Just as quickly as it came upon us, the high school football season is nearing its end. After weeks of overtime thrillers and last-second heartbreaks and triumphs, the 2017 Rhea County High School football season is closing in on its finale. This Friday, the Eagles will travel to Antioch, TN, to face the Ravens of Cane Ridge High School in what will be the final regular season game for each team.
Even with Rhea County’s guaranteed spot in the Class 5A playoffs, this game has a level of unique importance on how the Eagles finish out 2017.
What began with two straight losses to Cleveland and Blackman transitioned into a three-game win streak that included victories over Walker Valley and Lenoir City and a thrilling overtime win against non-region opponent McMinn County before seeing the Eagles have a two-game skid against Bradley Central and Knoxville Catholic on the road and now see a two-game run in victories against Marion County and Soddy-Daisy to bring the Eagles to a record of 5-4 on the season.
Friday, the Eagles travel to Cane Ridge in the Nashville suburb of Antioch for the first meeting on the gridiron between themselves and the Ravens.
Here is a look at Cane Ridge:
Cane Ridge High School
Class 6A, Region 5
The Ravens sport an 8-1 record and a #9 ranking in the latest Associated Press poll for Class 6A, just above our Week 2 opponent Blackman and two spots behind our Week 6 opponent Bradley Central.
Included in the Ravens’ wins are impressive showings in region play against Lavergne (43-0), Smyrna (35-0), McGavock (43-0), and Antioch (56-0), and their only loss was at the hands Region 6-6A leader and #8 in Class 6A Brentwood High School in Week 2 by a final score of 21-41.
The Ravens have already captured the region crown with a perfect record of 6-0 in region play.
Players to Watch Out for:
Korey Andrews (#3, QB, junior)
-Leads Region 5-6A in passing yards with 1,327 on the season.
Devon Starling (#5, RB, junior)
-Region 5-6A leader in rushing yards, total points, and total touchdowns.
Desmond Goodloe (#58, DT, senior)
-Second in the region in sacks for 2017 with 5.
Jared Kamer (#88, TE, senior)
Zach Swafford (#62, OL, senior)
Patric Williams (#64, OL, junior)
In the words of Coach Pemberton, the playoffs are about who gets hot at the right time and who can make the fewest mistakes. Both teams would like to secure a win here that would keep their win streaks that currently stand at 2 (Rhea County) and 7 (Cane Ridge) alive as they enter their class’s playoffs, but, as is the case in all games, a winner and a loser must be decided and one of these streaks must end. I expect this game to be hard fought, and I do not think the Eagles will go down lightly. As a matter of fact, I believe the Eagles have what it takes to extend their win streak to 3 and upset the Ravens as they prepare for a home playoff game on November 3rd.
Brian’s Pick: Rhea County 24, Cane Ridge 21
Other Region 4-5A Games:
Lenoir City @ Knoxville Catholic: Catholic by 14
Walker Valley @ Soddy-Daisy: Soddy-Daisy by 17
Region 4-5A Standings:
1. Knoxville Catholic (3-0)
2. Rhea County (3-1)
3. Lenoir City (2-1)
4. Soddy-Daisy/Walker Valley (0-3)
Games to Watch:
Watch out for these games from Region 3-5A, our paring in the first round of the playoffs.
Oak Ridge @ Fulton: This game decides the #1 and #2 in the region as they are both 5-0 in region play. Winner plays the winner between Soddy-Daisy and Walker Valley. Loser plays Lenoir City.
Campbell County @ West: This game decides the #3 and #4 spots in the region. Winner plays on the road at Rhea County. Loser plays on the road at Knoxville Catholic.