Busy Friday for Roane County teams

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By Goose Lindsay

Friday night will be a busy night for Roane County football fans, as the county’s five high school teams will be playing at five different places.

Four of those game games will feature district games. The biggest of those district match-ups is in District 4-AA where Kingston travels to West Knoxville to take on No. 1 ranked Christian Academy of Knoxville (CAK).

The remaining district games will see Rockwood hosting Tellico Plains, and Midway visiting Grace Christian Academy in District 3-A while Oliver Springs travels to Sunbright in District 4-A.

Harriman is the only Roane County team not playing a district game this week. Travis Tapp’s squad will take on Grace Baptist Academy Friday night at home.

Oliver Springs (2-5) at Sunbright (3-4)

Two teams that need a win to stay alive for a playoff berth meet in Sunbright Friday night.

The Tigers are fresh off a 47-0 drubbing of Oakdale Friday night and will rely on the one-two punch of Jacob Swint and Skyler Bunch. Bunch is Sunbright’s leading rusher on the season while Swint is a dual threat quarterback that makes plays with both his arm and legs.

At 2-5, Oliver Springs has very little wiggle room as far as making the playoffs. The Bobcats must win at least two, and possibly all three of their remaining games to make the postseason.

The key Friday night for Oliver Springs is balance.

Last week, the Bobcats welcomed back Michael Nelson to the offense and he, along with Shawn Childress and Eddie Stephenson, gives Wiley Brackett a lot of options running the ball.

Nelson is also a threat in the passing game along with Childress, Austin West and John Simms.

Goose’s Gander

The Tigers have had the Bobcats’ number the past couple of seasons, but this bunch of Bobcats need a win to stay in the playoff hunt... Oliver Springs 28 Sunbright 23.

Midway (4-3) at 

Grace Christian (6-1)

Midway is the hottest team in Roane County, winning three straight games including last week’s unbelievable win at Harriman.

In those wins, the Green Wave have turned into a dual-threat offense as Midway has thrown and rushed for more than 200 yards in each of the last two games.

QB Shandon Lyle is the leader of the Green Wave attack as he leads Roane County in rushing (718 yards) and passing (608 yards). Lyle, however, gets plenty of help as Mason Woody and Jonathan Beason are turning into play-making receivers while Tyler Clark gives the Green Wave a solid option between the tackles.

However, in Midway’s three-game winning streak, they haven’t faced any team as talented as Grace Christians. The Rams are loaded and can wrap up the District 3-A regular season title with a win Friday night.

Leading the way for the Rams on both sides of the ball will be Will McKamey. McKamey has already committed to play for Navy next season.

Goose’s Gander 

Midway is on a roll, but they don’t have enough to upset the Rams… Grace Christian 35 Midway 14.

Grace Baptist (1-6) at Harriman (0-7)

How will the Blue Devils respond after last week’s heartbreaking loss to Midway? If the answer is positive then the Blue Devils will have a chance to pick up their first win of the season against the Golden Eagles Friday night.

Despite last week’s loss, Harriman played well on offense and this week’s opponent is giving up an average of 35.1 points per game.

Harriman’s offense is centered around the running of Lucas Lunsford, but several other players have made plays throughout the season on the ground. Last week, C.J. Ausburn and Garrett Greene found success on the ground while Mikey Roberts is Harriman’s leading rusher on the season.

Goose’s Gander

If it weren’t for bad luck seems to be Harriman’s theme this season. The Blue Devils can win Friday, but will need a break or two... Grace Baptist 21 Harriman 14.

Tellico Plains (1-6) at Rockwood (4-4)

A look at Rockwood’s record would lead most to think the Tigers are an average football team.

But considering the Tigers’ four losses have come against four teams with a combined record of 25-5, it’s easy to see why Rockwood is considered a serious playoff threat.

The key to Rockwood’s success is their powerful ground game that averages 272.3 yards per game, and has four players, Clay Cisson. Kyron Inman, Drake Long and Tyler Skidmore, listed among Roane County’s top eight rushers.

Tellico Plains has struggled this year, winning just one game, but the Bears do have a game-changer in RB Adam Reece. Reece ran for more than 250 in Tellico Plains victory over Harriman.

Goose’s Gander

The Tigers have been a playoff regular the past 10 years, and it’s time for John Webb’s squad to start gearing up for November… Rockwood 31 Tellico Plains 14. 

Kingston (6-2) at 

CAK (7-0)

Kingston has the daunting chance of trying to slow down one of the best offenses in the state when they travel to No. 1 ranked CAK Friday night.

The defending state champion Warriors won the state title last season and return pretty much all of last season’s starters.

Leading the way is QB Charlie High, who threw for 5,191 yards and 55 TDs as a junior.

High is putting up similar numbers this season as the Warriors are averaging 48 points per game, and have scored less than 40 points just once this season.

High’s top three targets are also back this season as Davis Howell, Josh Smith and Franklin Murchison are all game-changers. Smith, a UT commitment, has been injured most of the season, but will play Friday night against Kingston.

The good news for Kingston in the Warriors give up nearly 30 points per game.

If Kingston is able to put up those type of points, it will mostly come from a solid ground attack led by FB Brody Roberts. That would also mean Kingston is chewing up the clock.

Goose’s Gander

This one could resemble Tennessee at Georgia. Kingston will score a lot of points, just not enough... CAK 48 Kingston 35.

Goose’s Gander on other games of interest: Greenback by 42 over Tri-Cities Christian, Coalfield by 10 over Oneida, King’s Academy by 4 over Oakdale, Wartburg by 35 over Jellico, Alcoa by 49 over Stone Memorial, Loudon by 21 over Scott. Last Week 9-1; Overall 82-11.

 Goose’s Gurus picks: CAK, Oliver Springs, Rockwood, Grace Christian, Grace Baptist, Coalfield, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Alabama, Tennessee.Last Week 8-2; Overall 68-12.