Hilltoppers face daunting task in Greeneville

Douglas Fritz • Sep 6, 2018 at 4:13 PM

Two distinct tasks stand in front of Science Hill as it prepares for Friday’s game against defending Class 4A state champion Greeneville.

One: Move the football on the ground.

Two: Make the Greene Devils one dimensional.

The problem is those things can be very difficult to accomplish against Greeneville. Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m. at Burley Stadium.

“We have to make them one dimensional, and that’s hard to do when they have good athletes,” said Science Hill head coach Stacy Carter. “But we have to take some stuff away from them.

“We have to get some turnovers and get some breaks. We have to take our shots and hit some of them, and run the ball consistently. That’s a lot of things, but we just have to make some plays.”

Science Hill is 1-2 on the season with its games decided by two, one and three points. Greeneville is 3-0, having outscored its opponents by a combined margin of 154-3.

Greeneville head coach Caine Ballard said he expects Science Hill’s best shot.

“They are a couple of plays away from being undefeated from what I understand,” said Ballard, whose teams have won 108 of their last 120 games. “I expect to get their best effort Friday night. We have a big level of respect for Science Hill. I think it will be a great atmosphere.”


Greeneville has four Division I commitments in quarterback Cade Ballard (Army), wide receiver Dorien Goddard (Virginia), tight end Cameron Hite (Wake Forest) and long snapper Will Albright (Tennessee, Class of 2020).


Ballard has connected on 86 percent of his pass attempts (33 of 38). He has thrown for 689 yards with nine touchdowns and zero interceptions. He also leads the team with 178 yards rushing with four scores.

Ballard’s main passing connection is Goddard, who has 17 catches for 322 yards and three scores.

Greeneville averages 11.4 yards per offensive snap

“They run more than they throw,” said Carter. “Most good teams are good running teams, and they are a good running team. And a lot of their passing game is considered a run with bubble screens and hitch screens, and they use Goddard a lot to do that. They are incredibly simple, which most good teams are, and they are very good at it.”

Defensively, Jacques Gillespie-Taylor, Ty Youngblood and Logan Shipley have combined for seven sacks. Garrin Shuffler and Albright each have 20 tackles, and Hite is a factor on defense, too.

“They have good ends, good tackles and their middle linebacker, Youngblood, is a good player,” said Carter. “They play a base sound defense. You know what you are going to get. They are very proficient in what they do.”


Quarterback AJ Stewart has thrown for 343 yards and rushed for 210 with four total touchdowns. Running back Chris Thomas has gained 414 yards on the ground with six scores.

“Dobyns-Bennett moved the ball on the ground against Greeneville, but came up short on few things,” said Carter. “I think that’s something we have to do, but with our offense we have to be more balanced and more wide open to be successful.”

Nicholas Copenhaver leads the defense with 29 tackles. Jacob Abram has three sacks.

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