You're familiar with the "Battle of the
Bridge" and the "Clash of the Champions" as major high school
rivalries. You can now add a Monroe County showdown to that list.
winner between the Chiefs and Wildcats will claim second place in 5-AA.
Included in that automatic playoff berth is the Monroe County Cup
presented by The Advocate & Democrat. We, here at the paper, have
decided this game is too important not to name, so we have dubbed the
annual meeting between these two as the "Thunder in the Valley."
Without further adieu here is how the Wildcats and Chiefs can win:
Craig Moser's Wildcats comes into this
game off a 28-0 beating of Bledsoe County. Eli Arwood has become the
back of choice and has used his opportunity well. Arwood carried the
Wildcats last week, and can do it again. Sequoyah has struggled
against the run at times, and if Sweetwater can control the ball,
they stand a good chance to win.
The Wildcats need to get going early and
constantly be very effective in the red zone. Sweetwater scored early
against Loudon but never made it back inside the 20-yard line. In the
road loss to Polk, they were down early before they knew it. A
complete and focused effort will be expected as they try to upset the
Chiefs on the road.
If Arwood is shut down, I expect to see
a lot of Jordan McGaughey. If for some reason the run game struggles,
Andrew Barr, Zack Neil, and Nick Wicker will need to secure the win
through the air.
On defense, the Wildcats must stop Garret Dalton and
Brett King. Blake Huffman will also be a focal point in the offense
that the Wildcats must account for.
Last year it was Trey Dyer,
Forrest McKane and Chris Arp that made big plays to win this game. With
McKane still in question with an injury, Sweetwater will plan to shut
down an explosive Chiefs offense without the bruising back and
Sequoyah is averaging 36 points a game but the
Wildcats are only giving up just over 13 a game. For Sweetwater to
win the defense must dominate.
If Sequoyah is going to win for third
straight year they'll need to not beat themselves early.
Consistently in the three losses, the Chiefs have lost the lead early
and not regained it. In last week's loss to Loudon the Chiefs were
down 21-0 before the offense woke up. The defense cannot give up big
plays and expect to win. Travis Brewer opened up the Sequoyah defense
on the first play last week for 62 yards and a score. The Wildcats
have plenty of guys that can take the ball to the house at any point.
This game is going to come down to
defense for both teams. 2011's contest was close and came down to
the final minutes as the Chiefs won 14-6.
My guess is we will see two
teams that are focused and ready for the challenge ahead of them. The
winner will recieve the Monroe County Cup presented by The Advocate & Democrat at midfield following the inaugural Thunder in the Valley.