David Crockett needs a big bounce back after last week’s humbling at the hands of Science Hill, but the Pioneers aren’t the only ones who have to overcome that game.
Elizabethton can’t allow Crockett’s 90-21 loss to be a mental stumbling block as it prepares to play the Pioneers for the first time since 1996.
“You wonder how hard it will be to get your kids mentally ready to play,” said Cyclones’ head coach Shawn Witten. “It scares you as a coach. But it’s Homecoming for us, and we should be excited about having another opportunity to play.”
Kickoff is scheduled for 7:30 tonight at Rider Field.
Included in the mix of games involving other games Big Seven Conference teams, Dobyns-Bennett plays host to Sevier County, and Tennessee High “travels” a few blocks to visit Virginia High. Daniel Boone has the week off.
In the Class AA ranks, the schedule is highlighted by Happy Valley playing host to Hampton. Also, Johnson County is the home team in the unofficial Mountain Bowl against Cloudland.
Elizabethton enters its game with a record of 2-1. The Cyclones whipped Daniel Boone and Sullivan East, but lost a heartbreaker to Science Hill between those wins.
Crockett (2-1) got off to an encouraging start with wins over Sullivan East and Unicoi County, but the momentum slipped away in the first half against the Hilltoppers.
Sevier County (2-0) at Dobyns-Bennett (2-1) — The Indians won both games in this long-distance rivalry last season, including a 28-21 decision in the second round of the playoffs.
D-B has won 10 of the last 12 meetings, but Sevier County pulled off a big playoff upset in 2011.
Tennessee High (1-1) at Virginia High (2-1) — After an outstanding start to the season, the Vikings weren’t able to replicate the feeling in their second contest.
Things should get back on track this week as the Vikings usually handle the Bearcats with ease.
Volunteer (0-3) at Cherokee (1-2) — After a pair of very close losses, the Chiefs bounced back to escape Morristown West last week.
That momentum could make it a long night for the Falcons.
Hampton (1-2) at Happy Valley (1-2) — The Warriors are in pretty serious need of a momentum-building win, and this is a good rivalry.
Coming off a sluggish offensive outing against Sullivan South, a similar performance could doom Happy Valley as Hampton can put points on the scoreboard.
Cloudland (3-0) at Johnson County (1-1) — A 3-0 start looks pretty good for the Highlanders, but this should be their toughest test to date.
Cloudland may have a lot of difficulty dealing with the Longhorns’ dual-threat offense.
Gatlinburg-Pittman (3-0) at Unicoi County (1-2) — Dealing with the Highlanders’ explosive offense is the biggest issue the Blue Devils face.
Unicoi has already allowed 133 points on the season while Pittman has scored 103.
Greeneville (2-0) at Jefferson County (1-1) — The Patriots were getting some votes in the statewide rankings, but a 28-14 loss to South Doyle silenced that debate.
Meanwhile, Greeneville appears to be equally solid on both sides of the football with a 96-7 combined-score start to the season.