It was a busy Friday night in Carter County, and we had a mixed bag of results. We, however, did learn or like something we saw from every team. Here is a look at our thoughts from this past week.
-Elizabethton proved they were the team we expected them to be. The Cyclones have been nearly flawless this season. With the exception with the loss to Science Hill (who we still believe may be the best team in Science Hill’s history), Elizabethton hadn’t really been challenged. However, that changed on Friday night against Tennessee High.
The Cyclones battled the Vikings, who were ranked eighth in Class 5A, and ultimately used the running game to come out on top. Elizabethton’s offensive line opened holes up for Ethan Thomas, Caleb Jones and the rest of the Betsy skill players. The Cyclones are coming into stride, and are poised to keep the offensive machine rolling.
-The resolve of Happy Valley. For the Warriors, it has been a season of heartbreak. However, they have not given up and continue to battle in each and every game. Head Coach Larry Shivley’s team will win before this season is out.
-Unaka finding their offensive groove. Much like Happy Valley, Unaka has played an extremely tough schedule to date. It finally paid off as they picked up their first win of the season against Hancock County. With Micah Hunt leading the charge, the Rangers rolled to 50 points on Friday night. With a tough Avery squad visiting Stoney Creek on Friday night, the Rangers will need to keep the offensive output up.
-Hampton is clicking on all cylinders as well. After a misstep against Onieda, the Bulldogs have picked up the offense as well as the defensive pressure. In Mountain City, Hampton dispatched an improved Johnson County squad. The end result was a statement that will help the Bulldogs continue to build momentum heading into the playoffs.
-Cloudland had their backs to the wall and proved they could handle the pressure. The ‘Landers were in a fight to the end on Friday night at Tri-Cities Christian. However, they didn’t fold under the pressure as they advanced to 6-0 with a late minute win. The ‘Landers fell victim to several questionable calls, but they didn’t give in and that is the mark of a champion. While Cloudland will have some tough games ahead, they sent a message that they can win the close games.