It was just a matter of time, said Jeremy Jenkins.
The Daniel Boone head football coach said he knew it wouldn’t take Science Hill coach Stacy Carter very long to make the quarterback position a thing of major worry to opposing defenses.
“It puts a great hindrance on you,” said Jenkins of the Hilltoppers’ Justin Snyder. “When he drops back to throw, he can also run. You have to take a man out of coverage to spy. We’ve got to get pressure on the quarterback. That’s what we’ve got to do.”
The Trailblazers will try for their third straight win over the Hilltoppers when they meet tonight at Hale Stadium in a Big Eight Conference contest. Kickoff is set for 7:30.
Science Hill is 3-0 in league play and 4-2 overall while the Trailblazers are 1-1, 2-4.
In other Big Eight games, David Crockett plays host to Dobyns-Bennett, Tennessee High visits Sullivan Central and Volunteer hits the road to face Sullivan South.
The Science Hill-Boone rivalry has been tightly contested through the years. The Hilltoppers hold a 10-8 edge, but the Trailblazers won 28-14 last season and 23-0 in 2009.
Carter said he believes his team remembers.
“We will be ready to play,” said Carter. “We need to get them. We got one thing off of us by beating Sullivan South. We hope to take care of Boone.”
But the wins over Science Hill are ancient history to Jenkins.
“This is a whole different team,” he said. “But anytime Johnson City and Boone get together, you have a lot of blood boiling and people fired up. We expect to get their best, and we expect to give them our best.”
Jenkins said he is very concerned about Science Hill’s speed and big-play capability. So he said he hopes to combat it with a ball-control offense.
“We’ve got to move the chains and keep them off the field,” said Jenkins.
Carter said he believes his offense is in a good spot for this part of the season, especially coming off a 467-yard rushing performance against the Rebels.
“It seems like it’s really starting to go,” he said.
Snyder has been going all season, to the tune of 1,405 total yards and 14 total touchdowns — 10 of those coming on passes. Science Hill is averaging 459 yards per game on offense.
Meanwhile, Boone has been struggling on offense, averaging only 162 yards per contest. Most of that has come from running back Cliff Sanders, who leads the Big Eight in rushing with 572 yards.
Boone is struggling to keep its Class 5A playoff hopes alive. A win over Class 6A Science Hill would be a giant step in the right direction.
“We’ve played ourselves into this hole, so we’ve got to play ourselves out,” Jenkins said.
Dobyns Bennett (3-0, 6-0) at David Crockett (0-3, 0-6) — It just doesn’t look like a fun evening for the Pioneers.
The Indians are the second-highest scoring Class 6A team in the state with 259 points. Meanwhile, the only team in the state that has allowed more points than David Crockett’s 335 is Cannon County with 341 — but Cannon has played one more game than Crockett.
The Indians defeated Crockett 54-7 last season. Crockett does boast the Big Eight’s leading scorer in running back Anthony Campbell, who has scored 56 points (9 touchdowns and a 2-point conversion) to share the top spot with the Indians’ Devaun Swafford.
Tennessee High (2-1, 3-3) at Sullivan Central (0-3, 0-6) — After losing a pair of heartbreakers, the Vikings bounced back with a white-knuckle win over Daniel Boone last week.
The biggest problem for heavily favored Tennessee High in this matchup could be paying attention to the task at hand. The Vikings’ next two games are D-B and Science Hill.
Central has scored just 20 points in the last five meetings against Tennessee High and has been shutout five times in an 11-game losing streak in this series.
Volunteer (2-1, 2-4) at Sullivan South (1-2, 3-3) — The schedule has something to do with it, but the Falcons are on a two-game winning streak.
However, a win over the Rebels would be a shocker. Volunteer has been outscored 83-0 in the last two meetings with South.