Greene Devils make ready for West

As this year's football season slowly squeezes down to playoff time, several match-ups have been shaping up across the state to determine number one seeds and conference champions.
   Perhaps the biggest game of the week is in 4-A, as the top region two teams will battle it out in Hamblen County this week.
   Greeneville steps onto the field against Morristown West in what could shake or break the playoff situation this fall. Greeneville remains undefeated and will tackle a West team whose only loss has come to number one Maryville.
   Greeneville has been exploiting a numerous amount of offensive weapons in the past few weeks, and this week blew over the top with six rushing touchdowns from 4-A State Player of the Week Thomas Lister.
   Although, the Trojans haven't exactly been calling on one man each week, they have been performing as a team. It should be a close contest this week; however, I believe the winner of this game will be sitting in the driver's seat for the top bracket of the playoffs.
   In 2-A this week, region's one and two will be crowning what could be their conference champions this week. Here locally, Hampton travels to Mosheim for a contest against West Greene, pitting two 6-1 teams together for what should be a classic battle.
   Hampton will be facing a different Buffalo team this year with coach Barry Carter leading the way. Both teams are ranked sixth and seventh respectively in the state this week.
   In region two, T. J. Brock and Sweetwater will host Oliver Springs for a big conference clash. Oliver Springs is coming off of a disappointing loss to 1-A Boyd-Buchanan, while Sweetwater remains unscathed.
   I believe Sweetwater will prevail big in this contest, with Oliver Springs taking on the loser of the Hampton-West Greene contest in the playoffs.
   1-A features quality games in region's one and three this week. The number one ranked Cloudland Highlanders return to the field this week, traveling to face the ninth ranked Powell Valley Indians for the conference championship.
   The Powell Valley faithful have been shooting their beliefs that this is the year of the Indians in their last year as a football program before forming into Cumberland Gap High School.
   The Indians are playing for a conference title, but the Highlanders are seeking to prove that they are not overrated and want to dominate in this conference title.
   Boyd-Buchanan travels to South Pittsburg this week in the biggest game of the state. South Pittsburg is undefeated, while Boyd lost earlier this season to defending state champion Ezell-Harding.
   A. J. Jones will be leading the Pirates, while the Bucs will bring a high flying passing attack to the front.
   It should be a very close game with no obvious winner presenting itself, South Pittsburg believes they are underrated and want to prove it at home this week.
   THIS WEEK'S GAMES
   ELIZABETHTON AT JOHNSON COUNTY

   With all due respect to the Longhorn faithful, this is going to be a rough Friday night to watch high school football in Mountain City. Walter Brown is still on fire, and with Ryan Curtis throwing the ball like he has been, there is no reason to believe Elizabethton will not come away with this one. ELIZABETHTON 72-12
   HAPPY VALLEY AT GATLINBURG-PITTMAN
   The Highlanders of Gatlinburg-Pittman have been playing touch football this year, and in their last year of 3-A, they get a taste of future conference rival Happy Valley, as Pittman moves up to the Watauga Conference next season.
   It will be tough for the Warriors without Lamar Rollins. GATLINBURG-PITTMAN 36-16
   HAMPTON AT WEST GREENE
   West Greene has had an awesome season, and their shot at a conference title rides on this contest in Mosheim. But the Bulldogs are seeking that perennial first spot in the playoff picture, and want this game in the worse way before hosting the Highlanders next week. HAMPTON 32-21
   CLOUDLAND AT POWELL VALLEY
   The Indians believe they have this one, but the Highlanders believe something different. And until somebody beats them, Cloudland will roll in this end of the state. CLOUDLAND 62-10
   UNAKA AT NORTH GREENE
   The Unaka Rangers playoff hopes are all on the line this week against the Huskies of North Greene. The Rangers hope to bounce back from a hard felt loss to Hampton against the Huskies this week. UNAKA 18-12
   EARL NALL RANKINGS
   Here is how our local teams stand in this week's Earl Nall poll: 1-A - Cloudland 71.5, Unaka 15.2; 2-A - Hampton 45.5, Happy Valley 39.0; 4-A - Elizabethton 57.9, Johnson County 30.8.
   OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK: RYAN CURTIS, ELIZABETHTON
   Curtis was spectacular throwing the football this past week against a very tough Daniel Boone Trailblazer squad. Curtis was 11 of 14 passing with 155 yards and two scores, and also ran a 17-yard touchdown.
   DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK: JIMMY SARRETT, HAMPTON
   Sarrett had eleven tackles, two interceptions, recovered a fumble, and ran a touchdown in Hampton's win over Unaka this past week.
   LINEMAN OF THE WEEK: ELIZABETHTON LINE CORE
   The Elizabethton line core paved the way for a lot of Cyclone points against Daniel Boone this week. The Cyclones laid the smackdown all over the Trail Blazer front throughout the entire contest.
   THIS WEEK'S PICKS
   South Greene 39, Chuckey-Doak 12
   Greeneville 48, Morristown West 32
   Jellico 28, Cosby 6
   Sweetwater 48, Oliver Springs 14
   Sullivan East 38, Daniel Boone 27
   Tennessee High 43, Sullivan Central 17
   Sullivan South 42, Unicoi County 12
   Greenback 58, Sunbright 16
   Anderson County 33, Austin-East 28
   South Pittsburg 30, Boyd-Buchanan 17