Lions hosting UC in showdown of ranked teams
Posted: Friday, September 21, 2012 12:00 pm
By RANDY CAVIN
The midway point of the 2012 high school football season is quickly upon us, and this week will be a major test for one area team, another will be trying to find some consistency, one will be looking to for its first win and another will have the week off.
With Westview having an open date Friday, most of the attention will be on Dresden. Gleason will be at South Fulton, where the Bulldogs will be looking to get back on the winning track, and Greenfield will be at home to take on Bruceton in an attempt to break a 15-game losing streak.
Dresden struggled against Bruceton last week, but the good teams find a way to win and the Lions are a good team. The No. 2-ranked Class 2A Lions will find out just how good they are Friday night when they take on Class 1A and No. 8-ranked Union City.
The Golden Tornadoes are coming off a 56-6 win over Greenfield, and they will be ready to prove their worth.
Union City knows how it feels to be ranked second in the state. The Twisters were ranked No. 2 in Class 1A before their loss at home against Huntingdon two weeks ago.
The hard-playing Lions can hurt a team in many ways, one of which is with a very good running attack led by Devan Raymer. The Lions’ double wing-T offense banged out 228 rushing against Bruceton last week with Raymer getting 104 yards on 18 carries.
Joey Caldwell is another legitimate threat to run ball, as is Torres Washington. Caldwell ran the ball 11 times for 70 yards last week and Washington had 41 yards on seven carries.
Dresden’s defense cannot be overlooked, either. The defense has been superb this season by only allowing 9.4 points per game through five games. No team has scored more than 14 points against the Lions this season.
The defense will get tested this week. Union City is a dynamic running team with several running backs able to carry the ball. The focal point for the Lions will be stopping Keylon Hyde. The UC ball carrier had 211 yards on just 19 carries last week against Greenfield.
A win over the Twisters on Friday night will make it two in a row for the Lions. Last season the Lions beat the Golden Tornadoes 35-20 at UC.
Gleason will be trying to find some consistency in its offense this week when they travel to South Fulton to take on the 2-3 Red Devils. The offense had trouble last week finding itself against McKenzie.
Although the Bulldogs gained 126 yards on the ground, the offense struggled most of the night against McKenzie. The Rebels were able to keep Gleason boxed in by collapsing the corners. The Bulldogs’ biggest success on the ground came on inside runs led by Blake Taylor and Kyle Williams.
With the running game having difficulties, it has put more pressure on the arm of quarterback Tanner Trevathan. The Rebels kept the pressure on Trevathan last week. On several plays, he was throwing with a defender on his hip or coming right at him.
Gleason must also overcome some mental blocks as well. That plagued the Bulldogs on several plays last week. Trevathan was going into a five-step drops when the plays called for three-step dropbacks.
Missed blocking assignments were also problematic for the Bulldogs last week. Blown assignments on defense allowed the Rebels to bust loose for several big plays.
But as head coach Noah Lampkins said last week, all of these mistakes can be corrected and will have to be if the Bulldogs are to come out victorious. The Red Devils lost to Halls last week 16-14, a team Gleason beat 27-6 two weeks ago, so that may give the Bulldogs some confidence knowing that SF struggled against a team they handled fairly easily.
Greenfield may have its best shot at ending a 15-game losing streak that began in the final week of the 2010 season when the Yellowjackets take on 1-4 Bruceton at home this week.
The ’Jackets came within an eyelash of beating the Tigers last season in their homecoming game, but Bruceton escaped with an 18-13 win. It was, by far, the best game Greenfield played last season.
The Yellowjackets are hoping to push the envelope further this time around on their home turf and come out with a win.
Greenfield has made strides this season under first-year head coach Don Pitt. Even though the defense has given up a lot of points and put more pressure on the offense, the ’Jackets have shown improvement from a year ago.
This week will give Greenfield a great chance to show off those improvements in front of the home crowd. Bruceton is only averaging 11 points per game this season, and the Tigers could be ripe for the picking.
With some offensive linemen being injured since the Lake County game, Greenfield has been using some players who are not normally in the lineup. But Pitt said after last week’s game that those linemen should be back in practice this week. That will help tremendously with the run blocking and pass protection.
Greenfield can take heart in knowing that even though it is mired in a 15-game losing streak, the squad is not as in bad of shape as another team in northwest Tennessee. That dubious honor goes to Gibson County. The Pioneers lost last week to Obion Central to make it 37 consecutive games without a win. Published in The WCP 9.20.12