At the halfway point of the gridiron season, the majority of Roane County’s football programs will begin the portion of their schedules that will carry them to the close of the campaign or further into the post season.
All but one of the teams will face region opponents this week. The old cliché about every game counts makes all the more difference now as we turn down the homestretch.
Sweetwater @ Kingston
Arguably one the most important games on the Kingston Yellow Jackets’ schedule this year will be tonight’s region game with the Sweetwater Wildcats at Dr. Nat Sugarman Field.
To say playoff implications are high for this game would be an understatement.
Kingston is currently holds the sixth place in the AP 3A Poll while Sweetwater is ranked eighth.
Sweetwater will be coming into the game off a bye-week.
Having time to rest and regroup can go a long way in improving the Wildcats’ chances in the game.
Sweetwater at 2-1 has beaten Loudon 31-13 two weeks ago and Rockwood 35-0 a week before that. The Wildcats’ only loss was a close one, 23-22, against Meigs in week one.
Of course, the Jackets will have the advantage of momentum and home field familiarity along with their talented roster.
Kingston is riding high on a four-game win streak.
With the focus on the run and strong defensive play, expect the game to come down to who can remain disciplined and dominate the line of scrimmage.
Rockwood @ Monterey
The Rockwood Tigers will travel to face the Monterey Wildcats tonight in the Tigers’ first region game of the year.
Both teams are coming into the contest with 2-2 records and a win this evening can go a long way in pushing the pace for the remainder of the schedule.
Rockwood has seen a lot of ups and downs so far.
The Tigers’ main issue has appeared to be in securing and maintaining the football with turnovers being a problem thus far.
As is the case in most games, discipline and mental toughness will play a factor in determining if Rockwood can go into next week’s game against the Harriman Blue Devils with a win and momentum.
Harriman @ Sunbright
The Harriman Blue Devils will travel to face the Sunbright Tigers in Harriman’s second region contest of the year.
Harriman is currently 1-3 and a win against Sunbright could be the shot in the arm the Devils need to push them further along.
In last week’s game against Sale Creek, Harriman appeared to be running on all cylinders, but some late game issues arose leading to the Devils dropping the contest, 37-28.
Harriman could rebound in a big way against Sunbright with a running and passing game poised to make some noise.
The Tigers are winless so far this year with a 0-3 record.
At this point in the year, it appears as if Sunbright can still get things together, but it is more likely the team can possibly be spoilers for their opponents as a loss to the Tigers could prove disastrous for playoff hopes.
Wartburg @ Midway
Although not a region game, the game between the Midway Green Wave and Wartburg Bulldogs has been a measuring stick to see where the teams are so far in the season.
When the teams meet tonight South of the River, both will be looking to get things on track.
Midway started things off strong with a late game victory against Sale Creek in week one.
Since then, things have started to slide downhill.
Although the run heavy focus has helped at times, the Green Wave have been unable to really get things together.
Midway is on a three-game losing streak following a 40-0 loss to Tellico Plains, the first time since 2013 Tellico has beaten the Green Wave.
An opportunistic defense has always been a calling card for Midway, but last week the Bears ran through, on and over it on the way to 400 rushing yards.
With only one region game under the Green Wave’s belt so far, there is still time for a course correction.
In order for this to happen, though, it will have to come at the expense of the Bulldogs.
Wartburg is also looking to gain momentum and some confidence with a win. Thus far, the Bulldogs are 0-4.
Greenback @ Oliver Springs
After three weeks on the road, the Oliver Springs Bobcats will return to the friendly confines of D.J. Brittan Field tonight for a region rivalry contest with the Greenback Cherokees.
Although the Bobcats have been grinding to find pieces of the puzzle to fit together, so far it hasn’t paid off.
Oliver Springs will be looking for its first win of the season.
It will likely come down to defense and ball control much the way it was in last week’s 13-10 loss to Oneida.
The key likely will be if the Bobcats’ offense can finally find a rhythm and finish some drives.
Greenback has traditionally been a top team in 1A, but in the last few years, that dominance has fallen off a bit.
Although it looks as if the Cherokees may have regained some of that swagger, it still hasn’t meshed completely as they will be bringing a 2-2 record in tonight and will be coming off a 48-7 loss to Webb.
All games are scheduled for a 7:30 p.m. kickoff except for the Rockwood and Monterey game, which will be on Central time.