High school football top performers: Semifinals

With the semifinals of the TSSAA high school football playoffs wrapped up, here are some of the top performers from Friday:

Will Orren, Maryville

The senior defensive back made sure Maryville would not fall to Oakland for the third time in the span of one year. Orren forced three turnovers on the Patriots’ final three possessions, a forced fumble and two interceptions — the first setting up the game-winning field goal by Jack Cone with 21 seconds left and the second on Oakland’s last-second Hail Mary in the end zone — to lead the Rebels to a 31-28 victory.

Maryville defensive back Will Orren hits Oakland’s Justin Jefferson and forces a fumble in the Rebels’ 31-28 victory over the Patriots on Friday, Nov. 24. (Photo courtesy of Jeff Weaver)

Jack Sompayrac, Catholic

Sompayrac paced a dominant offensive performance against a Central defense that had allowed 10.25 points per game during its four-game winning streak to reach to the semifinals. The senior completed 15 of his 21 passes for 201 yards and two touchdowns, and he also rushed 58 yards and a pair of scores in the Fighting Irish’s 42-7 victory.

AJ Davis, Maryville

Davis was the go-to player for the Rebels offensively, as he reeled in nine catches for 109 yards and a touchdown, while also throwing a 48-yard touchdown to senior quarterback Dylan Hopkins on a double reverse pass.

Breeden Gilbert, Greenback

A week after scoring six touchdowns against region foe Coalfield in the quarterfinals, Gilbert tacked on three more scores in the Cherokees’ 31-21 victory over South Pittsburg to send them to the BlueCross Bowl in Cookeville for the third consecutive year. The junior rushed for 60 yards and two scores and threw for 68 yards and a touchdown.

Seth Riddle, Greenback

Riddle may have had the highlight of the semifinal round, hauling in Gilbert’s touchdown pass with one hand before sprinting into the end zone. The junior recorded four catches for 107 yards and the score.

Jalen McCord, Alcoa

The junior became the first Alcoa running back to eclipse the 100-yard mark this season, rushing for 111 yards on 12 carries in the Tornadoes’ 34-0 victory over Red Bank.

Junior running back Jalen McCord attempts to fight through a tackle during Alcoa’s 30-14 victory over Grace Christian on Thursday, August 17. (Image: Travis Haston | 865 Preps)

Dashon Bussell, Catholic

Bussell, a Western Michigan commit, hauled in five catches for 88 yards and a touchdown in the Fighting Irish’s victory. He has seven touchdowns in four playoff games.

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