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By GOOSE LINDSAY
Well let’s see, Midway and Kingston are in the playoffs, Rockwood is in with a win, Harriman must win and get some help from Sunbright, while Oliver Springs is out.
That’s what things look like for Roane County’s five football teams heading into the final week of the regular season.
In Region 2-A, Midway’s postseason position is set as the Green Waves will be the No. 3 seed and play on the road in the first round of the TSSAA Class A playoffs. Midway finishes the season Friday night with a non region game against Wartburg.
Harriman controlled its own destiny until last week’s shocking loss at Coalfield. Now, the Blue Devils must beat Oakdale Thursday night and have Sunbright upset Coalfield Friday night to reach the postseason.
Region 2-AA is easy to figure out. Oliver Springs cannot make the playoffs, but they can end the season on a two-game winning streak with a victory at Sweetwater while the winner of Friday’s game between CAK and Rockwood will claim the final playoff berth in Region 2-AA.
Kingston has clinched a playoff berth in Region 2-AAA, but the result of Friday’s game with Austin-East will determine whether the Jackets play at home or on the road in week 11. If Kingston wins, they will be the No. 2 seed and play at home, but a loss will drop the Jackets to a No. 4 seed and have them on the road.
Wartburg (1-8) at Midway (6-3)
Last week was a tough one for Craig Moser and his Green Waves as a lot of off-the-field distractions hurt them in a poor performance against Greenback. Now, however, the Green Waves have had another week to see players in different positions and that should lead to an improved performance.
One thing that will not change is the running of FB Ray Robinson. Robinson has a chance to reach the 5,000-yard career mark in rushing Friday night.
Midway will also need to find ways to get Wakon Roberson the ball in the passing game.
Wartburg will bring a spread attack to Midway and they will look to spread the ball around to Drew Jenkins, Tyler Trout, Rusty Phillips and Travis Hamby.
The Green Waves could easily give the ball to Robinson 30 times Friday night and let him pound the Bulldogs into submission. Midway, however, will need to spread it around to prepare for the playoffs and that could lead to a few mistakes... Midway 18 Wartburg 7.
Oakdale (2-7) at Harriman (4-5)
This one could come down to which teams shows up ready to play.
Harriman has lost three in a row and their morale is at a low following a shocking 17-14 loss at Coalfield. Oakdale, on the other hand, doesn’t have a shot at making the playoffs and they haven’t fared well in the past against the Blue Devils.
If Oakdale shows up, look for brothers Isaiah and Korbin Turner to give the Devils fits running the ball while QB D.J. Currier has a cannon for an arm and his throwing ability will force Harriman’s defense to honor the pass.
Defense is Oakdale’s weakness as the Eagles are allowing 36.9 points per game and that should be good news for a Devils offense that has scored just 23 points in the previous three weeks.
If Harriman is to have success, it will start up front in the trenches with a big line leading the way for WBs Dimitrique Inman and Brandon Williams along with FB C.J. Anderson.
This game is about pride. Will the Devils mail it in or will they go out with a bang? Seniors Travis Gann and C.J. Anderson won’t let the Devils go out with a whimper... Harriman 35 Oakdale 14.
Oliver Springs (1-8) at Sweetwater (3-6)
Motivation won’t be a problem for the Bobcats. The 2008 season hasn’t been easy for Wiley Brackett’s squad, but they proved last week that they haven’t given up and look for them to give the Wildcats all they want Thursday night.
Last week, TB Curtis Davis and FB C.J. Pointer combined for 192 yards on the ground and both will need a big game for the Bobcats to pull the upset. WR Jonathan Thornton provided a pair of big plays for the Bobcats last week with an 88-yard kick return for a touchdown and a 21-yard TD reception.
If the Bobcats are to pull the upset they must contain QB Tyler Richesin, who leads the Wildcats in both rushing and receiving.
Sweetwater should be a solid favorite Friday night, but the Bobcats appear to have more to play for. This could be an upset... Sweetwater 15 Oliver Springs 14.
CAK (5-4) at Rockwood (4-5)
This one is for a playoff spot Friday night as the Tigers must win to keep their season alive.
If Rockwood is to win, they must pound the Warriors into submission with RBs Jeff Inman, Ronnie Dyer and Josh Brock getting the majority of the carries while Garrett Raby and Dillon Deardorff could get in the mix.
Rockwood will also look to have balance with QB Tyler Parsons throwing to Raby, Brock and TE Matt Roberts.
The Warriors will counter by throwing the ball all over Civitan Field. QB Michael Fromke has thrown for more than 2,000 yards this season with six different receivers having 12 or more catches. Taylor Moran leads the receiving corps with 47 catches for 706 yards while Keenan Kolinsky has more than 600 yards rushing.
A lack of effort will not be a problem for the Tigers. CAK’s passing game, however, will be... CAK 28 Rockwood 14.
Kingston (7-2) at Austin-East (7-2)
A home playoff game will be on the line Friday night when the Jackets travel to Knoxville to take on the Roadrunners.
Austin-East enters the game on a seven-game winning streak and their defense is a big reason why as Kwayu Graham’s squad is allowing just 9.6 points per game and they have allowed just 14 points in their past five games.
Offensively, Anton Dean and Jamarcus Davis will lead the attack on the ground while Donald Patterson, Jakouri Smith, Chase Jones and Chance Jones are all capable of making plays through the air.
Kingston’s game plan will be similar as the Jackets will rely on their defense and ground game to get the job done.
Defensively, Chris Stout and Etimlin Phillips will give the Roadrunners fits when they pass while Alex Roberts has pretty much been a tackling machine.
Offensively, the Jackets will look for the three-headed attack of Roberts, James Sams and Brad Riddick to lead the way with QB Matt Francis making big plays when the Jackets do try to pass.
The Jackets are only a couple of plays away from playing from an unbeaten season and a region championship Friday night, but it seems like things just don’t want to go their way in the regular season... Austin-East 14 Kingston 10.
Goose’s Gander on other games of interest: Coalfield by 7 over Sunbright, Oneida by 7 over Greenback, Alcoa by 42 over Loudon, Catholic by 14 over Scott, Anderson County by 48 over Stone Memorial, Fulton by 7 over Livingston Academy. Last Week 9-2; 109-17.