We’ve officially made it to week one, ladies and gentleman, and the game of the week is definitely not subpar by any means.
The Sequatchie County Indians and the South Pittsburg Pirates are two of the most hyped teams in the Valley, outside of obvious Marion County. The Indians did lose a touch more to graduation, but they look to be the best specimens out on the gridiron. The Pirates return 20 of 22 starters from 2015.
This game is shaping up to be a classic, if only for the lack of football we’ve had in the summer. Taking the last two years out of the equation, the snowball effect is a big part of this rivalry. One misstep could lead to a 14 point or more win for either team.
QUICK HIT STORYLINES
Sequatchie County has won the last two matchups by a combined 8 points.
Adam Caine handed Vic Grider the first loss of his second second tenure.
Hogan Holland had two 70+ yard passing plays during the Jamboree.
The Pirates have, arguably, the best backfield in the Valley.
INSIDE THE FILM ROOM
Schematically, the Indians bring a lot to the table with varying formations, basing most on the Wing-T and Shotgun. The Pirates are more defined on offense with a Wing-T. The running game will have a lot of emphasis, but the Pirates will have a tougher time defending the different formations from Sequatchie County. The Pirates are more predictable, yet, they’ll probably have above average success against the initial blocks, gaining around three yards or so, but beyond that, it will be based on how tough and how many hits they can take from the linebacker corp.
The Pirates have more speed and experienced players than the Indians, so Sequatchie County will need to use brute force to get past South Pittsburg. And that’s Adam Caine’s specialty as a coach: molding tough players. The passing game will be interesting, though, as the secondary for the Indians is improving but not fully-developed. Still, it won’t be a cakewalk for Holland as the Indians pulled off a pick in the Sequatchie Valley Jamboree. Take that for what it’s worth.
KEY ON-THE-FIELD MATCHUPS
Ethan Barker vs. the Pirates Secondary
Barker can throw a pass pretty well, but his success in this game will come by the hands of his receivers. No individual receivers really stood out in the preseason, but that could equal a completed pass or two if the Pirates have no primary target to counter. With several household name Pirates in the second level of defense, the Indians could be limited to a stellar ground game.
Pirate Halfback Corps vs. the Dynamic Duo
With weapons like Joseph Lilly and Kyree Pryor in the backfield along with the balanced quarterback in Hogan Holland, the Pirates could just rely on a running game to get them past the regular season. Being balanced, though, does have its perks. Regardless, South Pittsburg will arguably face the best linebacker corp in the Sequatchie Valley and maybe the area. Hunter Davenport and Kyle Cates, we’re looking at you.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Sequatchie County Indians
Ethan Barker (Junior Quarterback)
Hunter Davenport (Senior Linebacker/Fullback)
Kyle Cates (Senior Linebacker/Tight End)
Austin Stevens (Senior Halfback)
Gabe Jackson (Senior Lineman)
South Pittsburg Pirates
Hogan Holland (Senior Quarterback)
Kyree Pryor (Senior Halfback/Defensive Back)
Cade Kennemore (Junior Wide Receiver/Defensive Back)
Joseph Lilly (Senior Halfback/Defensive Back)
Mitch Butner (Senior Lineman)