Four Carter schools hit postseason

By Wes Holtsclaw

   Playoff - A series of games to determine a championship. Any final competition to determine a championship.
This Friday night, the state of Tennessee may be encompassed in lights, but Carter County will be surrounded from all different angles.
   After a regular season filled with rivalry and hard-fought gridiron action, high school football now becomes "a county thang." Not an Elizabethton thing, Happy Valley thing, Unaka thing or a Cloudland thing... it's "a county thang."
   Four of the county's football programs will be playing for a gold ball in the TSSAA playoffs.
   They will be playing for the state championship that nobody else east of Jefferson County has even gotten a glimpse of with the exception of Cloudland, which saw the ball and is still fighting to grab it.
   People from all over this county will be watching football this week as the playoffs present a bright opportunity for our county teams to advance to the second round.
   The Elizabethton Cyclones bounced back from a series of losses this season. The unit had a losing record early, but fought towards the first seed in Region One and the Mountain Lakes Conference title.
   This week, the squad hosts a fired-up Cherokee squad that seeks revenge from a 2001 loss at the hands of the orange and black. The game won't be handed to the Cyclones, nor will games be handed to Happy Valley, Unaka or Cloudland.
   The Warriors face a Rockwood squad that gave them grief last season.
   The Tigers enter Friday night's game with an 8-2 record after losses to Oliver Springs and Alcoa. They will bring a tough game to Warrior Hill, but Happy Valley is favored to pull out a victory over this Rockwood unit.
   The Rangers travel to Kingston, where they face the 6-4 Midway Green Wave. Midway lost only one conference game throughout the entire season, falling to Greenback.
   The squad is favored against Unaka, but the Rangers have a good chance to pull out a victory this Friday night and advance towards the second round.
   Top-ranked Cloudland faces a tough Christian Academy of Knoxville unit.
   CAK enters with a 5-4 record, losing nailbiting conference battles against Greenback and Oneida, where they had a chance to pull out with wins.
   The CAK Warriors will come out throwing and the 'Landers will need their best pass defense of the season to move on to the second round.
   Many readers have a certain team they are pulling for in the playoffs.
   If your team gets eliminated, don't sit at home the next Friday night. Go support someone else in this area until the final horn has sounded.
   --THE BEST--
   Offensive Player: Tim Whaley, Happy Valley - 301 yards on nine carries with four touchdowns in the Warriors' thrashing disposal of Chuckey-Doak.
   Defensive Player: Joey Parlier, Unaka - Had a 45-yard interception return for a touchdown in the Rangers' victory over Jellico.
   Trench Performance: Happy Valley Line - paved out 420 yards rushing on just 27 carries last Friday.
   Special Teams Player: NONE
   Quote: Hampton coach J.C. Campbell (on Hampton's loss to South Greene) - "Sometimes you get up and things just don't go well for you. We thought we would play -- we felt prepared. The boys looked like they had a good attitude."
   (Overall Record 178-47, 15-5 Last Week)
   Cherokee at Elizabethton - There's only one thing Cherokee can do to beat Elizabethton, but they won't do it enough: run, run and run some more with the big backs.
   I beleive the Cyclones are on an upward tilt and will come out fired up and ready to pull out a playoff victory. ELIZABETHTON 21-16
   Rockwood at Happy Valley - The ball is in the Warriors' yard and they can pull out the stops if they work hard enough. Rockwood will have the edge because they've steadily defeated the Warriors in the past.
   These two teams know what the other will do, but I think Happy Valley will step it up a notch this week and advance to the second round. HAPPY VALLEY 18-6
   Unaka at Midway - This will be an offensive showdown and if the Rangers can keep from turning the ball over, they could pull out a win. But Kingston's a long trip down the road and the Green Wave atmosphere will be tough. MIDWAY 24-12
   Christian Academy of Knoxville at Cloudland - Cloudland's record against private schools doesn't look very good. And it just happens to be the Highlanders' luck that they get to face one of the most underrated privates in 1-A in the first round.
   If Cloudland can play steady pass defense and run it on the Warriors, it should be okay. CLOUDLAND 37-14
   Statewide Games
   Oneida 41, North Greene 12
   Greenback 66, Cosby 0
   Boyd-Buchanan 44, Clay County 6
   South Pittsburg 38, Watertown 0
   CPA 42, Collinwood 14
   Gatlinburg-Pittman 35, Sweetwater 7
   Alcoa 31, Cumberland Gap 14
   Oliver Springs 52, South Greene 13
   Seymour 21, Kingston 0
   Austin East 42, Pigeon Forge 13
   Hillcrest 15, Brighton 0
   Greeneville 38, Sullivan Central 21
   Tennessee High 21, Morristown East 20
   Morristown West 50, Sullivan South 14
   Hillwood 7, Northwest 0
   Memphis East 15, Dyersburg 14
   Dobyns-Bennett 30, Soddy Daisy 14
   Science Hill 18, McMinn County 16
   Jefferson County 34, William Blount 6
   Oak Ridge 38, Sevier County 10
   Brentwood Academy 100, Bye 0
   Lincoln County 42, Oakland 12
   SBEC 11, Tipton-Rosemark 10
   Knox Catholic 32, Pope John Paul 13
   BGA 14, Knox Webb 7
   McCallie 24, MUS 12
2 - blocked extra points that sent CAK to Cloudland
   36 - points Midway scored on Oakdale
   41 - points scored by Rockwood against Harriman Friday
   235 - pounds of Chris West running for Cherokee this week