A homecoming opponent ruining the night and teams gritting out wins were the Week 4 highlights across Carter County last Friday night.

Can you believe we are getting ready for Week 5?

Me neither. Time is flying.

Before we turn our attention to Week 4, here are some thoughts from another busy night around the county.

Happy Valley’s resolve to get a win.
The Warriors weren’t thrilled to be Unicoi County’s homecoming. They took their frustrations out on the Blue Devils in the second half, and you have to believe some frustrations from the first two games came out in the contest.

It was a big win for the Warriors – who thought that had let two games slip through their fingers in Week 2 and Week 3 (Happy Valley was off Week 1). Jason Jarrett’s team deserved a win and needed a win. Now that the monkey is off the team’s back and a trip to Cosby coming on Friday, it could be truly be the start of a new era on Warrior Hill.

Elizabethton’s Team Approach
It wasn’t pretty, but the Cyclones will take it. Elizabethton moved to 2-1 with a 21-7 win over Daniel Boone, and moved to 2-0 on the season. However, the offense led by Hunter Tyree has taken a workman’s approach to this season, and it is paying off. With four solid running backs and Tyree finding a groove in the passing game, the Cyclone offense is getting stronger on a weekly basis.

Ethan Thomas was the workhorse last season for Elizabethton. It took a lot to fill the role left behind, but the Cyclones are doing it with a group of great players. As this team continues to gel, it will be a fun second part of the season in Elizabethton.

Cloudland’s Desire
On Friday night, Cloudland settled into a battle – again. For the fourth time this season, the ‘Landers were locked in a tight battle, and for the third time came away with an impressive win. Cloudland is severely hurting on depth, and at some point you think it will start to show. However, the lone exception to that is the Northview Academy game where the 3A school pulled away in the final quarter.

Cloudland was playing an Avery County squad that has over 650 kids inside the high school. The Vikings played a lot of spread offense to try and wear down the ‘Landers. Cloudland bent at times, but they didn’t break as they came away with the win.

Unaka’s Road Less Traveled
If the Rangers don’t want to see a school bus again after this week’s trip to JI Burton, who could blame them. Unaka traveled to Harriman on Friday night to complete their third trip in three weeks past the I-81/I-40 split. While the Rangers got their first win in Week 3 at Concord Christian, it has been a tough road with a heartbreaking loss at Cosby.

While the Rangers were overmatched by Harriman on Friday night – the Blue Devils are one of the favorites to make a playoff run from that region, matters were made worse when storms delayed the game until a 9:07 kick. That made for an even later night for the Rangers players, coaches and fans. However, the early road trips will make the Rangers a better team – and tougher – when they are at home in front of rowdy crowd on the creek.