Mountain 7 District
No. 1 Ridgeview at No. 4 Union
Last meeting: Ridgeview 27, Union 14 (Sept. 14, 2018 in Clintwood, Va.)
Trenton Adkins led Ridgeview in this game last season with 119 yards rushing on 24 carries while Matthew Sexton added 93 yards. Union managed just 157 total yards. … Folks around Big Stone Gap and Dickenson County have been counting down the days for this showdown. Adkins (1,473 yards rushing, 23 TDs) is the top offensive weapon in far Southwest Virginia while Union linebacker Mason Polier is one of the top stoppers. … Look for some heavy-hitting before another overflow crowd at Bullitt Park in this televised matchup. Adkins makes the difference with a few highlight-worthy runs.
Prediction: Ridgeview 28, Union 14
Mountain Lakes Conference
Cocke County at No. 2 Tennessee High
Last meeting: Tennessee High 48, Cocke County 28 (Oct. 5, 2018, at Newport, Tenn.)
The Vikings (5-1) can’t be looking ahead of this one, with Mountain Lakes foes David Crockett and Cherokee on tap next, followed by the regular season finale against Sullivan South. Those three teams are a combined 15-3 on the season. Winners of five in a row, Tennessee High has outscored those opponents 200-46, an average of 40-9. Cocke County (1-5), whose lone win was against Northview Academy – which is currently 0-7 – have lost four in a row, but only fell at Cherokee last week by seven points. The Fighting Cocks were 7-4 last season, their only winning campaign in a century that has included a pair of 5-6 marks. Tennessee High will play three of its final four games at the Stone Castle. The Vikings will celebrate like warriors tonight.
Prediction: Tennessee High 46, Cocke County 15.
No. 5 Graham at Lebanon
Last meeting: Graham 50, Lebanon 13 (Oct. 5, 2018 in Bluefield, W.Va.)
Graham opened a 50-0 halftime lead in this game last year and finished with 251 yards rushing … After being outscored by an average margin of 34-15 in four straight losses, Lebanon compiled 236 yards rushing and 68 passing last week against Marion as junior running back Alden Ward supplied three scores. A last-minute TD pass cost the Pioneers in a 41-38 loss. … Graham senior Devin Lester has thrown for nine scores while adding five touchdowns. Graham quarterback Jamir Blevins has attended three schools this year, including Tazewell and Bluefield. Senior receiver Joey Dales (four touchdowns) has emerged as another weapon for the balanced G-Men.
Prediction: Graham 49, Lebanon 7
Holston at No. 6 Patrick Henry
Last meeting: Patrick Henry 22, Holston 8 (Oct. 5, 2018 in Damascus, Va.)
Patrick Henry has dominated this Washington County rivalry as of late, winning the last five meetings – all by double digits. … Even with star running back Zach Brown sidelined with an ankle injury, PH powered its way to a 31-0 win over Rural Retreat last week as quarterback Dakota Rector and a swarming defense led the way for the Rebels. … Ean Rhea (65 tackles) and Chase Brown (60 tackles) have led the way for Patrick Henry’s defensive unit. … Holston’s offense has been balanced as eight different players have scored touchdowns for the Cavaliers and six of those guys have produced multiple scores. Quaheim Brooks has thrown seven touchdown passes, Austin Faris has rushed for eight scores and Jordan Ezzell has been a versatile playmaker. … Defensively, Lane Blevins (59 tackles), Austin Faris (44 tackles) and Gage Quina (35 tackles) are Holston’s hard hitters. … “PH is a great team,” said Holston coach Derrick Patterson. “They execute in every phase of the game, are very well-coached and physical. We have to keep them from making big plays and must keep their offense off the field and finish drives to give ourselves a chance.”
Prediction: Patrick Henry 36, Holston 15