High School Football Roundup

Published 12:06 am Saturday, October 7, 2023

Elizabethton 42, Northview Academy 7
It could have been the week of homecoming activities or possibly a slight peek down the road, but after a sluggish start to the first half of Friday’s game against Northview Academy, the Elizabethton Cyclones turned on the gas in the second half to pull away from the Cougars for a 42-7 win.
The victory kept the Cyclones undefeated at 7-0 on the season while the Cougars suffered only their second loss as they dropped to 6-2 on the season.
Cyclone quarterback Rhett Slagle was dialed in on the night as the sophomore completed 16-of-24 passes for 280 yards and three touchdowns. Slagle found the sure hands of Jeriah Griffin and Luke Whaley as Griffin had seven catches for 123 yards and a score while Whaley had five receptions good for 124 yards and two scores.
The Cyclones defense held the Cougars to only 31 yards of offense in the second half after leading only 14-7 at the intermission.
More on the game in Wednesday’s Star.

Star Photo/Ivan Sanders
Elizabethton’s Zeth Mullins (7) follows the block of a teammate for a huge gain in Elizabethton’s Homecoming 2023 win over Northview Academy.


Hampton 52, West Greene 6
The Hampton Bulldogs welcomed the West Greene Buffaloes for an exciting Friday night showdown, which ended in a resounding victory for the Bulldogs with a final score of 52-6.
From the first quarter, it was clear that the Bulldogs meant business, taking an early 22-0 lead. By halftime, the lead had extended to 46-0, highlighting Hampton’s exceptional performance.
This victory improved the Bulldogs’ season record to an impressive 6-2, showcasing their prowess on the field. Even in the third quarter, the Bulldogs continued their dominance, leading 46-6.
A standout player for Hampton was Dominique Burleson, who contributed significantly to the victory with an impressive performance. Burleson rushed for an outstanding 178 yards and scored three touchdowns, further solidifying Hampton’s lead.

Contributed Photo/Robert Liles
Geno Carrico (5) of Hampton gets some positive yards before being tackled.


Unaka 52, Hancock 14
Friday night’s Unaka football game against Hancock was nothing short of historic. The Rangers took the field with a fire in their hearts and determination in their eyes. From the very start, it was clear that this game would be one to remember.
As soon as the opening kickoff landed in their hands, Unaka wasted no time. In less than two minutes, they put points on the board, setting the tone for the evening. Their offense was firing on all cylinders, and three minutes later, they found the end zone once more, building an impressive 16-0 lead.
Hancock wasn’t going down without a fight, and Josh Collins showcased his remarkable skills by returning a kickoff for a score, giving their fans a glimmer of hope. He would repeat this feat in the fourth quarter for their only two scores of the night.
However, the Rangers were relentless. They continued to dominate on both sides of the ball, setting records by scoring six touchdowns and racking up an incredible 44 points in the first half alone. The final score told the story of a remarkable night, with Unaka emerging victorious, 52-14.

Contributed Photo/Jenny Jones
Unaka’s Kian Barton (23) breaks through the hole his offensive line opened up.


Cloudland 34, Jellico 8
 The Cloudland Highlanders would take over sole possession of first place in District 1A Region 1 with a convincing 22-point win over Jellico Friday night as they would improve to 4-3 on the season and 3-0 in the District. Kyle Birchfield would fuel a rushing attack that would gain over 250 yards on the night and completely dominate the time of possession. Birchfield would finish the night with 147 yards on 27 carries; he would also score four touchdowns on the night. Grayson Cole would chip in 61 yards.
Birchfield would also put the ball in the air with success as he would throw an efficient 7-10 with 116 yards and a touchdown. Austin Carraway would grab three receptions and a touchdown to lead the Highlanders’ passing attack.
 Defensively, linebacker Austin Carraway would pace a strong defensive effort with 10 tackles and a sack, while Jacob Stinnett would contribute eight tackles. Head Coach Zac Benfield was pleased with the effort tonight: “Our boys played very well defensively tonight and tackled well better as the game went on; our linebacker and DB’s tackled well in open space. Our passing game took a step forward tonight, which was good to see.”
The Highlanders will continue District play next Friday night as they hit the road for a matchup with the 1-6 Cosby Eagles. Kickoff is slated for 7:30 p.m.

Star Photo/Larry N. Souders
The Highlanders Kyle Birchfield (7) slips out of the grasp of Jellico’s Jadon Reno (24) and heads to the house and puts Cloudland on the board with 7:03 left in the first quarter.


Star Photo/Larry N. Souders
There’s a new Queen on Roan Mountain, Homecoming Queen, tonight, as Izabella Christman was crowned at halftime of Cloudland’s game with Jellico. Her escort for the evening, Kyle Birchfield, was crowned Homecoming King during the festivities.


Happy Valley 26, South Greene 20
GREENE COUNTY The Happy Valley Warriors took on the South Greene Rebels in an action-packed encounter on Friday night. In a thrilling showdown, Happy Valley upset the previously undefeated Rebels with a final score of 26-20 in an overtime battle on Rebel Hill.
The Warriors’ victory marks their fifth consecutive win, following three initial losses at the start of the season. With a Region 1-2A record of 2-1, the team is now considered a strong contender to host the playoffs.
The game remained evenly poised, tied at 14-14 at halftime. Happy Valley’s offense demonstrated its strength by rushing for a total of 189 yards, with Joseph Sowards leading the charge with an impressive 127 yards on 26 carries. The Warriors’ perseverance and skill led to their remarkable overtime triumph over the previously undefeated South Greene Rebels.

File Photo/Ivan Sanders
Joseph Sowards led the Warriors to an upset over previously undefeated South Greene Rebels with an impressive 127 yards on 26 carries.