Roane teams looking for success Friday night

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By Goose Lindsay

Friday night will be another busy night for Roane County’s five football teams as all five have games on the schedule.

The good news for most fans is four of the games will be in Roane County as only Midway hits the road. Midway’s road trip will be a long one, however, as Craig Moser’s squad travels to Grundy County.

The remaining four games on the schedule will see Rockwood hosting Wartburg, Harriman entertaining Bledsoe County, Kingston taking on McMinn Central, and Oliver Springs battling Oneida in the only district contest of the week.

Midway (0-6) at 

Grundy County (3-3)

Craig Moser’s Green Waves enter Friday’s contest still in search of their first win of the season, and picking up a win this week will be no easy task as the Green Waves take on perhaps their toughest opponent of the season.

Grundy County enters Friday’s contest with only three wins, but those victories have come against tough opponents in Oliver Springs, Chattanooga Christian and Stone Memorial.

Midway’s troubles this year has been their red zone offense. Several times this season the Green Waves have pushed deep inside their opponents territory only to come up empty at the goal line.

Midway does have balance on offense with Thomas Viar leading the passing game while Aaron Collins is coming on as a big play threat in the backfield.

Goose’s Gander

Midway will need a great night to upset the Jackets Friday night. Unfortunately for the Green Waves, the ball just hasn’t bounced their way this season... Grundy County 34 Midway 14.

McMinn Central (0-6) 

at Kingston (4-2)

What a difference a year makes.

Last year at this time, Mcminn Central was 4-2 and they would blast Kingston, 47-13.

This season, however, the Chargers are struggling, really struggling. McMinn Central is 0-6 and they Chargers have scored just 32 total points in six games.

A struggling opponent could be just what the doctor ordered for Vic King’s Yellow Jackets as Kingston has dropped two straight after opening the season with four straight wins.

If Kingston is to have success Friday night, they will need the return of their balanced offense. 

Kingston’s balance comes from the trio of Aaron Fielden, Demarcus Foster and Coty Groves in the backfield while Robbie Szozda is Kingston’s biggest threat in the passing game.

Goose’s Gander

Normally a team with a 4-2 record might overlook a squad that hasn’t won a game. However, Kingston’s two-game slide and last year’s 34-point drubbing should keep their attention... Kingston 28 McMinn Central 14.

Bledsoe County (6-0) 

at Harriman (4-2)

The state’s No. 6 ranked AAA team invades Wallace Black Field Friday looking to put an end to the Blue Devils three-game losing streak.

The Warriors have earned their high ranking due to a high octane offense that averages 39.8 points per game. Brandon Smith is the leader of the offense as last week he rushed for 211 yards and four TDs in a 34-28 victory over Sequatchie County.

In that victory, however, the Warriors allowed more than 300 yards rushing and that should be music to Harriman’s ears as the Blue Devils have rushed for more than 300 yards in each of the last three weeks. Look for the Blue Devils to pound the ball right at a smaller opponent all night with Dimitrique Inman and Brandon Williams leading the charge.

Goose’s Gander

Harriman should be an underdog against a top 10 AAA team, but look for the Blue Devils to match the Warriors score for score for much of the contest. In the end, however, Bledsoe County has a little more than the Blue Devils can handle... Bledsoe County 35 Harriman 28.

Wartburg (5-1) at 

Rockwood (4-2)

Friday’s battle between the Bulldogs and Tigers at Civitan Field should be a good one as both teams are in the chase to win their respective districts.

Wartburg enters Friday’s contest with a spread offense featuring the trio of QB Rusty Phillips, RB Jaylon Shannon and WR Adam Spence. 

Wartburg’s defense, however, has been the big story this year as the Bulldogs are giving up just 11 points per game and no opponent has scored more than 14 points on Dan Shoemaker’s squad.

Wartburg’s defense, led by Aaron Hutchison and Monte Branstetter, will be put to the test as Rockwood enters Friday’s contest on a three-game winning streak and in those games the Tigers are averaging 29.7 points per game.

Rockwood’s key on offense has been their balance with Collin Smith and Dillon Deardorff making plays on the ground while QB Lucas Jolley has found a deep threat in Brendan Kirkland.

Goose’s Gander

Friday’s game should be close as these two teams seem to be evenly matched. They say home field is worth three points so... Rockwood 17 Wartburg 14.

Oneida (2-4) 

at Oliver Springs (4-2)

Last year at this time the Indians and Bobcats were playing for the district title and everybody knew it. 

This year, however, both teams could finish anywhere between first and fifth in the district standings and the loser of Friday’s game is almost certainly out of the district title chase.

Oneida enters Friday’s contest with only two wins, but they have played a tough schedule and they have perhaps the district’s best player in Sam Woodard.

Oneida’s biggest weakness this year, however, has been inexperience as the Indians rely heavily on underclassmen and that has led to a lot of mistakes and turnovers.

Oliver Springs also has its share of playmakers led by the one-two punch of QB Garrett Miller and Jordan Romero.

The Bobcats, however, also have an area of concern as their play in the trenches has been suspect at times this year.

Goose’s Gander

The Bobcats have more playmakers, but it’s hard to imagine the Indians being out of the title chase with three weeks left to play. In a dandy... Oneida 21 Oliver Springs 20.

Goose’s Gander on other games of interest: Sunbright by 21 over Oakdale, Coalfield by 28 over Jellico, Greenback by 20 over Lookout Valley, Grace Christian by 42 over Taft, Polk County by 40 over Tellico Plains, Loudon by 17 over Sweetwater, Stone Memorial by 7 over Cumberland County, Scott by 21 over Cannon County. Last Week 8-2; Overall 54-14.

 Goose’s Gurus picks: Oneida, Kingston, Rockwood, Grundy County, Bledsoe County, Sunbright, Miami, Florida, Alabama, Georgia. Last Week 8-2; Overall 48-12.