South Pittsburg closes Coalfield for the primary time since 2013 within the title recreation – Chattanooga Occasions Free Press


SOUTH PITTSBURG, Tenn. – All gas, no brakes.

The best-placed South Pittsburg hit the accelerator from the very first moment and throttled the previously undefeated and second-placed Coalfield 42-0 in the TSSAA Class 1A semi-finals on Friday at Beene Stadium.

After being banned from returning to the state championship game for six years, the pirates got tired of just knocking. South Pittsburg, who played in its fifth semifinals in five years – after narrowly losing the previous three – threw the door off its hinges with a dominant performance on either side of the ball.

"It means a lot to finally get over the mountain," said senior linebacker J.J. Beene, who fixed a bug on Coalfield's opening game so the Pirates could score a goal five games later and quickly take control of the game. "This is what the seniors have been working towards for years and it's just a great feeling.

"We were very busy this year and we didn't even know if we would ever have a season, but now we will be able to play for a national championship and that has been our dream since we were children."

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South Pittsburg closes Coalfield and returns to the title game for the first time

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South Pittsburg (13-1) will face Fayetteville (12-2) in the BlueCross Bowl State Championship game at Tennessee Tech University this Friday at 4:00 p.m. East. Fayetteville defeated last year's national champion Lake County in the other semifinals with 38:24.

The win extends the Pirates streak as the state's only program – regardless of classification – to have played for one title in every decade since the playoff format began in 1969. In addition, South Pittsburg's 15 seniors set a 33-0 home record during their four-year career.

After Coalfield turnover (12-1) early in the game, De & # 39; Andre Kelly, who ran back, gave South Pittsburg the lead with a 3-yard touchdown run. Senior Hunter Frame, the finalist of South Pittsburg's Tennessee Titans Mr. Football, followed with scoring runs of 36, 69 and 19 yards, and Gio Davis added a 25-yard fumble return for the Pirates' fifth defensive scoring of the season when they did a 35 built a -0 half-time lead.

"It's always a big deal for us to get out early and set the tone and we jumped pretty well on them straight away," said Frame, who ran 10 runs for 174 yards in the first half. "I don't think they wanted to be in a game at the pace we set."

The Pirates – who have eight grace rule wins this season – have beaten the yellow jackets a total of 366-54 yards, with 300 of South Pittsburg's totals coming to the bottom. Coalfield was held at minus eleven rushing yards in the second half.

"I'm happy for our players and our community," said Pirate coach Vic Grider. "This is the goal for our program every year. We've been so close lately so I'm really glad we finally made it.

"We had to do some big things quickly and then just do what we do. There weren't any new formations or trick games, we just have some really good players who have been through a very tough year and now we have the chance to bring home another gold ball. "

Contact Stephen Hargis at or 423-757-6293. Follow him on Twitter @StephenHargis.



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