Region champions Hunters Lane, Brentwood High and Maplewood all got home games as the TSSAA announced the state football playoff pairings early Saturday.
Hunters Lane (8-2), having won Region 6-5A for the second time in three years, will host Dickson County, while Brentwood (8-2) clinched Region 5-5A with an exciting 21-20 win over big rival Franklin Friday and will host Rossview in 6A games Friday night.
“I think it’s fun to sit around and find out who you’re playing (Saturday morning) a lot like the NCAA Selection Show,’’ said Hunters Lane Coach Richard Campbell. “It’s the same for all of us, we’re all in the same boat. I would have really been nervous if we had been a wild card and had to sweat out getting in,’’ he added, laughing.
“At this point, we don’t know much about Dickson County, except they are always a hard-nosed, tough team for anyone to play,’’ Campbell said.
Maplewood (6-4), playing without head coach Ralph Thompson who was ill, scraped out a rainy 5-0 win over rival Whites Creek. The Panthers will host Scott County in their Class 4A opener.
Glencliff (5-5), one of the big surprises in Nashville, not only clinched a playoff berth a week ago, but the Colts landed a 5A home game. Glencliff hosts White County (1-9), and the Colts seem to have a good shot at their first playoff win since 1999, a year when they reached the state finals.
Overton (8-2) will visit Franklin and Independence (6-4) has a long trip to Memphis Arlington in the other 6A area matchups. Ravenwood barely missed as a wild card, despite its 19-6 win over Independence.
Despite all its troubles this season, Hillsboro (3-7) got back into the playoffs, thanks to a 9-6 overtime win over Centennial in a battle of the two District 11-5A teams. The Burros make a trip Friday to Clinton to play Anderson County in 5A.
Of note, Oak Ridge (7-3), coached by ex-Hillsboro boss Scott Blade whose Burros won the 4A state title last year, clinched a berth and will host McMinn County in 6A.
Goodpasture (8-2) grabbed the top seed in its quadrant of the Class 3A bracket. The region champ Cougars, who clinched he title with a 7-0 rainy win at Greenbrier, will host Grundy County in their opener.
Pearl-Cohn clinched a playoff berth with the 10-0 win over CPA and will travel to Cannon County in its Class 4A opener. The Firebirds (5-5) are back in the playoffs after a year’s absence.
David Lipscomb (7-3), which has won its last three games in the final two minutes, clinched a home game in Class 4A. The Mustangs will host Jackson South Side.
Not everyone was as fortunate. East Literature (5-5) lost its final two games and the first year program barely missed out on the 3A playoffs.
“This was tough,’’ said Coach James (Bubba) Spears whose team could have clinched with a win over Lipscomb Thursday. “You have to know that every game, every down counts. I had a couple of coaches tell me we were the 33rd team (3A takes 32). We had our chances. We’ll have to work harder and shoot higher next year.’’
In Division II-AA, Father Ryan clinched a bye and a home playoff opener with a tough 21-11 win at Baylor. MBA got a home rematch with BGA, a team it lost to 26-14 on Oct. 2, with that winner to face top-ranked Ensworth (9-0). Brentwood Academy will host Pope JPII, with that winner to visit CBHS.
In DII-A, FRA nailed down a home game with a tough 10-7 win over Ezell-Harding, which was eliminated with the loss. The Panthers will host FACS Fridaty. Davidson Academy clinched the title and a first-round bye. Donelson Christian will host Fayette Academy Friday.
All playoff games start at 7 p.m., local time.
• FRA Soccer: Due to the inclement weather, FRA has moved its Saturday DII Sectional home soccer game against USJ to Monday at 5 p.m. That winner advances to state.