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State’s longest rivalry takes center stage

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By Goose Lindsay, Sports Editor

 

The first two weeks of the high school football season have come and gone. During that time, there have been some exciting games like Oneida’s 13-12 overtime victory over Rockwood to open the season, and last week’s game between Midway and Whitwell that ended in a 53-50 victory.

While those games were exciting, they lacked the emotion that only district rivalries bring. That won’t be the case this week as four of Roane County’s five teams open district play.

In District 4-AA, Kingston will be heading to Huntsville to take on Scott in head coach Brian Pankey’s first district contest.

In District 4-A, Oliver Springs will also be on the road, traveling to Oakdale.

The big game this week, however, will be in Harriman as the Blue Devils host Rockwood in the 94th meeting of the state’s longest consecutive running rivalry.

Roane County’s only unbeaten team, Midway (2-0) is off Friday night and will host Hancock County next week.

Kingston (0-1) at 

Scott (2-0)

The good news for the Yellow Jackets in No. 1 ranked Grace Christian Academy is in the rear view mirror.

The bad news is now the Jackets are going on the road to take on a Highlander team that is averaging 54.5 points per game through two weeks of play.

QB Jake Phillips is a big reason for Scott’s success as last week along he completed 17 of 22 passes for 325 yards and four TDs in a 48-21 victory over Cumberland County. He also scored twice on the ground against the Jets.

Kingston, on the other hand, didn’t score on offense against Grace Christian, but should find the sailing a little smoother against the Highlanders.

If Kingston is to have success, they’ll need balance on offense. Last week, RB Rhett Jones didn’t find much yardage between the tackles against the Rams. If Kingston establishes and inside running game then it will be easier for Maurice Lane, Dustin Kitts and Preston Edmonds to make plays on the edge.

A solid ground game will also help QB Logan Malenovsky make plays through the air.

Goose’s Gander

Kingston has dominated Scott over the years, winning 26 of their 28 meetings since 1985. That, however, shows the Highlanders can beat the Jackets, and this year’s team has a chance… Scott 26-20

Oliver Springs (1-1) at 

Oakdale (2-0)

You didn’t read that wrong. The Eagles are the feel good story so far in the 2013 football season as J.R. Voyles’ squad is 2-0 and have outscored their opponents by a combined score of 76-18.

Oakdale’s attack is led by versatile senior QB Aaron Powers. Through two games, Powers has rushed for 213 yards and four TDs while passing for 269 yards and three more TDs. He is also completing 67 percent of his passes.

Powers, however, isn’t Oakdale’s only weapon on offense as RB Logan Cox along with playmakers Andrew Hill, Justin Moore and Landon Botkin give the Eagles a formidable threat on the ground and through the air.

Oliver Springs enters Friday’s contest as a Jekyll and Hyde team so far. The Bobcats looked very good in rolling to a 40-0 victory at Unaka, but struggled in last week’s 30-12 loss at the hands of York.

If the Bobcats are to get back on track Friday night, they’ll need their big offensive line to wear down a smaller Oakdale front seven. If that happens, RB Eddie Stephenson should have another big night. Stephenson has averaged 180.5 yards per game so far this season.

While Stephenson has been steady, Wiley Brackett might look to the air a little more this week as so far the season the Bobcats haven’t been balanced on offense. Oliver Springs has completed just 11 passes on the season for 117 yards.

Goose’s Gander

Everybody loves an underdog and a lot of people will be pulling for the Eagles Friday night. Those well-wishes won’t help, however, against a 1,300-pound Bobcat offensive line… Oliver Springs 34 Oakdale 26.

Rockwood (1-1) at 

Harriman (1-1)

No two teams in the history of Tennessee high school football have met more times than Rockwood and Harriman, as Friday night marks the 94th meeting between the Tigers and Blue Devils.

Rockwood enters Friday’s contest having won four straight in the series and 12 of the past 13, but Harriman matches up well this season.

The Devils are big up front and that could make it hard on a Tiger offense that relies primarily on the run. In last week’s 29-6 victory at Wartburg, Rockwood ran the ball 64 times for 291 yards. Junior Drake Long led the attack with 130 yards on 20 carries.

Like Rockwood, Harriman also likes to do their damage on the ground. In their season opening victory over Hancock County, the Devils rolled up 401 yards rushing and they added more than 200 yards to that total last week.

Garrett Greene has been Harriman’s No. 1 option on the ground so far this year with nearly 300 yards rushing in two games. Mikey Roberts and Kaleb Eleam give the Devils two more backs with big play ability in the backfield.

QB Brantley Taylor added a pair of TD tosses last week as well.

Goose’s Gander

This game has the makings of a good old-fashioned slobber-knocker. Rockwood has had the edge over the years and that might be just enough… Rockwood 16 Harriman 14.

Goose’s Gander on other games of interest: Coalfield by 14 over Sunbright, Oneida by 21 over Wartburg, Lynn Camp, Ky. by 24 over Jellico, Grace Christian by 35 over Tellico Plains, Greenback by 21 over Meigs County, Alcoa by 20 over McMinn County, Catholic by 4 over CAK. Last Week 10-5; Overall 24-5.