In a game against a much improved Lenoir City squad, the Rhea County Eagles emerged victorious, led by the Herculean efforts of the Eagle secondary composed of Jay Graham, Aulbrey Smith, and Brady Rice who all tallied an interception apiece in the region contest. The Eagles had trouble putting away the upset-minded Panthers, but came out on top with the 21-14 win to improve to 3-2 at the halfway point in the season and a key 2-0 in region play.
The Panthers of Lenoir City scored first, putting the Eagles in an early 0-7 hole. They responded in kind and scored to tie the game at 7-7 before trading touchdowns with Lenoir City in the second quarter to make the halftime score 14-14. The Eagles would score the only touchdown for either team in the second half to win the game.
The Eagles were once again led on the ground by senior wingback Christian Simon who, when one counts his rushing, receiving, and special teams yardage, has already racked up nearly one-thousand yards for his team. Simon scored twice in Rhea County’s win with junior wing Gavin Morrison tallying the other score.
The Eagles now have a key lead in the region title chase going in to the second half of the season, with a massive game at Knoxville Catholic coming up next week. However, it is always next opponent first, and the Eagles have a tough game this Friday at long-time rival Bradley Central.
The Eagles fell in this week’s AP poll, tumbling three spots to #10. Knoxville Catholic, the only other region team ranked in the poll, fell one spot to #4. This week’s opponent, Bradley Central, was ranked #7 in the 6A poll.
Region 4-5A Standings
1. Rhea County (3-2, 2-0)
2. Knoxville Catholic (3-2, 1-0)
3. Lenoir City (3-2, 1-1)
4. Walker Valley (0-4, 0-1)
5. Soddy-Daisy (3-2, 0-2)