Its confidence shaken by back-to-back shutout losses, David Crockett doesn’t exactly have an ideal situation in facing Science Hill tonight.
“We thought we had a decent team, but we’ve had two tough weeks,” said Pioneers’ head coach Kent Green. “Our confidence is shaken a little. But the kids will be up for Science Hill.”
The Hilltoppers will play host to Crockett at Tipton Stadium in a Big Eight Conference contest. Kickoff is set for 7:30.
Science Hill is rolling along at 4-0 (1-0 in the league) and deserving of its No. 6 ranking in the state. The Hilltoppers have more than doubled their opponents’ point total (172-71) despite playing a tough schedule.
Meanwhile, Crockett (0-1, 1-2) started with a 30-22 win over Sullivan East before losing to Tennessee High and Cocke County by a combined score of 78-0.
In order to have a shot at staying close to speedy Science Hill, it will come down to fundamentals.
“Defensively you’ve got to take good angles,” said Green. “If you take the wrong angle, they can outrun you for six points.
“And their quarterback (Reed Hayes) is not only elusive, sometimes he lowers his head and runs like a fullback. We’ve got to tackle better.”
Hayes has already racked up 1,112 yards of total offense, an average of 278 per game. The senior has passed for 871 yards with nine touchdowns and one interception in his first season as the starter.
Will Adams is another big threat for the ‘Toppers. The running back has rushed for 250 yards and five touchdowns, and last week ran a kickoff back to help secure a 41-27 win over Morristown West.
Malik McGue is Science Hill’s top receiving threat. He has totaled 10 catches for 240 yards and found the end zone three times.
Defensively the Hilltoppers will have to deal with Crockett’s wing-T offense.
“It’s different,” said Science Hill head coach Stacy Carter. “Not many people do it as much as they used to. It’s hard to simulate in practice. It’s a good offense, but we will be prepared.”
Crockett has only averaged 185 yards of offense per game. Meanwhile, Science Hill is averaging 430.
Carter said he wants to see his players get better on special teams.
“We’ve got to continue to work on it,” he said. “We did some great things last week.
“Also, we need to have consistency running the football. We’ve done well at times, but at crunch time we’ve got to be good running the football.”