Bristol Herald Courier Super Seven Poll: 1. Tennessee High, 2. Union, 3. George Wythe, 4. Ridgeview, 5. Graham, 6. Patrick Henry, 7. Richlands
Mountain Lakes Conference
No. 1 Tennessee High at David Crockett
Last meeting: David Crockett 32, Tennessee 0 (Nov. 9, 2018, at Jonesborough, Tenn.)
First place in the Mountain Lakes is at stake in this one. Tennessee High (6-1) has won six straight, while the No. 4 ranked Pioneers (7-0) are unbeaten…Outside of a seven-point win at Knox Webb, the Pioneers have haven’t been challenged, while the Vikings can say much the same since an opening game loss at Dobyns-Bennett…Both teams depend on throwing the football, but the Pioneers can also run the ball, while the Vikings’ leading rusher has just 140 yards on the ground…Tennessee High will have to use the passing game to keep Crockett’s record-setting quarterback Cade Larkins and his talented collection of receivers off the field… The Vikings lost twice to the Pioneers last season, 24-21 in the regular season and 32-0 in wet, miserable postseason conditions in Jonesborough…At least the grass should be dry for this one.
Prediction: David Crockett 28, Tennessee High 20.
Mountain 7 District
No. 2 Union at Wise County Central
Last meeting: Union 38, Wise Central 13 (Oct. 12, 2018 in Big Stone Gap, Va.)
Union built a 28-0 halftime lead against Wise Central last season and finished with 328 total yards. Central rushed for 214 but was intercepted twice. … Union made a statement with its 32-26 victory over district rival Ridgeview last week as powerful senior Mason Polier supplied 240 yards rushing along with three touchdowns and double-figure tackles. Polier, whose father played football at Washington State University, was planning a visit to William & Mary this weekend. Senior Antwun Jenkins is a big-play threat for Union at receiver and defensive back. …Wise Central rushed for 443 yards and passed for 144 last week in a 56-34 defeat of John Battle. Ten different players have collected at least one TD for Central, with C.J. Crabtree leading the point parade at 82
Prediction: Union 35, Wise County Central 7
Mountain Empire District
Galax at No. 3 George Wythe
Last meeting: Galax 42, George Wythe 14 (Nov. 16, 2018 in Galax, Va.)
This is one of Southwest Virginia’s marquee games as the winner moves closer to the Mountain Empire District title and gains serious traction as a state title contender. … George Wythe quarterback Cole Simmons has been electric in directing an offense that is averaging 37.2 points per game. Simmons has thrown for 1,367 yards and rushed for 453 more, while not being intercepted in 108 pass attempts. … Junior quarterback Cole Pickett and senior running back Denver Brown are both closing in on the 1,000-yard mark for Galax. Brown has 910 rushing yards, while Pickett has passed for 990 yards with 18 touchdowns and four interceptions. Linebacker Riley Jo Vaught has a cool name for the Maroon Tide and also has 34 tackles. … Galax is averaging 44 points, 256 rushing yards and 166 passing yards per game. … This will have all the feelings of a postseason game and there’s a good chance that these maroon-clad squads will meet again come playoff time.
Prediction: Galax 28, George Wythe 21
Mountain 7 District
No. 4 Ridgeview at John Battle
Last meeting: Ridgeview 24, John Battle 7 (Oct. 12, 2018 in Clintwood, Va.)
Last year’s matchup produced some serious scoreboard watching. The score was 0-0 at halftime and 7-7 with 11:55 left in the fourth quarter. Ridgeview finally pulled way behind Trenton Adkins (159 yards rushing) and Matthew Sexton (124 yards). … The underappreciated Adkins has collected 24 touchdowns and nearly 1,600 yards rushing this season, but he’s coming off a season-low 119 yard effort against a Union defense that was keyed to stop the run. Caden Gibson and Derek Mullins are solid defenders for the Wolfpack, while Nick Phillips has thrown for seven scores. … Sophomore Zach Moore (60 yards rushing, 2 TDS) and first-year quarterback Jack Thurston provided sparks for John Battle last week while big Tyler McCloud continued to excel in several areas.
Prediction: Ridgeview 42, John Battle 14
Virginia High at No. 5 Graham
Last meeting: Graham 42, Virginia High 18 (Nov. 10, 2018 in Bluefield, W.Va.)
Graham defeated VHS 44-7 in the regular season last year before quarterback Cam Allen and Devin Lester struck again in a first-round playoff matchup. … Graham averages 37 points with a mix of speed and strength. As expected, the Oct. 25 matchup at Richlands looms large for the G-Men. For fans who appreciate line play, Graham’s Brody Meadows (6-6, 280) is a treat to watch. … VHS entered this season with only four returning starters, including zero veterans on defense. Due to injuries and defections, the inexperience and depth problems have worsened for the Bearcats. Sophomore Stevie Thomas (seven TDs, over 670 yards rushing) has worked at running back, quarterback and kicker for the Bearcats.
Prediction: Graham 55, Virginia High 7
No. 7 Richlands at Marion
Last meeting: Richlands 30, Marion 6 (Oct. 12, 2018 in Richlands, Va.)
This was a 7-0 game at halftime last season. Marion quarterback Tanner Tate accounted for 195 total yards but Richlands quarterback Race Moir passed for 202 and two scores. … Since falling 26-3 at Union in week two, Richlands has averaged 38 points behind its veteran offensive line and senior quarterback Cade Simmons. A senior who has improved with each practice, Simmons has generated 15 touchdowns and over 1,000 total yards. Senior Levi Forrest has contributed nine field goals, including three connections from at least 53 yards. …Marion, which has a 1-0 record in the SWD, lost the ball five times in last week’s loss on homecoming night at Legion Field in Gate City. Another big opportunity awaits the Scarlet Hurricane tonight.
Prediction: Richlands 42, Marion 7