Unaka to take on Cloudland in region bout

Published 9:04 pm Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Local teams are more than halfway through the 2018 football season.

And with the postseason slowly creeping up, many squads are still fine-tuning things as they hope to make deep playoff runs.

This week, however, two Carter County teams will play in key region contests as Hampton hosts Sullivan North to J.C. Campbell Stadium and the Highlanders host Unaka to Roan Mountain.

Subscribe to our free email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

The Happy Valley Warriors will invite Grace Christian to Warrior Hill as the undefeated Elizabethton Cyclones regroup during their bye week.

Unaka at Cloudland, 7:30 p.m.

The Cloudland Highlanders will be looking to continue their march for a fourth-straight Region 1-A title.

A win over the Rangers would move the ’Landers to 2-0 in region play after topping Hancock County, 44-8, two weeks ago. Hancock (1-1 Region 1A) and Jellico (1-0 Region 1A) also face off this week, and a Jellico win would set up a showdown for the region title on Oct. 12 as the Blue Devils host the Highlanders.

The Rangers will be coming into Friday’s matchup looking to shake off a four-game skid after falling to Sullivan North, 49-14, last week. If the Rangers top Cloudland this Friday, it would mark Unaka’s first win over the Highlanders since 2011, when Unaka won 12-6 in Stoney Creek.

Last week, Rangers quarterback John “Boy” Ramsey connected with receivers Nick Bowers and Devon Jarrett for two passing downtowns while throwing for 234 yards on 19-of-29 attempts. For the Highlanders to top Unaka, Cloudland will have to find a way to stop the Rangers air attack which features 1,077 yards from Ramsey over his first six games. Ramsey’s top target is Jarrett who has 392 yards receiving on the year.

The Highlanders come into Friday’s game after a hard-fought 8-7 win over the Happy Valley Warriors. In a defensive struggle, the ’Landers relied on a hard-nosed ground game that saw senior running back Jordan Coffey rack up over 170 rushing and a touchdown. Cloudland also saw some movement through the sky as QB Malachi Benfield threw for over 75 yards.

Sullivan North at Hampton, 7:30 p.m.

After back-to-back nonconference losses, the Bulldogs will get back into Region 1-AA play this Friday and will have a chance to remain untouched in league contests.

The Bulldogs, however, have a tough task at hand as they host the 5-1 Sullivan North Golden Raiders.

Other than their win over Unaka and Cosby, the Golden Raiders’ victories have all been decided by less than ten points. Their only loss of the season comes at the hands of South Greene, 34-27.

Grace Christian at Happy Valley, 7:30 p.m.

Coming off a tough loss to the Highlander, 8-7, the Happy Valley Warriors will compete in their second-straight nonconference game the Friday.

The Warriors kept themselves in last Friday’s contest with two barely-missed field goals by Michael Harrah being a deciding factor. Both attempts were more than 30 yards.

The Warriors saw QB Eli Ayers throw for over 85 yards on 7-of 16 attempts while connecting with tight end Bryce Carter on a TD pass.

Grace Christian will visit Warrior Hill after dropping back-to-back games to Greenback and Knox Webb.