Caine Ballard didn’t try to hide it. The performance was simply special.
“I think it was as good a performance as we’ve had the last three years, in terms of effort and intensity,” said the Greeneville head coach about his team’s 42-14 whipping of Alcoa on Friday. “The offensive line and defensive line were great, and we won the game up front. I don’t know that we could have played much better than we did.”
This was mighty Alcoa, which entered the season with a 43-game winning streak, and only had it snapped at 44 by Maryville in a seven-point game. This was the seven-time defending state champion.
There was talk last year down Alcoa way about Greeneville not deserving to be mentioned in the same breath as the Tornadoes — even though the Greene Devils were the Class 4A champs and Alcoa won in Class 3A.
This year the cry will almost certainly be about all of Alcoa’s injuries, even though star running back Vanderbilt Hambrick returned to the lineup (15 carries for 40 yards) and Austin-East transfer D.J. Oggs also participated at the quarterback position.
And still, Greeneville won by four touchdowns.
Certainly Alcoa’s tradition had the attention of Greeneville.
“No doubt who it was made a difference,” said Ballard. “And this was the first time we had all 11 of our guys healthy on defense this season. Our scheme against them was good, and we were able to take advantage of some things.”
Greeneville (4-1) pushed Alcoa around at the line of scrimmage, an area where the Tornadoes are usually the champion. And that little item means the Greene Devils are a serious threat to go back-to-back in Class 4A state titles.
Yes, the Tornadoes are 3-3 on the season and possibly a shell of what they’ve been the last two years. But when push comes to shove, they will still have be reckoned with in the Class 3A playoffs.
At this point in the season, Greeneville’s biggest challenge will be avoiding overconfidence as it enters five straight games where it will be about a four- or five-touchdown favorite.
“We’ve just got to get over (the Alcoa game),” said Ballard. “I feel really good about where we are, but it’s a long road.”
n Science Hill’s girls soccer team is rolling along at 12-1 on the season. The Lady Hilltoppers won their own tournament over the weekend with a 6-2 decision over South-Doyle in the title game.
For the season, Science Hill has outscored its opponents by a combined total of 51-12. Leading the way in scoring is Rachel Jones, who has found the net 15 times. Timbra Delaney has eight goals, and has totaled a team-best six assists.
Delaney also has the most shots on goal with 29. Jones is second with 23.
In goal, Jona Charles has stopped 76 percent of opponents shots (28 of 37). Shelley Seaton has 10 stops in 13 chances for 77 percent.
Next up for Science Hill is a home game against David Crockett tonight at 7 o’clock. The regular season is winding down with only four matches left after Crockett. The District 1-AAA tournament begins the week of Oct. 17.
n Stat chat: West Greene yardage machine Dalton Boles went over 200 yards rushing for the fifth consecutive week, totaling 253 on 26 carries in a 35-7 win over North Greene on Friday.
Boles, who has 1,580 yards on the season, has racked up 10 straight 100-yard rushing efforts. However, the last team that held him under 100 is West Greene’s next opponent: Greeneville.
Boles had nine carries for 35 yards in last year’s 55-10 loss to the Greene Devils.
n Elizabethton will hold its 12th annual Hall of Fame induction ceremony on Oct. 6 at Treadway Gymnasium, beginning at 6 p.m.
Athletic director Mike Wilson said the general public is invited and all current members of the Hall of Fame are invited to attend.
This year’s inductees include C.A. Kyle and Wilma “Bill” Donnelly. Kyle was the coach and Donnelly the star player for the 1927 girls basketball team that was known as the Elizabethton Flashers, who reached the state tournament and won several games in the event.
Also being inducted are Ryan Presnell (football and baseball), Willie Church (baseball and coaching), Jerry Webb (football and track) and Amanda Pike (tennis).
n Football games of the week — Sullivan South at Science Hill, Daniel Boone at Tennessee High, Sullivan East at Happy Valley, Greeneville at West Greene, Hampton at North Greene.
Rebels vs. Hilltoppers — Once again Coach Stacy Carter leads Science Hill against his former team, and last year South came up with the big win.
In fact, the Hilltoppers haven’t beaten the Rebels in over two decades — although the teams didn’t play between 1993-2006. South leads the all-time series 12-5 and has won six straight, including each of the last four seasons.
Trailblazers vs. Vikings — The playoff picture is starting to take shape, and this matchup will help the Class 5A view come into focus. The Vikings are reeling after back-to-back tough losses while Boone is coming off a thumping at the hands of Dobyns-Bennett.
Patriots vs. Warriors — It has been a very bright season so far for East, but this is a key game in the proving process. Happy Valley was picked to finish above the Patriots in the preseason poll.
Greene Devils vs. Buffaloes — West Greene is a giant underdog in this one, but could benefit from Greeneville coming off the high of beating Alcoa.
Bulldogs vs. Huskies — These teams are tied for first place with 2-0 league marks, but make no mistake about the favorite. North Greene is a major underdog.
n Pick of the week — Science Hill 32, Sullivan South 17.
With two weeks to prepare and the sting of last year’s loss bouncing around in Stacy Carter’s head, the Hilltoppers should be able to hold fort at the line of scrimmage and pull away for the win.
Picks record: 5-1.
n Note: Weekly honors are reserved for teams whose games are covered by our staff, and games reported to us. To report details of a game on Friday nights, coaches or the team’s designated statisticians may call 929-3111 or e-mail the information to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Friday games reported on Saturday are also eligible for weekly honor consideration.
To be considered for individual player of the week honors, the Johnson City Press must have an individual head-and-shoulder picture available.
n Player of the week — Jake Weaver of Sullivan South.
In a come-from-behind 28-27 overtime win over Elizabethton, the Rebels’ junior quarterback accounted for all four of his team’s touchdowns.
Weaver ran 21 times for 90 yards and scored three times, including a 10-yard run in overtime. He also completed both of his passes for 79 yards, including a 66-yard scoring strike to A.J. Hutchins.
n The Hogs Award — Greeneville Greene Devils.
In the pounding of Alcoa, the Greene Devils’ offensive line manhandled the Tornadoes. Greeneville racked up 359 yards rushing on 56 carries, an average of 6.4 yards per attempt.
The “Greene Hogs” also provided pass protection good enough for a 50 percent completion percentage (2 of 4).
n Defensive unit of the week — Happy Valley Warriors.
In a hard-fought 13-10 win over Abingdon, Va., the Warriors allowed just 132 yards of total offense.
They held Abingdon to 2.2 yards per carry, and forced seven incomplete passes in 10 attempts. Happy Valley also recovered a fumble and forced five punts.
n This Week in Prep History — September 30, 1994.
Matt Perry had a game to remember in Unaka’s 59-20 win over Chuckey-Doak. The wingback carried six times for 134 yards and scored touchdowns on runs of 65 and 26 yards.
He also returned a kickoff 88 yards for one score, and 80 yards for another score. To go along with his four touchdowns, he finished with 322 all-purpose yards.
n Sullivan South slides past Elizabethton into the No. 6 spot for the only change in this week’s Prep Top 10.
Team W-L Prv
1. Dobyns-Bennett 5-0 1
2. Greeneville 4-1 2
3. Science Hill 3-2 3
4. Sullivan North 6-0 4
5. Hampton 5-0 5
6. Sullivan South 3-2 7
7. Elizabethton 3-3 6
8. Tennessee High 2-3 8
9. Daniel Boone 2-3 9
10. Sullivan East 4-1 10
(tie) West Greene 4-2 10