Have we made it you favorite part of the week again?
We hope so because this week is when the rubber hits the road. The journey for all teams in the Valley begins. The Blue-Clad Warriors host South Pittsburg in their season-opener while Sequatchie County travels down to Whitwell for a renewal of the county-line rivalry. Also on the schedule is a somewhat intriguing Grundy County-Marion County showdown in Jasper.
With that kind of lineup come great responsibility, which is why we’re throwing it out the window as we make our bold predictions for week two.
Whitwell Out-Rushes Sequatchie County
The Tigers have a wild card to pull in TSSN’s game of the week. Although, it may have lost its glimmer after being revealed in week one, the Tigers still have a lot to bring to the table. Balance will be a key part of this year’s team, but after last week’s bout with South Pittsburg the Indians’ secondary has improved. Regardless of who takes the cake in this one, the Tigers may not have the speed to get past the Indians’ second level. And with the backfield Whitwell has, it could be some key rushing that gives them a chance in this one.
Bledsoe County Torches the Pirates in Close Loss
Two veteran quarterbacks square off in the crucial week two matchup. Although Hogan Holland is in his second year starting, the Warriors signal-caller, Chaise Sorrows, may be the most underrated in the Valley, starting under center consistently since his latter games as a freshman and continuously since his sophomore campaign. With Joseph Gore in the backfield along with big targets on the outside, the Warriors might use balance to their advantage. Although, that balance may result in an uneven statline where the Warriors use a lot of play-action to send it downfield.
Grundy County Holds Tight in First Half
As crazy as it sounds, the Yellow Jacket defense has improved. The speed and physicality of Marion County is hard to tango with, but early, the Yellow Jacket might be able stick tight with the Warriors if they can get a break or two in the option game. That’ll be hard with a veteran linebacker corp for Marion County, but it’s not out of context to think that Yellow Jacket could put in a play or two to surprise the Warriors and keep it close. Winning this ball game is another story entirely, though.
Dominant Linebackers Will Be the Storyline
The Sequatchie Valley is ripe with linebacker talent from top to bottom. Two very prominent all-state honorees stick out above the rest, though. Alex Kirkendoll, Mr. Football semifinalist in 2015, leads the pack as the linebacker to get past. He does have some help on the other side of the defense, so pick your poison with Marion County. The same could also be said for Sequatchie County who boasts two top-class linebackers coupled with an up-and-comer. Caleb Reed has really stepped up a middle linebacker, but with Kyle Cates to your left and Hunter Davenport to your right, ball-carriers will probably flock to you. Up in Bledsoe County, Kevin Whitson and Derrick Pursley could have a big statline, especially if they can reach the outside run on occasion against South Pittsburg.
Tiger Secondary Proves Tougher Than We Thought
The Indians will probably try to pass the ball a lot more against Whitwell in preparation for Region competition. That being said, the Tigers’ secondary probably didn’t have much of a chance to stand up against the run-heavy Yellow Jackets in week one. The limited speed of Whitwell will almost act like a bait for the Indians who had small success against a quick South Pittsburg secondary. And if Sequatchie County underestimates the no-fly zone, a red-clad safety could grab an interception or two.