HV-Hampton stands above all the rest in Week 7 games

By Wes Holtsclaw
STAR STAFF
wholtsclaw@starhq.com
When the Happy Valley Warriors travel to J.C. Campbell Stadium this Friday night, there will be a different mood in the atmosphere.
Last season, both squads met early in a contest that decided the outcome of the Watauga Conference.
This year, both teams enter with one conference loss apiece after losing to Gatlinburg-Pittman, and engage in a battle for county pride and possibly homefield advantage in the first round of the playoffs.
For the past six games in the series, both teams have won a streak of three games apiece. Hampton has carried the momentum with victories since 2000, and the two squads have had a history of playing down to the wire.
The game should mean the most to the seniors on the Warrior squad, who have never beaten Hampton at the high school level, despite sweeping them in middle school.
Tim Whaley enters after a solid ground attack against Cumberland Gap last week, with a tough line that has been the staple of the Hill this season.
On the opposite sidelines stands Mitchell Morton, who went to the air and had a solid game despite losing to Gatlinburg-Pittman. He is surrounded by the typical Hampton style of players who have improved tremendously as the season has worn on.
The Bulldog seniors could say something if they defeat Happy Valley this season, as not many Hampton players could say they have beaten the Warriors each of their four years in high school.
It will be a war of neighbors as players from Gap Creek will grace both sidelines. Friends will battle and words will fly on the field.
But more importantly, this could be the year where two teams from Region 1-2A finally knocks off that Region 2 chip and comes away with home playoff victories.
Either of these two teams could do that if they have the home stands behind them. It truly is the game of this week.
--THE BEST--
Offensive Player:
Tim Whaley, Happy Valley - Whaley ran for 151 yards on 25 carries and caught 30 yards through the air with two touchdowns on the ground against Cumberland Gap.
Defensive Players:
Jon Pritchard and Dane Christman, Cloudland - Pritchard and Christman added a combined 27 tackles to pace the 'Landers defense to allowing Jellico -24 offensive yards halfway through the second quarter before being placed on the bench.
Special Teams Player:
Happy Valley Special Teams Unit - The Warriors punt team blocked two punts in Friday's game against Cumberland Gap, forcing safeties en route to a 35-15 victory.
Trench Performance:
Unaka Ranger line - The Rangers put out 394 yards of rushing on the night against Cosby en route to their 46-20 victory.
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--GAMES OF THE WEEK--
(Overall Record 114-31, Last Week 15-5)
Happy Valley at Hampton - The Bulldogs have a tough team and will fight down to the wire, but according to some Happy Valley players, they want this win more than any on their schedule. HAPPY VALLEY 28-21
Sullivan East at Johnson County - The Patriots pulled out a huge victory over Elizabethton last week. However, with each big win the team has pulled out, they have been defeated in the next week. The squad has to prove something here to earn respect, but they won't do it in Mountain City. JOHNSON COUNTY 14-7
Oakdale at Unaka - The Rangers will come out to another easy victory this week when they host Oakdale. The big maroon got big games from Joey Parlier and Andrew Richardson on the ground last week and should use this game as a tune-up for Cloudland. UNAKA 46-12
Cloudland at Cosby - After last week's solid first 16-minute performance from the varsity, who knows what will happen against an Eagle team on their new turf. I expect the 'Landers to bring another solid game. CLOUDLAND 60-0
Elizabethton at Daniel Boone - After Sullivan East defeated the Cyclones, something had to go through the minds of the Elizabethton players. The loss told Daniel Boone that for the first time in their school's history, they could beat the Cyclones.
However, Elizabethton is still in the playoff hunt and could easily get back on pace to win the conference if they could pull out a win this week. ELIZABETHTON 14-7
Statewide Picks
West Greene 21, Chuckey-Doak 14
Greenback 24, Coalfield 21
Jefferson County 34, Science Hill 20
Morristown East 18, Cherokee 12
Boyd-Buchanan 26, Goodpasture 22
MBA 14, CBHS 8
Brentwood 32, Franklin 14
Anderson County 42, Knox Fulton 16
Oliver Springs 8, Seymour 6
Milan 17, Huntingdon 13
Hillwood 42, Hickman County 10
Columbia 38, Nashville Overton 19
Dickson County 23, Clarksville 12
Stratford 9, Whites Creek 7
Whitehaven 14, White Station 3
--BY THE NUMBERS--
2 - Brandon Irick interceptions against Cosby for the Unaka Rangers
5 - 100 yard rushers from Carter County schools in games this past week
24.4 - Yards Per Carry paved by the Cloudland Highlanders against Jellico last Friday night
--WITTEN UPDATE--

Elizabethton native and Dallas Cowboy's tight end Jason Witten suffered a fractured jaw after a tough hit against the Arizona Cardinals Sunday afternoon in Irving, TX.
Witten had his best game of the season with four grabs for 41 yards before the hit, which could put him out between two-to-four weeks of the season.
"I heard Mark Bavaro had the same injury once and came back pretty quick, so we'll have to see how tough Jason is," Quincy Carter joked to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram Sunday afternoon after the game.