FULL GAME PREVIEW: Tale of Two Seasons, Pioneers Familiar With Undefeated Woes

An Undefeated Dejá Vu

East Ridge is all too familiar with the pressures of an undefeated team.  Just ask former Pioneer coach Tracey Malone.

His team made it to the 12-0 mark before being plundered by Notre Dame in 2015.  And now the Pioneers sit with a new coach on the underdog side of a quarterfinals matchup.

Oh, how the times have changed.

Now, Notre Dame is long gone and preparing for next season’s date with Division II.  The Indians and Pioneers are the only 3A Area teams alive this week.  And both seem to be full of promise going into the semifinals, should one advance.

But there is one constant:  the inevitable matchup with Alcoa.  Or can the Tornadoes be stopped by Elizabethton?

And there goes your constant.  And oh, how the times and talent gaps have changed.


GAMETIME INFO:

East Ridge at Sequatchie County

Indians Stadium, Dunlap, TN

Kickoff Time:  7:00 PM CT/8:00 PM ET


RIVALRY RECAP:  LAST TEN MATCHUPS

All Time Series Record:  East Ridge, 5-1 (6 Meetings Since 1995)

Pioneers 19, Indians 10; September 2002

Pioneers 29, Indians 6; September 2001

Pioneers 17, Indians 6; September 1998

Pioneers 35, Indians 14; September 1997

Indians 21, Pioneers 13; September 1996

Pioneers 14, Indians 9; September 1995

No Other Known Matchups

 


PLACE YOUR BETS

DISCLAIMER:  These are not actual spreads or odds, and cannot be used in kind of sports betting context.

The Spread:  East Ridge (+14.5) at Sequatchie County

Odds to Win:  East Ridge 7 to 1; Sequatchie County 5 to 6

Over/Under (Total Points):  (52.5 Points)

Breaking Down the Bets:  ‘The Spread’ is based on who is favored in the matchup and by how many points.  ‘Odds to Win’ are the odds for a certain team to win that game and is not related to the odds of ‘The Spread.’  The ‘Over/Under’ is how many points both teams are expected to combine for, unrelated to ‘The Spread’ or “Odds to Win.’  These betting lines are simply to display what Vegas would perceive the matchup at and cannot be used in any sports betting enterprise.


QUICK HIT STORYLINES

Indians Come into Friday Night undefeated with an 12-0 Record

Sequatchie County Has Scored At Least Four Touchdowns in Each of the Last Six Games

The Indians Last Victory Against the Pioneers was in 1996

East Ridge Was Undefeated Going into Quarterfinals Last Season Before Falling to Notre Dame


INSIDE THE FILM ROOM

The Indians’ Wing-T approach to this season–with a lot more power running–has been successful with Hunter Davenport and Austin Stephens headlining the push.  Ethan Barker has been able to get the pas going, especially against Region 4-3A opponents, which tend to have more stingy pass defenses.  The Offensive Line, with John Higgins and Gabe Jackson to name a few, have really put forward a push and shown the more physical side of the Indians play this season.  The Pioneers have had trouble with more physical teams this season, so expect the Indians to come out full-throttle from a physicality standpoint.  East Ridge’s defense is lack-luster at times but can be very underrated if you treat it as such.

You could call the Pioneers a Pro-Style team, but they use various formation to deliver their high-octane rushing threat Traneil Moore past opposing defenses.  A lot of times, the Pioneers will run shotgun and pistol sets, moving under center when they get closer to the goal line.  They can also run an offset Maryland I with three backs lined up straight behind the quarterback.  Expect to see some action from Kashawn Cosey as well as signal-caller Eric Bennett if the Pioneers hope to advance to the next round.  They’ll also have to find a way around Hunter Davenport and Kyle Cates to get the W in this one.


PLAYERS TO WATCH

East Ridge:  Traneil Moors (Senior Running Back), Alonzo Russel (Sophomore Free Safety), Lorenzo Stewart (Junior Running Back), Juwuan Simmons (Senior Running Back), Eric Bennett (Junior Quarterback), Kashawn Cosey (Junior Running Back), Deondre Chambliss (Senior Defensive End), and Will Mercer (Junior Offensive Tackle)

Sequatchie County:  Ethan Barker (Junior Quarterback), Hunter Davenport (Senior Linebacker/Fullback), Austin Stevens (Senior Halfback), and Kyle Cates (Senior Tight End/Linebacker), and John Higgins (Senior Defensive Lineman)

Contact Chandler Morrison at TheSpearSportsBlog@gmail.com and follow him on Twitter@RCS_Chandler!

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