, September 20, 2014 · 8:03 p.m.

The Nooga Nine

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Chattanooga-area football ended with Boyd-Buchanan’s 27-6 loss at Friendship Christian in the Class AA semifinals. East Hamilton remains at No. 1, while Baylor moved up to No. 2 with the Buccaneers’ defeat. 

  1. 1. East Hamilton (11-1)
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The Hurricanes gave No. 1 Giles County its toughest test of the season two weeks ago, 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 in Cookeville, Tenn., 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. 

  1. 2. 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. 3. Boyd-Buchanan (11-2)
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The Buccaneers were the last Chattanooga-area team standing this season, but their postseason run was cut short by a familiar opponent last Friday. Boyd-Buchanan didn’t have an answer for No. 1 Friendship Christian’s offense, and a leg injury to quarterback Jim Cardwell late in the first half kept the Bucs’ attack from getting much going in the final two quarters. Boyd, which averaged 34 points per game this season, scored a season-low in last week’s 27-6 loss to the Commanders.

Last week: Friendship Christian 27, Boyd-Buchanan 6

4. Ooltewah (9-4)

The Owls appeared to be cruising toward a Class 5A semifinal berth midway through the first quarter of their game at No. 1 Columbia two weeks ago. 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. 

  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, were 5-3 from that point on.

  1. 8. Signal Mountain (7-4)

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 its 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 (6-5)
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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, 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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