Trojan weapons pose threat to Eagle Playoffs

Cody Bice rumbles past Trojan defenders in a 47-37 Eagle victory - 2014 (photo:GaryBolden/RheaReview)

High-Powered Trojan offense hopes to spoil Homecoming and more in Evensville

Make no mistake.  With three district games remaining, Soddy-Daisy’s multiple threat offense poses the greatest risk to Rhea County’s plan of winning out in the regular season.  With three losses, the Golden Eagles (4-3, 2-1) have been forged in the fire of one the toughest schedule in school history.


It’s all playoff games from here on out. You’re battling to get in the playoffs. So it’s a huge ballgame for us with Soddy.

Mark Pemberton, Rhea County Golden Eagles


But now, the pressure is on.  Coach Pemberton insists, “It’s all playoff games from here on out.  You’re battling to get in the playoffs.  So it’s a huge ballgame for us with Soddy.”

Coach Justin Barnes and his Trojan football team (5-2, 3-1) will bring multiple weapons to Evensville with hopes of spoiling Rhea County’s Homecoming and securing a number two spot in the mighty 5A-4 Region.  Last week, the Trojans rallied in the second half to overcome a 24-12 halftime deficit against Walker Valley for 41-31 win.

“Soddy Daisy.  They’re a good football team.  They throw it around, and have some good offensive weapons, with a pretty good defense too.” said Pemberton.  Let’s take a look at some of those weapons.

QB Justin Cooke (#2)

The Trojans high-powered offense is led by a QB Justin Cooke (#2), a leader who’s proved he is as dangerous on the ground as he is in the air.   Ooltewah linebacker Jeremiah Jackson told Larry Fleming of the, “(Cooke) is a dynamic little guy,” Jackson said. “He reminds me of Johnny Manziel.”  The Cooke led offense is responsible for the highest scoring average in the region with 37.7 points per game.

RB Christian Bell (#26)

Cooke’s dynamic abilities are complimented in the Trojan backfield by senior RB Christian Bell (#26) who dialed up 201 yards on 31 carries in last week’s win over the Mustangs.  Bell had three touchdowns on the night including the game-winner with only 1:23 left to play.  Bell unveiled his speed against district leader Ooltewah with a 95-yard punt return which was the start of a rally that would bring the Trojans within two points in the 3rd quarter.  The Owls ultimately survived the scare, 30-21.

WR Tre Carter (#9)

Completing the Trojan trifecta is kicker, wide receiver, and return specialist Tre Carter (#9).  Carter took last week’s opening kickoff 90 yards and rushed for 43-yard touchdown before the night was out.  As Cooke’s favorite target, he caught eight passes for 94 yards against debatably the best secondary in the district – Ooltewah.

Key to Eagle Victory

Win the turnover battle, and keep the Wing-T rolling.  Rhea County amassed 350 yards rushing last week for a 41-7 victory over Cleveland.  With personnel adjustments made to the offensive line, it looks like Pemberton has found the formula.

Against the district’s highest scoring offense, the Golden Eagles will need to keep pressure on Cooke with an eye on Bell on Carter.

“They’re a good team, but we’re gonna come in ready to rock and roll,” said Golden Eagle back Cody Bice who will have his work cut out as part of the Eagle secondary.

Homecoming festivities begin at 7. Kickoff at 7:30 p.m.

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