BY THE NUMBERS
199–Combined Over/Under Total Points For All Week Five Valley Matchups
(-91) — Overall Spread for Sequatchie Valley Teams in Week Five [(-) = Favored, (+) = Underdog]
5–Number of Teams Favored to Win Week Seven Matchups
4–Number of TN AP Ranked Teams in This Week’s Matchups (South Pittsburg, Sequatchie County, Marion County, and Boyd-Buchanan)
3–Number of Wins By Valley Teams Last Week
3–Number of Valley Teams favored to win by more than 10 Points in Week Seven
1–Number of Valley Teams with Unblemished Records
SEQUATCHIE COUNTY AT DEKALB COUNTY:
The De-Facto Region 4-3A Championship
The Spread: Sequatchie County (-4.5) at Dekalb County
Over/Under (Total Points): (31.5 Points)
Last Five Matchups: Dekalb County 35-25 (2015) | No Other Matchups Listed
The Hype: If there is a road to Cookeville for the Indians, it’ll have to be through Dekalb County and claiming first in the region. The Tigers lost All-State signal-caller Steven Jennings against Smith County two weeks ago, so a lot of their offense has up and disappeared, though not completely irrelevant. The Tigers are usually ranked in the Top Ten, but with a less than impressive record, they’re out for now. A win against the Indians could bolster them in, though. Sequatchie County currently sits at No. 2 in the Class 3A poll only behind Alcoa. And yes, that Alcoa.
Film Room: The Indians come in with a Wing-T set, expanded for use in Region 4-3A. That includes pistol and shotgun formations used with both rushing and passing plays. With Dekalb County being one of the last major tests of the season for Sequatchie County, they’re sure to bring out some different formations, especially after being two week prior to Bledsoe County. Don’t be surprised if the Indians play close and use a trick play or two to throw off the Tigers in, possibly, the biggest matchup for the Region.
The Tigers are based more out of a shotgun system with stints of pistol and center formations. The loss of Steven Jennings is a huge one as he was an All-State quarterback and playmaker for Dekalb County. His replacement, junior Tyler Cantrell, isn’t too shabby though, maintaining a lead against Smith County in then second half two weeks ago. It will be hard to tell if he’s up to the task, though, because of the game against 4A and the overpowering Macon County. Look for a lot of outside runs and passes against a Sequatchie County defense that has held its own thus far this season.
Players to Watch
Dekalb County: Tyler Cantrell (Junior Quarterback/Free Safety), Riley Sexton (Junior Strong Safety/Wide Receiver), Tayvian Nokes (Senior Defensive Tackle), Eli Cross (Senior Defensive End), and Matthew Poss (Senior Kicker/Punter)
Sequatchie County: Austin Stevens (Senior Halfback), Hunter Davenport (Senior Fullback/Linebacker), Ethan Barker (Junior Quarterback), Kyle Cates (Senior Tight End/Linebacker), and Gabe Jackson (Senior Lineman)
BLEDSOE COUNTY AT BOYD-BUCHANAN:
Fighting For Their Playoff Lives
The Spread: Bledsoe County (+16) at Boyd-Buchanan
Over/Under (Total Points): (34.5 Points)
The Hype: After heart-breaking losses last week, both teams will look to better their record and playoff chances in a game that looks more winnable for Bledsoe County than it ever has. With only a 16-point spread–that’s generous with the rage Warrior fans have with last week’s loss to the Indians–Josh Owensby and his Warriors could have enough fight in them to win another unexpected region matchup. It comes on the brink of tough stretch for Bledsoe County, facing the Indians, Boyd, Tyner, and Marion before the rest of the region. It’s a killer slate, but if they can get an upset, things could be rolling in Warrior-ville.
Film Room: Expect the Warriors to come out in shotgun sets, spreading the ball out while also keeping it traditional with some pro and under-center formations from time to time. Joseph Gore will be in the backfield with Sorrows, which creates a pretty balanced approach down the stretch. The Buccaneers have an improved secondary and may be able to take away the pass if the Warriors decide to throw. They can shut down a rushing game somewhat, but Gore’s legs might be the key in this one.
The Buccaneers lead toward more of a pro-style offense after being more spread out in previous years. They mostly run the system out of ace formations with a tendency to pull options out of their sleeves from time to time, especially on short yardage. The offensive line is also a strength of this team pushing forward for a lot in-the-trenches rushing. Look to senior tailback Jeremy Borders along with senior quarterback Ross Wortman to lead this team in a schematic fashion, with their name being called on a lot of big plays.
Players to Watch
Bledsoe County: Chaise Sorrows (Senior Quarterback), Joseph Gore (Senior Halfback/Cornerback), Harley Smith (Junior Offensive Guard/Nose Guard), Derrick Pursley (Senior Linebacker/Offensive Lineman), and Kevin Whitson (Junior Linebacker/Tight End)
Boyd-Buchanan: Jeremy Borders (Senior Running Back/Cornerback), Ross Wortman (Senior Quarterback/Outside Linebacker), Kohl Henke (Junior Free Safety/Wide Receiver), Will Rains (Senior Defensive Tackle/Offensive Guard), and Will Watkins (Junior Middle Linebacker/Offensive Tackle)
GRACE BAPTIST AT WHITWELL:
The Quest for 2nd Place
The Spread: Grace Baptist (+20.5) at Whitwell
Over/Under (Total Points): (40.5 Points)
The Hype: Whitwell, fresh off a bye week and huge win over Lookout Valley, have a roll going on after hitting a rough patch earlier in the season with stellar opponents. You can’t fix scheduling midseason, but you can change the fundamentals your team displays. Tracey Malone has tweaked his team, getting ready for the eventual matchup with Cookeville-bound South Pittsburg. For now, though, they’ll have to focus on making the playoffs with wins over teams like Grace Academy and Copper Basin. And did we mention Columbia Academy on the schedule?
Film Room: The Tigers’ new pistol offense could strike very well at times, but for the most part, it will consist of different schemes, keeping the Golden Eagles on edge. The Eagles are used to defending some spread looks, but the way Whitwell uses its system, it will be hard for Grace to key in on certain plays. The rushing corp should have little problem running downhill, and draw plays could throw off the rush-heavy linebacker corp of the Eagles.
Whitwell could dominate on a scale of Lookout Valley two weeks ago, but if the Eagles have a card up their sleeve, it’s the play of senior quarterback Jared Thompson. He has a great passing attack, and the Tigers’ secondary is less than impressive at times, although they have been tested thoroughly all season with Bledsoe County, Sequatchie County, and Davidson Academy. Thompson will need to strike fast and early to put the secondary on edge. A playoff spot is likely looming for the Golden Eagles, and this win will pout them in the driver’s seat for one.
Players to Watch
Grace Baptist: Jared Thompson (Senior Quarterback), Mathew Lindon (Sophomore Offensive Tackle), Jimmy Green (Sophomore Running Back), Cade Tinsley (Sophomore Running Back), Noah Gray (Sophomore Wide Receiver)
Whitwell: Dawson Holloway (Senior Quarterback), Garrett Shrum (Junior Tight End/Defensive End), Trace Condra (Junior Halfback/Strong Safety), T.D. Argo (Junior Offensive Line/Defensive Line), Austin Nunley (Junior Kicker), and Hudson Petty (Sophomore Halfback/Defensive End)
SALE CREEK AT SOUTH PITTSBURG:
‘Have Mercy!’ Uh, Rule, That is…
The Spread: Sale Creek (+41.5) at South Pittsburg
Over/Under (Total Points): (56 Points)The Hype: South Pittsburg, moving up to the No. 5 spot in the AP Polls this week, looks to put up as many points as possible against the sometimes helpless PAnthers. South Pittsburg had no trouble with Copper Basin and Grundy County, and this week, they could actually sleepwalk. The Panthers are still looking for win three on the season after beating Concord Christian out of Knoxville and receiving a forfeit from Tennessee Christian Prep. The Pirates host, and should have the home crowd alive.
Film Room: The Panthers look to base out of a Wing-T with a Pro feel in their play calls. They’ll try and throw the ball, which they’ve had some success with, but either facet of the game is hard to come by against the Pirates. When they are able to run option plays, they have decent success, but the speed of South Pittsburg will be hard to combat, especially from sideline to sideline.
The Pirates, on the other hand, will be difficult to stop with speed and an outside run game coming out of the Wing-T. With the addition of an excellent passing game from Hogan Holland to Cade Kennemore this season, the Pirates just improved, significantly, an already Cookeville-caliber team. Balance is the name of the game, so the Pirates have a better than average chance winning against the Panthers. They’ll have to run their base offense with a trick play or two in order to keep Sale Creek on edge and in an uncomfortable zone, schematically speaking.
Players to Watch
Sale Creek: Jeb Hart (Senior Quarterback/Cornerback), Chase Poole (Junior Fullback/Defensive End), Mason Henry (Junior Offensive/Defensive Tackle)
South Pittsburg: Hogan Holland (Senior Quarterback), Kyree Pryor (Senior Halfback/Defensive Back), Drew Daniels (Senior Offensive Lineman/Defensive End), Mitch Butner (Senior Linebacker/Tight End), and Cade Kennemore (Junior Wide Receiver/Defensive Back)