Region 1-6A football title up for grabs

Douglas Fritz • Sep 17, 2019 at 1:00 PM

Coming into the season, Science Hill, Knox Farragut and Hardin Valley were the among the teams most people were picking to win the Region 1-6A football league.

Heading into Week 5, things look different.

D-B, Science Hill and Jefferson County are 1-0 with Hardin Valley, Morristown West and Bearden opening with league defeats. Farragut will play its first region contest Friday at Morristown West.

One of the different looks is Dobyns-Bennett taking over the role of favorite. The Indians (3-0 with three blowout wins) play host this week to Hardin Valley, which is coming off a competitive effort against defending Class 5A state champion Knox Central. The Hawks could be hard pressed to handle the Indians on both sides of the football.

Science Hill is certainly still in the title mix, but the Hilltoppers will have to take care of a surprise contender in Jefferson County on Friday. The Patriots squeaked by Morristown East and Morristown West before suffering a 27-point blowout loss to Class 5A Knox West.

The Hilltoppers enter as a slight favorite, depending on the status of injured standout running back Chris Thomas. He missed most of the second half against Greeneville last week.

And although nobody should be counting Knox Farragut out of the mix, the Admirals surprising 21-14 loss last week to Oak Ridge — a team D-B beat by a score of 41-6 — added question marks to their standing as a title contender.

The league race will heat up even more in Week 7 as Science Hill visits Farragut and the Indians travel to take on Jefferson County.


In the last two games between Science Hill and Greeneville, the Greene Devils outscored Science Hill 62-3 when the Hilltoppers didn’t have running back Chris Thomas available — with the field goal coming in Friday’s game three plays after Thomas went out with an injury.

Thomas, who missed last year’s 42-0 loss, helped his team drive to first and goal at the Greene Devils’ 5-yard line early in the third quarter. He was injured and the Hilltoppers settled for a field goal. Greeneville outscored Science Hill 20-0 the rest of the way.

Thomas had 18 carries for 87 yards before his injury.


Some people may view the Greene Devils’ rough start against Science Hill on Friday as a sign they won’t be able to win a third straight title.

But while this is certainly a different team, the Greene Devils seem to have the same mettle they possessed each of the last two years. If anything, the impressive come-from-behind win is evidence in favor of the Greene Devils still being the team to beat in Tennessee’s Class 4A.

Chances seem to be very high that it will come down to the trio of Greeneville, Elizabethton and Anderson County in the fight to advance to the state semifinals.


With a 285-yard passing effort Friday against Knox Webb, David Crockett quarterback Cade Larkins moved his career total to 9,063 yards.

He remained in ninth place on the state’s all-time list, but moved within 303 yards of the Region 1 record — which was set last year by Greeneville’s Cade Ballard (9,366).

Larkins had three touchdown passes to move his career total to 84. He needs four more to move into 10th place on the state’s all-time list.


Coverage-area teams receiving votes from the Johnson City Press/Times-News in this week’s Associated Press state poll, along with the No. 1 selection. (Coverage area is six counties: Sullivan, Washington, Carter, Unicoi, Johnson, Hawkins):

Class 6A

Oakland (No. 1)

Dobyns-Bennett (No. 4)

Class 5A

Knox Central (No. 1)

David Crockett (No. 2)

Cherokee (No. 10)

Class 4A

Greeneville (No. 1)

Elizabethton (No. 2)

Class 3A

Alcoa (No. 1)


Class 2A

Peabody (No. 1)


Class 1A

South Pittsburg (No. 1)



Unicoi County used a 35-0 pounding of Happy Valley to move into this week’s rankings.

Team W-L Prv
1. David Crockett 3-0 1
2. Elizabethton 3-0 2
3. Dobyns-Bennett 3-0 3
4. Cherokee 4-0 4
5. Tennessee High 2-1 6
6. Science Hill 1-3 5
7. Sullivan South 2-2 8
8. Daniel Boone 1-3 7
9. Unicoi County 2-2 NR
10. Johnson County 1-2 10
(tie) Sullivan North 3-1 9


Hardin Valley at Dobyns-Bennett

As long as the Indians contain speedy running back Kelton Gunn, they should have their way with the struggling Hawks.

Jefferson County at Science Hill

It has been a rough start for the Hilltoppers, but the bottom line is always the region record. And Science Hill is 1-0 in that regard.

Volunteer at Cherokee

The Battle for Hawkins County seems to have a little more bite than bark this year. The Chiefs are undefeated while the Falcons’ two losses came against teams with a combined record of 7-0.

South Greene at Sullivan North

It is an extreme test for the Raiders as the Rebels boast a perfect record along with an offense that averages 39 points per game.


Dobyns-Bennett 38, Hardin Valley 14

The Indians have been remarkably consistent with offensive outputs of 33, 41 and 39 points while surrendering 13, 6 and 14. This game should fit neatly into that precedent.

Picks record: 2-2.


Julian Reed, Sullivan South

The Rebels’ standout running back had his second massive game of the season. In a 42-12 whipping of Gate City, the senior rushed for 328 yards on 24 carries with four touchdowns. He had three long scoring runs (68, 58 and 49 yards).


Elizabethton Cyclones

Clearing the way for over 200 yards rushing and providing plenty of time for a strong passing attack, the Clone Hogs did their damage in a 35-12 win over Daniel Boone.


Sullivan Central Cougars

Picking up a much-needed 32-6 win after two close losses, the Cougars’ defense stepped up. Central not only held Pigeon Forge to one score for the entire game, it limited the Tigers to 62 yards of total offense while building a 19-0 halftime lead. For the game, Central surrendered only 67 yards passing.


Dobyns-Bennett has a key district match scheduled for Thursday. The Lady Indians travel to take on Tennessee High at 6 p.m.

Both teams are 1-1 in league play, trailing district leader Science Hill. The Lady Hilltoppers were 4-0 heading into Monday’s game at David Crockett.


Tournament time is rapidly approaching for area golf teams.

In the Large School classification, the area’s conference tournament will take place Sept. 25 at Elizabethton Golf Course. The District 1 tournament is set for Sept. 30 at Ridgefields Country Club in Kingsport.

The Region 1 competition will be held Oct. 7 in Morristown.

In the Small School classification, both the district (Sept. 23) and region (Sept. 30) events will be held at Elizabethton Golf Course.

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