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It was good to see the start of football season last Friday, but this week is when things are really turned up a notch as all five county teams open district play.
In District 4-A, Oliver Springs hosts Oakdale while Kingston plays host to Scott in District 4-AA. In District 3-A, Rockwood heads the road and travels to Greenback.
The marquee game in Roane County this week is also in District 3-A as Midway travels to Harriman.
Oakdale (1-1) at
Oliver Springs (1-0)
The Eagles are flying high this week after picking up a 35-0 victory over Pickett County last week.
Oakdale’s offense showed some balance in that victory as Nick Howard rushed for 107 yards while QB Tyler Bowling completed 6 of 7 passes for 100 yards.
The Eagles will need that kind of balance this week if they are to keep the ball away from a Bobcat offense that scored 47 points in last week’s shutout victory over Hancock County.
Oliver Springs also showed balance in that game as Jordan Romero and Garrett Miller made plays on the ground while Austin Rice and John Simms both caught touchdown passes.
The Bobcats even added a score on special teams with Haven Williams returning a kickoff for a touchdown.
Oliver Springs is a heavy favorite on paper and they appear to have too many weapons for the Eagles... Oliver Springs 35 Oakdale 6.
at Greenback (2-0)
Last season, the Tigers rocked the Cherokees 32-0 in the district opener for both teams, but things probably won’t come as easy Friday night for John Webb’s Tigers when they visit Cooper Field.
The Cherokees enter Friday’s contest with a lot of confidence after scoring 35 points in victories over Meigs County and Pigeon Forge.
In those victories, RB Richard Seymour has been the No. 1 weapon in Greenback’s attack, but the Tigers expect to see a lot more of QB Hogan Goodson’s arm Friday night.
While the story in Greenback has been offense, the story in “Tiger Town” last week was defense as Rockwood forced five turnovers in posting a 23-0 victory over Sweetwater.
That defense was big as Rockwood’s offense struggled at times moving the ball against the Wildcats.
If Rockwood gets into a shootout with the Cherokees, look for the duo of Dillon Deardorff and Collin Smith to make plays on the ground with QB Lucas Jolley hitting big receiver Brendan Kirkland and TE Hayden Freels in the passing game.
The Tigers had better be on upset alert when they head to Greenback because the Cherokees have a potent offense. Rockwood, however, has a solid defense and defense is what wins titles... Rockwood 21 Greenback 14.
Scott (2-0) at
The story seems to be the same every year as Scott enters the game with a high-scoring offense yet they cannot find a way to slow the Jackets.
This season is no different as the Highlanders again have a potent offense. Led by the trio of QB Jacob Sexton, RB Jacob Butts and WR Nathan Griffith, the Highlanders put up 37 points against Sequoyah and 36 against York Institute.
Scott, however, has also been good defensively in those games as they have yielded just 14 points in two games.
Kingston, on the other hand, looked very good in last week’s season opening 33-15 victory over Harriman.
In that contest, the Jackets amassed nearly 400 yards of offense with QB Darren Mossing throwing for 141 yards while FB Coty Groves picked up 139 yards rushing in only one half.
Kingston’s defense also held Harriman RB Dimitrique Inman to just 36 yards rushing on 12 attempts.
Like Harriman, Scott often enters their contest thinking they have a shot to take down the Jackets. This could be the year as the Jackets are coming off an emotional victory over Harriman and they could be looking ahead to another rivalry game with Rockwood. In an upset... Scott 28 Kingston 24.
at Harriman (0-1)
The Green Waves and Blue Devils both suffered setbacks in last week’s season openers, but head coaches Craig Moser (Midway) and Travis Tapp (Harriman) know a victory Friday night would leave their team sitting pretty in the district standings.
Harriman comes in licking their wounds following last week’s loss against Kingston.
In that loss, Harriman’s usually powerful ground game was limited to 119 yards rushing and you can bet Coach Tapp has challenged his offensive line this week to open holes for Dimitrique Inman, Lucas Lunsford, Brandon Williams and Cole McAbee.
Midway picked up 115 yards rushing last week and that’s a good number for the Green Waves. The problem was Midway’s passing game as 14 passes were dropped in last week’s 28-14 loss against Wartburg.
If Midway finds a way to hang on to the ball they have weapons on the outside with athletes Dillon Davidson and Kaleb Butler. Increased production in the passing game will also help Larry Risner and Aaron Collins move the ball on the ground.
This one will be a chess match as Midway has enough size and experience in the trenches to hold their own against Harriman’s running game, but Harriman also has enough athletes in their secondary to run with Midway’s receivers. In the end it comes down to playmakers and the Blue Devils have more... Harriman 20 Midway 12.
Goose’s Gander on other games of interest: Grace Christian by 21 over Tellico Plains. Coalfield by 2 over Sunbright, Oneida by 7 over Wartburg, Alcoa by 28 over Loudon, CAK by 14 over Stone Memorial. Last Week 14-2; Overall 14-2.
Goose’s Gurus picks: Harriman, Scott, Rockwood, Oliver Springs, Alcoa, Fulton, Coalfield, LSU, Virginia Tech, Tennessee. Last Week 7-3.