Rhea County to host long-time rival in 2nd Round
Rhea County Golden Eagles, 10-1, enter Round 2 of the State playoffs against a tough, 8-3, Cleveland team. Historically, Rhea County has fared extremely well in the 2nd round boasting a 9-2 record. Unfortunately, the Golden Eagles have not fared well against Cleveland over the years. Rhea County has only won 14 out of 36 in the series. Rhea County closed out last years regular season beating Cleveland, 29-27. Make no mistake about it folks, this IS a rivalry game.
2013 Blue Raiders
Cleveland’s head coach Ron Crawford has an overall record of 106-50 going in to the 2013 season. This is his second year at Cleveland which follows a 10 year coaching stretch at Brentwood. In 2012, current Rhea County Coach Mark Pemberton took over at Brentwood taking the Bruins all the way to the quarterfinals with a 11-2 record.
The 2013 Blue Raider team is led by Senior QB Austin Herink. Cleveland has an record of 8-3 overall and 5-1 in the treacherous AAA-District 5. The team is on a 4 game win streak with their last loss being to East Hamilton. The Blue Raiders have outscored their opponents 384-222 so far this season. You don’t have to look far into the numbers to realize Cleveland will be the toughest opponent Rhea County has played this season.
Golden Eagles Undefeated at Home
The deciding factor could be home field advantage for Rhea County. The Golden Eagles earned home field playoff rights after going 9-1 in the regular season. The Rhea County offense is now averaging 234 rushing yards and 129.7 yards passing per game. Rhea County will need another big game from its dynamic backfield which includes: Senior Dimitrius Patterson #6, Junior Jacob York #5, Senior Joby Berry #3, Freshman Mason Stevenson #16 and Freshman Cody Bice #21. We look for Senior QB Austin Dotson #9 to continue making good decisions while effectively executing Coach Pemberton’s game plan.
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The Eagle defense has amassed a total of 28 sacks and 14 interceptions. Rhea County’s defensive line must continue to get penetration in order to disrupt this highly effective Blue Raider offense. Big junior DT Jacob Williams #52 can get the job done. He leads the team with 11 sacks. The Eagle secondary will also be tested in this match-up. Junior Safety David Loden is up for the challenge leading the team with 4 interceptions this season. Eagle linebackers are led by Junior Zach Daoust with 102 tackles. The Golden Eagles’ ace-in-the-hole Senior Kicker Wyatt Maerki #35 will likely play a crucial part in the contest.
Playoffs are exciting because if you lose you go home, or in our case stay home. Bill Horton Field will surely be rocking Friday night.
Bill Horton Field
Kickoff will be at 7pm.
It’s gonna be cold so make sure you stop by Sign Soloutions for Golden Eagle sweatshirts and coats.
Game to Watch
Winner of Cleveland / Rhea County will play the winner of:
- East Hamilton 9-2 (5-1 Dist 5-AAA) @ Ooltewah 9-2 (5-1 Dist 5-AAA)
This should be a great match-up as well.