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By GOOSE LINDSAY
Tired of high gas prices?
Well there’s nothing you can do about it, but at least Friday night’s football games are all close to home as Roane County fans should have less than a 30 minute drive to see their favorite team play.
This week’s schedule is full of area rivalry games with Harriman traveling to Wartburg, Oliver Springs hosting Coalfield, and Rockwood traveling to Kingston in this week’s showdown between county schools.
Midway is off this week as the Green Waves will get an extra week to prepare for next week’s Region 2-A showdown with Coalfield.
Harriman (1-1) at Wartburg (1-1)
Both teams enter Friday’s contest with a week off and that should be good for any players that have been nursing injuries.
Wartburg will enter Friday’s contest sky high after snapping a 33-game losing streak with a 13-0 victory over Coalfield.
Harriman will no doubt have their eyes on Wartburg’s Travis Hamby Friday night. Against Coalfield, Hamby had 149 yards and two touchdowns rushing and he also had 14 tackles on defense.
Wartburg also has a pair of solid playmakers in QB Tyler Trout and WR/CB Eugene Poole.
Harriman’s game plan probably hasn’t changed during the off week as Travis Tapp’s squad will look to power the ball between the tackles with a big and physical offensive line leading the way.
In their loss to Kingston, sophomore Dimitrique Inman proved he could be a workhorse as he carried the ball a career-high 17 times. Inman, however, probably won’t see that many touches this week as coach Tapp wants to spread the wealth between Inman, Diego Martin, Willie Collins, C.J. Anderson and Brandon Williams.
This game has a chance to be a good one. Wartburg enters this game with a lot of confidence and Harriman’s offense has yet to come up with a lot of big plays this season. The Bulldogs will keep it close, but in the end Harriman’s big line will wear them down... Har-riman 21 Wartburg 14.
Coalfield (0-3) at Oliver Springs (0-2)
Both teams enter Friday’s game without a win, but this game isn’t a meeting of two bad teams as both teams still have the potential to make a run at the playoffs.
Coalfield’s biggest problem this year has been turnovers. In three games, the Jackets have turned the ball over 11 times and that has led to the Jackets being shutout three straight times.
If Coalfield hangs on to the ball, they have the makings of a good offense. The line is big and strong with T.C. Armes and Boone Wilson leading the way. Coalfield also has a solid backfield with Ryan Armes and Aaron Huff being bruisers while Shawn Armes has the speed to go the distance on any play.
Oliver Springs’ problem this year has been their schedule. In week zero, the Bobcats lost a shootout with Class A private school Silverdale Academy and in week one, the Bobcats had the unfortunate pleasure of hooking up with Class AAA power McMinn Central. Bobcat head coach Wiley Brackett is hoping playing tougher opponents will pay off in the long run.
If Oliver Springs is to be successful Friday night then they will have to have a balanced offense.
Senior RB Curtis Davis is coming off a 194-yard performance against McMinn Central and fellow RB Coty Lively gives the Bobcats a potent 1-2 punch in the backfield.
Oliver Springs’ balance, however, will come from the throw-and-catch duo of QB C.J. Pointer and WR Jonathan Thornton. In their first game against Silverdale, Pointer and Thornton hooked up six times for 117 yards, but they were shutout against McMinn Central.
These teams pretty much hate each other and this contest promises to be as hard a hit-ting game as any this season. In the end, look for Oliver Springs to have just a few more weapons than the Jackets... Oliver Springs 19 Coalfield 13.
Rockwood (2-1) at Kingston (2-0)
Speaking of teams that don’t like each other, there’s not much love loss between the Jackets and Tigers.
Rockwood enters this game on an emotional high following last week’s dramatic victory over Sweetwater. In that game, the Tigers defense came up huge as key interceptions by LB Jeff Inman and DE Matt Roberts kept the Wildcats from leaving “Tiger Town” with a W.
For Rockwood to win this week, their defense will have to be on its toes again as Kinston has a lineup full of playmakers.
In last week’s victory over Livingston Academy, Jacket QB Matt Francis threw two touchdown passes with one being a 97-yard bomb to WR Adam Jackson. FB Alex Roberts scored the team’s third touchdown and led the team with 77 yards rushing.
The week before against Harriman, however, a different trio led the Jackets to victory as QB Kyle Gough threw for 165 yards including the game-winning touchdown pass to Nathan Ladd. RB James Sams led the Jackets on the ground that night with 81 yards rushing.
Rockwood, however, also has a lot of playmakers on offense.
QB Tyler Parsons is coming off a 132-yard performance against Sweetwater and the Tigers have four running backs, Ronnie Dyer, Josh Brock, Dillon Dierdorff and Inman, that average five or more carries per game.
The Tigers also have three receivers, Roberts, Garrett Raby and Travis Beasley, that have caught touchdown passes this season.
These two teams played the game of the year last year in Roane County with the Jackets coming up with a late pick to preserve the victory. This one should be another good one, but in the end... Kingston 24 Rockwood 21.
Goose’s Gander on other games of interest: Oneida by 3 over Cumberland Gap, Loudon by 2 over Greenback, Grace by 12 over Oakdale, Sunbright by 35 over Pickett County, CAK by 4 over Page, Catholic by 7 over Webb, Anderson County by 21 over Lenoir City, Scott by 35 over Taft, Austin-East by 14 over Carter, Fulton by 2 over Tyner, Ensworth by 28 over Stone Memorial. Last Week 8-2; Overall 35-6.