Week 10 is here and what a fun night it promises to be. With conference titles on the line in two games and season finales for two other games, Carter County is going to be filled with wall-to-wall football action. Let’s take a look at the games for this week.
Sullivan South at Elizabethton: The Three Rivers Conference championship battle shaped up exactly how most thought it would end. The Rebels and Cyclones each enter the game with one regular season loss, but both are perfect in Three Rivers play.
The key to the game will be who can stop the other offense. Elizabethton will see Ethan Thomas, Caleb Armstrong, Marcus Olds and Caleb Jones play important roles on the offensive side of the ball, while Sullivan South will look to Dylan Wieger and Blake Christian for scores.
Neither defense has an easy task, but both have excelled throughout the year. On paper, this matchup could be about as even as they come. The team that avoids the costly turnovers and penalties will walk off the field victorious.
While the Three Rivers Conference crown is at stake, the winner should also get a home playoff game, while the other will most likely have to travel in the first round with a tougher road to go.
Cloudland at Hampton: Down the road, another chapter in the storied rivalry will be contested at JC Campbell Stadium with major stakes on the line. The Highlanders and Bulldogs will both enter with an 8-1 record, but Cloudland’s misstep came at conference foe North Greene giving Hampton an edge up in the Mountain East race.
However, the winner will take the automatic champions bid for the TSSAA playoffs and get a first-round bye and then a second round home game, while the other will have to depend on other results to find where their playoff fortunes (as well as byes) lie.
As far as the game, Hampton has the tall task of replacing junior quarterback Coby Jones, who will miss the game due to an ankle injury. Jones should be back for a playoff run.
Dylan Ford has stepped up under center, and the Bulldogs running attack with Jerry Lunsford and Adam McClain will lead the way. The Highlanders counter with a three-prong offensive attack of their own in Colby Birchfield, Austin Whitehead and Zac Benfield.
The game, simply, will come down to who wins in the trenches. The Hampton line led by Zack Guinn will go up against a quick ‘Lander line that is led by a pair of seniors in Hez Street and Ethan Lusk. If either team can keep the other’s offense pinned, their chance of winning goes up dramatically. Simply put, it is going to be a treat to watch.
Sullivan North at Happy Valley: The Warriors hope to end 2014 on a winning note, and a win over the Raiders would certainly end the year on a positive game. The Warriors must get their offense rolling early, but they should be able to against a Sullivan North squad.
Cosby at Unaka: The Rangers have had a roller coaster of the season, and they welcome a Cosby team that can leave you scratching your head. The Eagles, led by Derreck Weeks, upset North Greene just a week after the Huskies dispatched Cloudland. However, the Rangers counter with Micah Hunt. If the Rangers contain Weeks, they will spoil any chance the Eagles have at the postseason.