Cosby game looms large for Rangers

By Wes Holtsclaw
STAR STAFF
wholtsclaw@starhq.com
The Unaka Rangers are in a must-win situation this Friday night on the road.
As they make another long haul this season, they reach Cosby High School on a mission to make the playoffs.
If Unaka wins this game, not only will they likely make the playoffs, there is a very good chance they could finish third in the Watauga Valley Conference.
The Rangers pulled out another victory last Tuesday and will have a lot of time to prepare for Randy Sturgill's Eagle team (1-4).
Levi Cooper and Richard Worley are the leaders for this unit, which comes off a 20-0 loss to Mount Juliet Christian.
Cooper showed a solid throwing arm against Mt. Juliet, completing 10 passes for 125 yards, but also rolled off three interceptions. Worley gained 65 yards on 10 carries for scoreless Cosby.
Cosby will host its second conference matchup at the new Virgill Ball Stadium, after a lot of work was done to the football field last season.
The Eagles were forced to travel to each of their games last year and the new home field could be a big advantage for the squad.
Cosby's versatile receiver Dwight Hewitt caught 10 passes for 144 yards and three touchdowns in their 36-0 shutout victory over Jellico at their new field.
The Rangers will need a big all-around performance to pull out the victory, but they are favored around the board to secure the playoff clincher.
--THE BEST--
Offensive Player:
Eric Swain, Hampton - Swain had a breakout night receiving against Unicoi County, making five grabs for 110 yards and the first touchdown in the 'Dogs' 21-14 win in Erwin.
Defensive Player: Drew Davis, Happy Valley - Davis picked up another two interceptions in a big 20-7 victory over Johnson County Longhorns.
Special Teams Player: Nate Paisley, Johnson County - The sophomore had 136 return yards in a loss to Happy Valley last Friday night.
Trench Performance: The Cloudland Highlander Front - The boys from Roan Mountain cleared room for another 483 yards of total offense, 389 coming on the ground. The unit allowed 7 yards for each carry against Cherokee.
Quote: Hampton coach J.C. Campbell (on Friday's win against Unicoi County) - "We won. We beat a good football team and we beat a lot bigger school, and I'm pleased and tickled with that. If you had told me in the middle of the week, yesterday or 5 o'clock this afternoon that we'd win 21-14, I'd a grabbed you and hugged you."
--GAMES OF THE WEEK--
(Overall Record 99-26, Last Week 15-4)
Elizabethton at Sullivan East - Matt Eads will be tough for the Cyclones to contain, but Elizabethton should rebound from its loss against the Greene Devils with a defensive comeback. ELIZABETHTON 26-16
Gatlinburg-Pittman at Hampton - This is a big game for the Bulldogs, but an even bigger game for the Highlanders. Hampton will play a tough game, but Pittman will be mad after a 6-0 shut out against Seymour. GATLINBURG-PITTMAN 28-14
Cumberland Gap at Happy Valley - Corey Russell and Tyler Francisco head up the Panther squad as they make their first visit as a new school to Carter County. The former Powell Valley unit will run into a brick wall. HAPPY VALLEY 30-12
Daniel Boone at Johnson County - The Longhorns must win this game to at least clinch a playoff berth at the 4A level for the second time in three years. I think they can do it. JOHNSON COUNTY 13-12
Unaka at Cosby - If the Rangers win this game, they will finish third in the conference and could miss a trip to Greenback in the playoffs. I see another 100-yard game from Charles Guinn da man. UNAKA 29-6
Cloudland at Jellico - Jellico scored their first points of the season last week against Coalfield. I expect the 'Landers to get there, score a lot of points early, and play freshmen till the end. Coach Lunsford will let the Blue Devils get a token score. CLOUDLAND 72-6
Statewide Picks
Cherokee 20, David Crockett 12
Morristown West 30, Morristown East 12
North Greene 19, West Greene 12
Greeneville 31, Volunteer 12
Tennessee High 18, Unicoi County 12
Memphis East 32, Fairley 12
Ezell-Harding 17, CPA 12
Lincoln County 33, Cookeville 12
Trousdale County 16, Smith County 12
Knox Catholic 34, Notre Dame 12
Dickson County 15, Henry County 12
Boyd Buchanan 35, South Pittsburg 12
Anderson County 14, Kingston 12
Maryville 36, Powell 12
--BY THE NUMBERS--
This week, let's look at the career numbers of a senior in the region (as of Friday night) without naming his name. Take a guess who this player is.
34 - Career Interceptions
220 - Career Tackles
2,179 - Career Pass Yards
4,236 - Career Rush Yards
Over 8,000 - Total Career Yards