Week one wasn’t kind to Carter County teams as Cloudland was the only team to record a victory. Today, we will take a look at things we learned last night.
-The Cloudland offensive attack is as good as advertised- definitely an improvement over last year’s squad. With the addition of the passing game (and the ‘Landers showed they do have a passing game in last night’s win over Happy Valley), Cloudland may be one of the toughest teams in the area to stop. With Colby Birchfield rushing for over 200 yards and Austin Whitehead having over 100, the ground game is as strong as ever. Put in playmakers such as Zac Benfield, Noah Arnett and Matt Houston, and this Cloudland squad will give opposing defensive coordinators a headache when game planning.
– Elizabethton simply was blindsided in the first quarter against Science Hill. However, once things got settled down, Elizabethton kept pace with what may be the most talented Science Hill team in program history. Ethan Thomas and Caleb Armstrong showed that the Elizabethton offense is just as potent as last season, and are looking like they are the team to beat in the Three Rivers Conference.
-Happy Valley went toe-to-toe with the Cloudland offense. However, some miscues in the third and fourth quarters proved to be the difference. Austin Hicks established himself as another playmaker for the Warriors. Hicks is a strong power runner, and offers a great compliment to Phillip Garland and Josh Hammonds.
-Hampton, simply put, missed Adam McClain last night. However, the Bulldogs showed they are still a very, very good team while McClain is out. Hampton had their chances against a really good Onieda squad, but kept shooting their toes off. Coby Jones and Jerry Lunsford will have no problem succeeding the rest of the season. However, when McClain gets back, Hampton will be back to one of the most explosive offenses in the area.
-Unaka struggled against an improved Sullivan East squad. However, the experience and reps against the Patriots will help out later in the season. If the Rangers can get healthy, it could be a pesky squad that could impact the conference race and qualify for the playoffs.