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2011 season opens with huge county clash

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By Goose Lindsay

No more scrimmages and no more jamborees as Friday night it’s for real.

That’s the feeling around Roane County this week as all five county teams will be in action in their season openers.

The season also gets started with a huge county rivalry game as Oliver Springs hosts Kingston at D.J. Brittan Field.

The remaining three county schools will be on the road as Harriman travels to Monterey, Midway heads to Lookout Valley, and Rockwood visits Sequoyah.

Midway at 

Lookout Valley

Joe Campbell will make his coaching debut far from home Friday night as Midway heads south to take on Lookout Valley.

The Yellow Jackets finished last season with a 2-8 record, but they have shown big play potential so far this preseason. In last week’s Sequatchie Valley Jamboree, Lookout Valley scored on a 54-yard run from Jamal Jones and a 70-yard run from Matt Zeman.

Midway is also capable of big plays, but the Green Wave will most likely make their big plays through the air with QB Thomas Viar leading the way. Viar’s No. 1 target, Dillon Davidson, is likely out for Friday’s game, but Brock Dishner, Shandon Lyle and Christian Moore give Viar plenty of options through the air.

Goose’s Gander

Midway has the talent to win this game, but a long bus ride and a squad made up mostly of freshmen could struggle in an opening game... Lookout Valley 20 Midway 14.

Harriman at Monterey

Whether playing in the regular season or scrimmaging every fall, the Blue Devils and Wildcats seem to hookup each fall.

This season, the game counts and Monterey will be looking to improve on a 4-6 season.

If they are to do so, an opportunistic defense might be the reason why. In last week’s jamboree against Cumberland County, Monterey’s Williams Phillips, Jesse Puckett and Ben Strahlman all picked off passes.

Luckily for Harriman, the Blue Devils would rather run the ball with FB Cole McAbee and a huge offensive line leading the way for Lucas Lunsford and Tyler Stubbs.

Both teams could be without their starting quarterbacks on Friday as neither Harriman’s Hunter Crass nor Monterey’s Logan Jones played in last week’s jamborees.

Goose’s Gander

The Blue Devils will be on the road, but a huge senior class has been there before and knows how to handle a season opener... Harriman 20 Monterey 18.

Rockwood at Sequoyah

Two hard-nosed teams with hard-nosed coaches open the season Friday night in Madisonville.

Sequoyah enters the season fresh off a playoff performance last year and a lot of their success this year will rely on Trey Dyer. In a recent scrimmage, Dyer rushed for three TDs and threw for another as the Chiefs beat Harriman, Notre Dame and Sequoyah in a four-way battle.

The Chiefs also have a play-maker at defensive end as the Tigers will have to keep their eyes on Chris Arp.

Rockwood’s game plan on Friday will probably to run the football with guys like Ethan Headrick, Jared Breazeale, Tyler Skidmore, Drake Long, Everett Campbell and Kyler Hagler all getting an opportunity to pound the rock at the Tigers.

Goose’s Gander

This should be a physical battle that will be won in the trenches and Sequoyah is the bigger team... Sequoyah 21 Rockwood 17.

Kingston at 

Oliver Springs

Months of waiting are finally over as arguably the top two teams in Roane County lock horns Friday night.

This game has plenty of story lines. One of which will be Bobcat head coach Wiley Brackett taking on his alma mater and former head coach, Kingston’s Vic King. Brackett also coached under King before taking the head coaching position at Oliver Springs.

Brackett and King, however, don’t want this game to be about them. They want it to be about the players on the field and both have good teams this season.

Oliver Springs has 21 seniors this year led by the 1-2 punch of Garrett Miller and Jordan. Miller accomplished a rare feat last season by rushing and passing for 1,000 yards while Romero has rushed for more than 1,000 yards in each of the past two seasons.

Oliver Springs, however, has several more play-makers with guys like Michael Nelson, John Simms, Austin West and Logan Crisp expected to play a big part on offense.

Kingston also has plenty of play-makers. An experienced backfield will lead the Jackets as the trio of Aaron Fielden, Demarcus Foster and Darian Sams have plenty of experience. Cody Akers also looked good in the preseason.

The Jackets will also be breaking in a quarterback or two as Robbie Szozda and Preston King could both see time under center Friday night. Whichever one is not under center will be at receiver.

Line play will also be big with Trae Colquitt and Marshall Alter leading the Jackets while Daniel Bass along with LBs Michael Aliff and Seth Morgan heading the charge for Oliver Springs.

Goose’s Gander 

A huge crowd is expected at D.J. Brittan Field and they could see a classic. Turnovers will determine the outcome, but it’s not wise to pick against Coach King and the Jackets in a county match-up... Kingston 28 Oliver Springs 24.

 Goose’s Gander on other games of interest: Oneida by 7 over Greenback, Oakdale by 14 over Hancock County, Sunbright by 10 over Jackson, Cumberland Gap by 1 over Wartburg, Coalfield by 8 over Pigeon Forge, Williamsburg, Ky. by 20 over Jellico, Grace Christian by 14 over Carter, Sweetwater by 14 over Tellico Plains, Alcoa by 21 over Cleveland, Anderson County by 4 over CAK, Stone Memorial by 7 over Livingston Academy, Gibbs by 7 over Scott.