Playing for perfection… Cloudland seeks for perfect Region I Class-A conference record tonight

Published 12:26 am Friday, October 18, 2019




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It should be a regular snot-knocker in Roan Mountain on Friday night as the Cloudland Highlanders play their conference rivals the Jellico Blue Devils for sole ownership of the Region I Class-A title.


Cloudland comes into this game with a record of 2-5 (2-0) after taking a beatdown from their county rivals the Hampton Bulldogs last Friday night 42-6. The entire Cloudland team is hungry for a win and home-field advantage during the playoffs. 


The Blue Devils have lost once in the conference, and they stand at 3-4 (1-1). They would like nothing better than to beat the Highlanders in Roan Mountain on Senior Night. The win would put Jellico in a two-way tie for the Region I title with Cloudland.


Jellico comes into the ballgame with a quarterback that can hit his speedy receivers all over the field. On defense, they shut down the run well and make you beat them in the air. Jellico’s defense should be an interesting clash against Cloudland’s run-heavy offense.


Cloudland’s strongest areas have to be their offensive and defensive lines and their quick running backs and receivers. Cloudland usually gives their opponents a taste of their running game early and often, and then, while you are trying to shut down their running game, they use the arm of their athletic quarterback, Chase Shell, to hit one of his speedy receivers downfield.  


If Cloudland wins this game, they will have to count on the players who have carried the team in the past. This includes Tristain Lacey who did not get the ball as much as normal last week because Hampton made it a point to shut him down.


“Hampton played gap defense and did all they could to stop our run,” said Cloudland’s interim head coach Scott Potter. “We can’t let Jellico do that this week.

“All of our running backs will have to step up and establish the run. This game could easily become a contest that is won or lost in the trenches with our offensive line and with the running backs.  


“Everyone on this team has really worked hard, and I was especially proud of how they played last Friday night,” Potter continued. “They could have quit during the fourth quarter when the score was out of hand, but they didn’t.

“They played hard until the end of the game though they knew they had lost”.


Potter is expecting trouble from Jellico’s athletic quarterback.

“They like to pass more than they run, and we are going to have to shut down the passing game early. Their quarterback can stand in the pocket, or he can roll out, and we have to stop that by getting pressure on the quarterback. If he doesn’t have time to throw, I believe we can stop him”.


Since this is also Senior Night, Coach Potter hopes to get as much playing time as he can for his seniors.

“We have several seniors who put the work in every day that may not start, and I hope we can use them a little more during this game,” said Coach Potter.


Unfortunately for Cloudland, the school will lose 12 players to graduation this year. These include Hunter Shell, Connor Birchfield, Damian Black, Hunter Blair, Tristain Lacey, Jed Childress, Garrison Julian, Wyatt Julian, Logan Johnson, Dave Ramey, Eli Presswood, and Colby Tolley.


These two teams will play at Orr Field in Roan Mountain this Friday night. The game time is 7:30 pm.