Red Bank awaits in semi-final

When area high school football teams begin preparations for the season during the dog days of summer, the goal is to have practice on Thanksgiving Day.

A holiday practice means that you’re in the midst of a deep playoff run and have a shot at a state championship.

One area team will have a Thanksgiving walkthrough this week, and it’s cleared two longtime hurdles to get there.

Anderson County (13-0) will have a Class 4A State semifinal showdown against Red Bank (11-2) Friday night in Chattanooga. Kickoff is slated for 7 p.m.

The Mavericks advanced to the semifinals with a 38-7 victory over longtime nemesis and top-ranked Greeneville (12-1) last week at ACHS.

The Lions, meanwhile, won their state quarterfinal tilt, 28-6, at East Hamilton Friday night, avenging a 14-0 regular-season loss to the Hurricanes (9-4) on Sept. 30.

Red Bank enters the game riding a crest of momentum, as it has won five consecutive games, including two straight postseason road wins.

After the Mavericks’ quarterfinal win over Greeneville Friday night, Anderson County High School Head Coach Davey Gillum said he didn’t know much about the Lions.


“Red Bank may be a lot more athletic in the secondary, so if we don’t win the line of scrimmage battle … ” he said.

ACHS has two wins over Elizabethton this season. The Mavs edged the Cyclones in overtime in September and knocked off another longtime nemesis in the quarterfinals to advance.

Both Greeneville and the Cyclones have had the upper hand against ACHS in the playoffs in recent years.

Friday’s game will mark ACHS’s second appearance in the state semifinals. The Mavs reached the semifinals in 1995 when now-coach Gillum played at Anderson County.

Anderson County and the Lions had one common opponent in 2022. Each played Rhea County (2-9), and both beat the Golden Eagles.