Pregame Prep: Week 4

Carter County Sports

Carter County teams went 4-1 last week to highlight a big week across the county. However, it is a new week and we take a look what to expect on Friday night.

The Slate
Avery County (N.C.) at Cloudland
Daniel Boone at Elizabethton
Happy Valley at Unicoi County
Unaka at Harriman

The Breakdown

Avery County (0-3) at Cloudland (2-1)
Kickoff: 7:30 p.m.

The Border Battle gets renewed again at Orr Field. The ‘Landers are on a two-game winning streak, and have showed that they make up what they lack in depth with heart and desire. Austin Whitehead and Colby Birchfield have the offense humming as both tallied over 150 yards in last week’s win at Oakdale – after a lengthy bus ride.

The Vikings are going through a transition as current head coach Jason Phelps took the reigns of the program in July. The start of the season hasn’t gone the way of the Vikings as they have lost all three games – being outscored 113-43 in the games. The offense has shown the big-play ability with quarterback Luke Crowe and running back Christian Hicks. However, it hasn’t translated into wins for the Vikings.

Keys for Cloudland: Keep the passing game grounded
Oakdale had a decent amount of success in the first three quarters through the air last week against the ‘Landers. Cloudland’s run defense may be one of the best in the area, but teams have been able to gain yards through the air. Offensively, Cloudland will be able to run the ball on the Vikings, and can keep it from becoming a shootout if they keep the Avery passing game in check.

Daniel Boone (0-2) at Elizabethton (1-1)
Kickoff: 7:30 p.m.

The Cyclones got in the win column last Friday in the first game in Citizen’s Bank Stadium, and look to move 2-0 at the new stadium. Elizabethton’s running back quad will look to continue to pace the offense, while Hunter Tyree will look to build on last week’s offensive momentum.

The Daniel Boone match-up has been a fixture on the schedule since 2011, and the Cyclones have been 3-1. The past two years have saw the Cyclones outscored the Trailblazers 84-0. DB is led by playmaker Gabe Sanders at the quarterback position. The Trailblazers enter the game at 0-2, but are coming off a bye week.

Keys for Elizabethton: Contain Sanders in the backfield
A scrambling quarterback can pose issues for the best of teams. Elizabethton will need to limit the big plays of the Trailblazers offense. It certainly can be done by the tough ‘Betsy defense, and that side of the ball could set the tone early for the game.

Happy Valley (0-2) at Unicoi County (2-1)
Kickoff: 7:30 p.m.

Last week, Happy Valley saw a late rally against Sullivan North fall short. Happy Valley got solid production from Mookie Madison and Sage Haun in the game, and will need more of that against an improved Unicoi County squad.

The Blue Devils enter Friday night with a 2-1 record. Led by quarterback Trevor Hensley, the Blue Devils have taken hard fought wins over South Greene and West Greene. Hensley along with running back Cameron Higgins have averaged 31 points per game in their two victories, and have moved the ball well in all three games.

Keys for Happy Valley: Shake off the past two games
For the Warriors, it is a matter of just finishing a game to get a win. After letting a win against Cloudland slip away and seeing a late rally fall short last week, Happy Valley has to keep their heads high and keep fighting. They need to be sure that doubt doesn’t creep into their mindset because the hard work will eventually payoff.

Unaka (1-2) at Harriman (2-1)
Kickoff: 7:30 p.m.

The Rangers also picked up their first win of the season at Concord Christian, but another daunting road trip awaits Unaka on Friday night. Micah Hunt powered the Rangers with five touchdowns in Knoxville last week, and the Unaka offense looked comfortable during the game.

The Blue Devils, however, are 2-1 on the season with two straight wins after letting a season opening win against Kingston slip away. Harriman’s offense is averaging 38 points per game, while allowing only 22 points per game. The Blue Devils are a region favorite in their region, and have showed why the past two weeks.

Keys for Unaka: Keep the mojo rolling
With solid games from Blake King, John Ramsey, Brandon Guinn and Hunt just to name a few last week, the Rangers have momentum on their side. While the task is certainly harder this week, Unaka can keep in the game with their big play potential.

By the Numbers
1- Spot that both Elizabethton and Hampton rose in the AP poll this week.
5- Touchdowns that Micah Hunt recorded in Unaka’s win at Concord Christian.
8.8- Yards per carry that Mookie Madison averaged in the loss against Sullivan North.
307- Yards that Austin Whitehead and Colby Birchfield combined for in the win at Oakdale.
810- Total Miles that Unaka has traveled the past three weeks including the trip to Harriman.
974- Total Miles that Unaka will travel during their four-game road trip in between home games.

error: Content is protected !!