With the recent injury to Trailblazers’ standout Charlie Cole, combined with Elizabethton’s impressive start, the Cyclones have moved into the role of large favorite. Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m. on Friday in Elizabethton.
Cyclones’ head coach Shawn Witten said his team’s challenge will be different.
“Last week was their first game without Charlie Cole, so I expect them to be better this week,” said Witten. “Guys will be more comfortable adjusting to their new roles. We will have to defend the entire team.”
Also on Friday, David Crockett will step outside of Division I to battle private school Knox Webb. That game is scheduled for kickoff at 7 p.m., 30 minutes earlier than the traditional regular season time.
DANIEL BOONE (1-2) at ELIZABETHTON (2-0)
Boone head coach Jeremy Jenkins said his team knows it faces a tough foe.
“Our biggest challenge will be tackling in space and getting off blocks,” he said. “Offensively we just have to sustain drives, move the chains and get positive yards.”
The Cyclones defeated Science Hill 28-20 in their opener, rested up for a week, and then crunched Sullivan East by a score of 63-9.
Meanwhile, Boone got off to a superb start with a 30-6 whipping of Sullivan South. Cole was injured during the Trailblazers’ 31-14 loss to Greeneville, and Boone suffered a 35-0 loss to Tennessee High last week.
Elizabethton has dominated this rivalry, winning six in a row. That includes last year’s 38-10 win at Boone.
DAVID CROCKETT (2-0) at KNOX WEBB (1-2)
Working on a 12-game regular season winning streak, the Pioneers face an interesting challenge.
“Any time you play a style of offense you aren’t used to seeing week in and week out, I think you have extra work to do preparing your kids,” said Crockett head coach Hayden Chandley. “Their style makes you have play assignment football. We have really been working on reading our keys, flying to the football, and tackling our assignment this week.”
Senior running back Grissim Anderson is the Spartans’ top threat. In the 28-21 loss to Boyd-Buchanan last week, he had a 68-yard kickoff return for a touchdown, scored on an eight-yard run, and threw a 50-yard touchdown pass.
Webb produced a shutout in its other game against a public school — 3-0 over Austin-East — but the defense should have its hands full with Crockett quarterback Cade Larkins and his array of big receivers.
Prince Kollie, Donta Hackler and Mason Britton give Larkins plenty of options while running back Ronquille Joyner adds to the offensive threat behind a sturdy offensive line.
“They like to send a five-man pressure most snaps, so it will be crucial to do a better job protecting our quarterback and getting the ball out of his hands a little quicker,” said Chandley.