It is hard to believe we only have one week left in the regular season, but what a week we will have. Before we turn our attention to Week 10, we want to take a look back at Week 9 and what we liked and thought.
-Elizabethton avoiding the trap game and shaking off a slow start. It took a while for the Cyclones’ offense to get rolling on Friday at Unicoi County. However, Ethan Thomas and company righted the ship quickly to blast the Blue Devils.
Thomas’ performance alone is worth taking notice (six touchdowns and 211 yards), but the Elizabethton defense made every yard a fight for the Blue Devils. The win set the stage for Thursday night’s HUGE clash (yes, we capitalized huge to try and help convey how important it is) for the Three Rivers Conference championship with Sullivan South. Not only is the conference title on the line, the losing team will have a much harder road to travel, including a possible road game in the first round, depending on how the quad falls out.
-Cloudland putting together a complete road game. At Orr Field, the Highlanders have been unstoppable this season. However, the road has been a different story until Friday night. The ‘Landers finally solved their road woes, after a slow start, in the win against Hancock County.
Colby Birchfield and Austin Whitehead powered the way, and it couldn’t come at a better time for Cloudland. With the short bus ride to Hampton coming on Thursday to determine who the conference champion is, the ‘Landers can’t afford another slow start on the road, especially in a game against Hampton.
-Hampton’s ability to keep rolling despite adversity. Mike Lunsford’s squad just keeps on trucking through the season. The Bulldogs won their seventh straight on Friday night with a 47-10 victory over South Greene in a game where they didn’t look as sharp as they have the previous weeks.
However, the biggest news of the night came with the injury to junior quarterback Coby Jones. Jones went down after the first half with an ankle injury leaving the Bulldogs looking for options. However, Dylan Ford stepped up along with Adam McClain and Jerry Lunsford to carry the load. While Jones’ status for Thursday night is uncertain, Hampton will be ready for their game against the ‘Landers with their arsenal of weapons.
-Happy Valley’s fight and determination should be noted. The Warriors have had a rough season. However, they haven’t given up and continue to fight until the end of the season. Phillip Garland and company continue to improve each week despite having a schedule that many would shy away from.
-Unaka’s Micah Hunt continues to prove he is one of the most versatile players in the county. The Rangers have had a season of ups and downs, and Hunt has been a solid player throughout the year on both offense and defense.