As we head into Week 1, we take a look at this week’s games and the things to watch on Friday night.
Science Hill at Elizabethton– Last year, Elizabethton came up a yard short of victory. This season, Ethan Thomas and the Cyclones are going to be sure that it doesn’t happen time. Elizabethton’s ground game must control of the game to put the Cyclones in position to win. However, Thomas is joined by a trio of great backs that ran all over Daniel Boone last week.
Happy Valley at Cloudland– For Happy Valley, this is a crucial game to be so early in the season. After being clipped by Volunteer last week, the Warriors will need to pick up a win for playoff standings.
However, it will be easier said then done as they try to get back to full strength. The key to the game will at the line of scrimmage.as the Warriors got “whipped” last week according to Head Coach Larry Shively’s own words. Against a Cloudland defense that held a dangerous Avery County offense in check last week, Phillip Garland, Josh Hammonds and the running game will be key to leave Roan Mountain with a win.
For Cloudland, this will be a strong statement as far as where they stand this season. After holding Avery scoreless last week, the ‘Landers defense will be chomping at the bit to slow down the Warriors.
The key for the ‘Landers will simply be to put points on the board. Cloudland was unable to capitalize with points on great field position and long drives last week. While Cloudland was able to spread the ball around, they will need to find a way to keep getting the ball to their weapons on the edge.
Onieda at Hampton– For Hampton, they just need to keep on trucking. After showing off an improved offensive and defensive attack in a win over Unicoi County, the Bulldogs want to improve for their home opener.
Hampton will have to find someone to step up to fill the role of Adam McClain, who will be out 6-8 weeks due to injury. However, Jerry Lunsford, who won the first Applebee’s of Elizabethton Player of the week, will look to carry the ball more, and Coby Jones and the passing attack make Hampton hard to stop even in the absence of McClain.
Unaka at Sullivan East– A young Rangers squad showed a lot of fight last week after a long and hot trip to Oliver Springs. While last week’s key was to get experience and stay healthy, this week at Sullivan East will be much the same.
The trip to Bluff City will give the Rangers another night of game experience and another chance to improve. With games looming against Hampton and at Cloudland, Unaka has to stay healthy against the nonconference Patriots.