Cloudland welcomes an old foe in Coalfield

Published 11:16 pm Monday, November 15, 2021

BY ALLEN LAMOUNTAIN
STAR CORRESPONDENT
On Friday night at Orr Field, the Cloudland Highlanders will welcome an old playoff and former conference foe in the Coalfield Yellow Jackets.
The two teams have played 10 times since 2001 – with eight of those contests coming in the TSSAA 1-A playoffs – and two were regular-season conference collisions.
The Yellow Jackets (10-2 overall) have won seven of those playoff contests in a row with some very lopsided scores with the last one coming in 2018 in a very close 29-24 contest.
Cloudland’s last victory over Coalfield came in 2001 when quarterback Mark Byrd and tailback Dakota Benfield helped lead the ‘Landers to the state final where they fell to private academy Ezell-Harding 63-26 in the championship game.
That season saw Cloudland knock off the Jackets in the opening round by a 30-0 tally.
The two old rivals played two common opponents this season in Greenback and North Greene. Both teams swept these games with Cloudland (11-1 overall) defeating Greenback in round one of this season’s playoff by a 42-24 margin.
Coalfield defeated Greenback 49-0 in a regular-season game and shutout North Greene 58-0 in round one of the playoffs. Cloudland toppled the Huskies 38-8 as a conference foe in the regular season.
The Yellow Jackets are led by freshman quarterback Luke Treece who started against North Greene and a trio of senior running backs – Landon Lowe, who is also listed on the Coalfield roster as a QB, Levi Mullins who had a pair of long touchdown runs against the Huskies and Canaan Bowling.
For Cloudland, freshman Camden Peppers will start once again for injured senior Chase Shell. Peppers did well for himself against Oakdale in a 60-16 ‘Landers win completing two-of-five passes including a 35-yard touchdown strike to Gage McKinney.
Once again. the ‘Landers will lean on their offensive line to open holes for senior running backs Seth Birchfield and Caleb Sluder who combined for 354 rushing yards against the Eagles.
The ‘Landers up front consists of tackles Dylan McClellan and Eli Benfield with Landon Miller handling the center position. Silas Burleson and Cayden Cordell are inside with Jacob Street also at tackle.
The game time is 7 pm.