Keys for Week 9

It is hard to believe we are at Week 9 of the high school season already. With a full slate of games, we take a look at our thoughts heading into Friday night.

Elizabethton at Unicoi County: The Cyclones make the short trek to Erwin for another Three Rivers Conference clash. Elizabethton has had no trouble of late as they have rolled to six straight wins with an average margin of victory over 36 points per game.

Elizabethton’s Ethan Thomas has had no trouble moving the ball, and Caleb Armstrong has made the passing game just as big of a threat as the running game with receiver Markus Olds. The Cyclone offense has powered the way, but the defense has held their own by limiting scoring opportunities by opponents.

Simply, the Cyclones must continue that recipe as we near the playoffs, and Friday night is a great place to start.

Cloudland at Hancock County: After a couple of rough games, Cloudland got back on track at home against South Greene. The Highlanders have struggled on the road this season, and Friday night is a great chance to solve the road woes before a Week 10 showdown at Hampton.

Cloudland’s three-headed attack in Colby Birchfield, Austin Whitehead and Zac Benfield have the attention of opposing defenses, and continue to lead the ‘Landers. At Hancock, Cloudland has to get past their road issues and control the game from the opening kick to make it a successful trip to Sneedville.

South Greene at Hampton: The Bulldogs are continuing to improve as the season marches on, and Friday night will be another chance for the defense to shine. While the Hampton offense is one of the best in the region, the defense has quietly recorded solid games

The Rebels aren’t for sure who will be the starting quarterback on Friday night as they saw all three quarterbacks injured during their game with Cloudland. The Hampton defense should be able to control the game, and the offense led by Jerry Lunsford and Coby Jones will put up points.

Happy Valley at Sullivan East: The Warriors finally got in the win column last week. Now, they hope the momentum can carry them to an upset of the Patriots. Phillip Garland had an incredible game against Unicoi County behind an offensive line that continues to grow stronger.

Against East, the Warriors must be able to stop the Patriots offensive attack or be prepared for a shootout. However, Happy Valley can counter that with ball control if they can sustain long drives, and it should be a fun night in Bluff City.

North Greene at Unaka: The Rangers are coming off a heartbreaking loss to Tri-Cities Christian, while the Huskies fell to Cosby a week after upsetting Cloudland. This game, frankly, is a toss-up because both teams have the weapons to pull out a win. Unaka must have a great game from Micah Hunt as North Greene’s offense can put points on the board.

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