Second round playoffs narrow the locals

By Matt Hill

   The second round of the TSSAA playoffs is upon us, removing two of our local teams after last week's playoff action.
   Hampton and Happy Valley were defeated by tough region 2-2A opponents this past Friday night, while Cloudland and Elizabethton soundly took the next step in their seasons.
   Elizabethton will travel to Morristown West for what should be a classic showdown. Cloudland hosts region 1-1A rival Powell Valley in a rematch which has been the subject of a lot of mixed emotions.
   The war between the public schools and private schools of Tennessee took a new turn this past week.
   With an overwhelming vote of 205 to 81, the majority of the schools in Tennessee have voted to send all private schools to division two, with all public schools playing in division one.
   However, though the majority of the organization wants this to occur, the executive panel at the TSSAA headquarters will have to vote on this before it is passed.
   I believe it would be in the TSSAA's best interest to pass this item, because the majority of the schools in the state voted for the policy. Any rejections to this would only signify the personal situations in the TSSAA staff and could cause a split in the organization.
   The movement was started by representatives at Collinwood High School, after their team was defeated by Ezell-Harding in last year's football playoffs.
   Such movement, if passed, would not take place to the 2004-05 sports year in this state. Therefore, small schools will have to put up with the teams for another two seasons.

   The Cyclones will travel to Burke-Toney Stadium for this contest between two of the most explosive teams in our area.
   Morristown West has rebounded since their huge 49-7 loss to the top ranked Maryville Rebels, with a 45-42 win over Greeneville and a 41-8 first round win over Daniel Boone.
   Trojan quarterback Drew Southerland and tailback Chris Davis are entering the game after superb performances against the Trailblazers this past week.
   Davis had nine carries for 148 yards and a score in the victory, while Southerland was big through the air and on the ground for West. Southerland was named 4-A State Player of the Week after his performance against Greeneville and will be a threat against Elizabethton.
   This game will be a solid contest of defense and rushing. For Elizabethton to have a chance at winning this ballgame they must stop the rushing attack. That means each of the Cyclone's defensive players, especially linebacker Vince Redd will have to be in full force this Friday night.
   Elizabethton will also need a stellar game from quarterback Ryan Curtis and tailback Walter Brown. Curtis will need to be accurate and ready to make big plays for the Cyclones, while Brown will need to be in perfect form this week.
   A win this week could give Elizabethton the momentum to explode into a rematch after losses to both Tennessee High and Greeneville. As much as I would like to see that, I think Morristown West has a little more size and sped than the Cyclones. MORRISTOWN WEST 34-20
   This contest is what the Cloudland Highlanders wanted, but it was also what the Powell Valley Indians wanted. After the Indians gave Cloudland one of their closest conference games in the past three seasons, they hit a skid.
   But the Indians are ready to face Cloudland this week, and from all indications from their fans, players, and parents, they will come out with a big upset this week.
   It really wouldn't surprise me to see Cloudland get beat during second round action, because it was just two seasons ago that they were hammered by Austin-East in 2-A.
   Corey Russell and Rusty Loza made themselves a household name in their small community after exposing several of Cloudland's weaknesses, then leading the small school to their first playoff win in school history over Coalfield last week.
   The thing Powell Valley hasn't realized is that they have stirred up the nest up in Roan Mountain, and the Highlanders are out to prove that they are the much better squad in this area.
   The Highlanders will need to play much better pass defense this week, and focus on their speedy blitz as they did in their huge win over Midway.
   If they can contain the pass, and let the 'Killer B' backfield run wild on the mountain, the Highlanders could blow away the Indians. CLOUDLAND 60-14
   The All Wesley weekly awards concluded last week after the end of the regular season, however the season ending awards will be released when all of the local teams are out of the playoffs. I will begin basketball coverage next week in my column.
Ezell-Harding 28, DCA 16
   Greenback 52, Oneida 22
   Collinwood 30, CPA 18
   South Pittsburg 38, Gordonsville 25
   Sweetwater 44, Rockwood 22
   Tyner 36, David Lipscomb 26
   Crockett County 42, Greenbrier 20
   Oliver Springs 24, Wartburg Central 21
   Goodpasture 34, Polk County 27
   Anderson County 36, Gatlinburg-Pittman 22
   Knoxville Fulton 28, Seymour 14
   Trousdale County 35, Grundy County 24
   Greeneville 60, Tennessee High 36
   Knoxville Central 28, Cleveland 6
   Maryville 41, Powell 21
   Tullahoma 28, Hillsboro 7
   Jefferson County 26, Ooltewah 18
   Oak Ridge 33, Dobyns Bennett 20
   Riverdale 44, Oakland 32
   Germantown 50, Whitehaven 20