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Busy night in store for county teams

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Bobcats trip to Oneida highlights Friday’s schedule

By Goose Lindsay

 

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Friday’s night’s going to be a busy night for high school football across the state of Tennessee and Roane County will be no different as all five county teams will be in action in five different places.

Four of the five will be taking on district competition while Kingston steps out of district when they hit the road to take on rival Loudon.

District 3-A will feature three match-ups involving Roane County teams. Midway hosts the No. 1 ranked team in Class 2A, Grace Christian Academy, Rockwood visits Tellico Plains, and Harriman entertains Greenback.

The biggest game involving a Roane County team this week will take place in District 4-A, however, as Wiley Brackett takes his Oliver Springs Bobcats on the road to face Oneida.

Kingston (0-6) at 

Loudon (1-5)

The Redskins and Yellow Jackets are two of the most storied programs in East Tennessee, but both have fallen on hard times this season as they have a combined record of 1-11.

Loudon has that one win as the Redskins beat East Ridge 42-7 two weeks ago after starting the season 0-5.

Loudon started the season slowly, scoring just 19 points combined in their first three games, but they have scored a combined 88 points in their final three contests. The Redskins have struggled on defense this season as they are allowing 32.2 points per game and five of their six opponents have scored 26 points or more.

For Kingston, the Jackets have faced a brutal schedule to date. None of Kingston’s first six opponents have a losing record and they have combined for an overall mark of 32-7.

Those opponents have held Kingston to just 10.5 points per game and the Jackets have yet to put up 20 points a game this season while giving up an average of 38.7.

Kingston’s offense, led by Logan Malenovsky, Dustin Kitts, Rhett Jones Preston Edmonds and Maurice Lane, should have a little more success this week.

Goose’s Gander

The Jackets should look better this week and will stay close. Loudon, however, is coming in with an extra week to prepare and the Redskins are at home… Loudon 27 Kingston 21.

Grace Christian (7-0) at Midway (5-1)

Joe Campbell’s Midway Green Wave have been one of the surprise teams in Tennessee so far this season as they are one two-point conversion in overtime away from a perfect 6-0 record.

Midway, however, has a huge task in front of them this week when they host Class 2A No. 1 ranked Grace Christian Academy.

The Rams lead all of District 4-A in scoring at 45.2 points per game. The Rams are equally effective on the ground with Kyron Inman leading the charge or through the air with Devin Smith leading the attack.

To make matters worse for the Green Wave, the Rams’ defense is also leading the district, allowing a meager 7.3 points per contest.

Midway might be able to score with the Rams as they are averaging 35.5 points per game this season.

A lot of the offense’s success could depend on the health of QB Shandon Lyle (906 yards passing, 562 yards rushing). Midway has tried to rest Lyle each of the last two weeks against Sunbright and Harriman, but he has entered the contests to help lead the Green Wave to narrow victories.

Even without Lyle, Mason Woody is a reliable signal caller and guys like Jonathan Beason, Zack Qualls, Christian Moore and Austin Longmire give Campbell’s squad plenty of weapons.

Goose’s Gander

If Midway can stay within striking distance until the final six minutes then it’s a safe bet they’ll win considering how they played in close games this year. The problem is getting to those final few minutes… Grace Christian 38 Midway 21.  

Greenback (4-2) at 

Harriman (3-4)

Two teams coming off heartbreaking losses lock horns Friday night at Wallace Black Field.

The Cherokees lost at Rockwood, 28-21, and will look to get their high-powered offense led by the trio of QB Samuel McCloud, RB Jordan Anderson and WR Hunter Cope back on track.

A big reason why Greenback lost that game last week was because Rockwood controlled the line of scrimmage, keeping the Cherokees offense on the sideline.

That will be Harriman’s game plan also as the Blue Devils are big up front and the duo of Garrett Greene (646 yards) and Kaleb Eleam (566 yards) are averaging 7.1 yards per carry this season.

Goose’s Gander

While Harriman’s running game should keep them close, the Cherokees still have more experience and quick strike ability… Greenback 27 Harriman 14.

Rockwood (6-1) at 

Tellico Plains (4-2)

John Webb’s Rockwood Tigers are on upset alert this week for two reasons. First, they are coming off an emotional high in beating Greenback, 28-21. Second, they are facing a pretty good team Friday night on the road.

Like Rockwood, Tellico Plains is a team that has improved every week. In their first three games, the Bears averaged just 10.7 points per game while giving up 35.3. In their last three games, all wins, Tellico Plains is averaging 42 points per game while 21.3 points during that span.

If the Tigers bring their A-game, they should be able to move the ball on the ground like they have all season. Drake Long (1,004 yards rushing) is the leader of the Tigers ground game, but Jared Kilby, Jason Gaus, Tristan Ewing, Christian Domon and QB Jarrod Neerman have combined for another 971 yards on the ground.

Neerman (424 yards) has also been effective this year through the air.

Goose’s Gander

It’s hard to imagine Rockwood playing as well as they did in last week’s win over Greenback. It’s also hard to imagine a tiger team that has won six straight games letting one sneak by… Rockwood 24 Tellico Plains 14.

Oliver Springs (4-2) at Oneida (5-1)

Two teams that rely heavily on the ground game will meet Friday in Scott County in a game that will decide the District 4-A championship.

Oneida is currently tied with Coalfield atop the district standings with Oliver Springs one game behind so the Indians can pretty much eliminate the Bobcats from title contention Friday night with a victory.

The Indians will look to do so with a defense that gives up just 9.4 points per game in their five wins. Oneida’s one blemish this season came when Greenback scalded the Indians for 42 points.

Oliver Springs will look to penetrate that defense with a big offensive line leading the way for RB Eddie Stephenson (831 yards).

Fellow RB Shawn Childress should also play a big factor in the ground game Friday night. Childress was hampered by an injury earlier in the season, but led the Bobcats with 93 yards rushing last week against Jellico.

Goose’s Gander

Like Kingston at Loudon, this game will be close with two rivals butting heads. Also like Kingston at Loudon, home field will be the difference… Oneida 21 Oliver Springs 14.

Goose’s Gander on other games of interest: Meigs County by 7 over Lookout Valley, Sunbright by 14 over Oakdale, Coalfield by 42 over Jellico, Monterey by 21 over Wartburg, Scott by 7 over Cumberland Gap, Belfry, Ky by 7 over CAK, Anderson County over 7 over Knoxville Catholic, Alcoa by 35 over Lancaster Christian. Last Week 7-1; Overall 71-11.