Landers face tough challenge in clash with Greenback

By Travis Brown
STAR Staff

   With the first round of the playoffs under their belts, the Cloudland Highlanders will look to continue the 2001 postseason quest this Friday against the Greenback Cherokees.
   With all of the element falling into place, things are looking good on Roan Mountain, but playoff time means there is no tomorrow.
   The Cherokees come in with a solid 10-1 record with their only loss coming in week 7 to the Midway Green Wave. They finished the season winning 4 straight, and polished off first round opponent Powell Valley by 48 points.
   Both teams have a good attitude coming into the contest, and Greenback will be looking to attack a much improved Highlander secondary, with a balanced run/pass attack.
   Greenback offensive coordinator Brent Kilpatrick is looking forward to the contest with cautious optimism, "We throw the ball a little bit more, but they have some good athletes," said Kilpatrick "We have to mix it up, and stay balanced."
   Meanwhile, 'Lander skipper Mike Lunsford has some concerns of his own leading into this second round contest, "We have to control the ball," said Lunsford "They have the best secondary I've seen play, and they do alot of blitzing and stunting."
   Lunsford is very focused on controlling the ball as well as the clock to keep the ball away from Greenback as much as possible, " We need to march the ball 10, 12, 14, plays and put it in the endzone," said Lunsford "If we can do that we should do well."
   The 'Landers will undoubtedly rely on that solid line play that has established Cloudland as a top contender this season, not only on the offensive side of the football, but on the D-line as well.
   With a strong tailback in Cody Long, and wide outs Trey Helton and Matt Ervin to haul in passes, coach Bill Satterfield will have an array of weapons to attack the Cloudland defense.
   The game should come down to Cloudland's size, verses Greenback's speed and quickness but that is old new to Lunsford and his staff, "They are a quick football team. Size wise I think we can match up with them, it is just a question of whether or not we can get to them."
   Look for the 'Lander defensive front to be in a dime setup for a good deal of the game, with some different looks, the boys from Roan Mountain will hope to equalize the Greenback speed advantage, "We're going to mix it up," said Lunsford "We will try some 3 man line and bring different people from different places."
   That very defensive setup worked very well against Jellico, and although the Cherokees bring better talent to the table, Lunsford is hoping the results will remain the same.
   Cloudland will be looking to even the series with the Cherokees this Friday. These teams have squared off three times in their prospective history's with Greenback taking two of them. Friday will also mark only the 4th time that a Highlander club has made it to the second round.