Cherokee hasn’t started a season 5-0 since 2001, but the Chiefs (4-0, 1-0 Region 1-5A) have the chance to do so this week. All that stands in the way is their biggest rival.
The 40th annual Hawkins County Super Bowl will see Volunteer (2-2, 0-1) make the short trip to Big Red Valley looking for its first win over the Chiefs since 2007 when the Falcons left Rogersville victorious 19-15.
Cherokee has won 11 straight meetings in the rivalry since then and now leads the all-time series 30-9, most recently winning at Church Hill 48-27 last season a year after Cherokee won the last game at Big Red Valley 48-7.
For the season, senior quarterback Collin Trent is 47-of-81 passing for 573 yards and 7 touchdowns with 354 yards rushing and 9 touchdowns on 44 carries.
Trent Price ran for 71 yards on 13 carries against Morristown West.
Tater Haun, Cherokee’s leading tackler with 8 stops, and Brandon Ramsey both got a sack.
Second-year coach Justin Pressley’s Falcons lost their lone conference game to David Crockett 48-19, sandwiched between wins over Sullivan Central (37-28) and Sullivan East (24-21).
Senior quarterback Eli Dorton relieved sophomore Garrison Barrett in the second half against Sullivan East and completed 5-of-5 passes for 106 yards while keeping 10 times for 53. Dorton carried for a go-ahead touchdown from 4 yards out with 9:46 remaining to eventually win the game.
Before Week 4, Barrett had completed 36 passes for 401 yards with 1 TD against 3 interceptions.
Cameron Johnson is the Falcons’ leading rusher with 57 carries for 282 yards and 4 touchdowns.
Peyton Derrick leads the Falcons with 30 receptions for 310 yards and 3 touchdowns. He also carried 7 times for 43 yards and a score against Sullivan East.
Connor Crum, Quinn Brooks, Dawson Dykes and Jared Counts have been the Falcons’ leading tacklers so far, with Crum leading Volunteer in sacks. Jacob Gladson and Bryson Miller both have interceptions this season.
The teams square off for the 40th time at 7:30 p.m. tonight in Big Red Valley.
Cocke County at David Crockett
Cocke County (1-3, 0-0 Region 1-5A) journeys to Jonesborough to face fifth-ranked David Crockett (3-0, 1-0), which has won 13 straight regular season contests.
Tyler Venerable threw for 110 yards against the Gatlinburg-Pittman with a 56-yard touchdown strike to Nick Parker and ran for 69 yards on 11 attempts while Roman Stewart gained 59.
Second-year head coach Hayden Chandley’s Pioneers dominated Science Hill 62-34 before winning at Volunteer 48-19 and at Webb School of Knoxville 28-21.
Senior quarterback Cade Larkins has thrown for 880 yards in three games on 54-of-87 pass completions. He has thrown 13 TDs and has yet to be picked off in 2019.
Ronquille Joyner is by far the team’s leading rusher with 44 carries for 320 yards and 5 touchdowns.
Prince Kollie and Mason Britton both have 5 TD receptions as Kollie has 18 catches for a team-high 412 yards.
Donta Hackler leads Crockett in receptions with 19 for 235 yards and a TD while Eric Dunbar has caught 2 TDs. Britton has 11 catches for 167.
Kickoff is slated for 7:30 p.m. in Jonesborough.
Claiborne at Unicoi Co.
Claiborne (2-2, 0-1 Region 1-3A) hits the road to face Unicoi County (2-2, 1-0), looking to win two straight games for the first time since 2013.
Eli Stone, now 39-of-63 for 827 yards and 8 TDs, hit 6-of-6 passes for 119 yards last week with TD passes to Haydn Hollin and Ethan Poore. Stone kept 8 times for 122 yards and two scores on the ground and made 6 PATs.
Greg Goins ran for 88 yards on 7 carries with a touchdown while Jimmy Del Ervin added 6 carries for 48 yards and a TD.
Led by fourth-year head coach Drew Rice, Unicoi County lost to South Greene 28-7 and Hampton 32-13 to before winning 65-6 at conference foe North Greene before last week’s 35-0 home triumph over Happy Valley.
Unicoi County’s backfield duo of Kody Lewis and Diego Diaz combined for 341 yards on 39 carries as Lewis ran for 172 on 18 attempts and Diaz gained 169 on 21 totes.
Brock Thompson threw for 218 yards and 3 scores against North Greene.
Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m. tonight in Erwin.
Happy Valley at Cosby
Cosby (1-3, 0-1 Region 1-2A) welcomes Happy Valley (3-1, 1-0) to Virgil Ball Stadium, with the Eagles seeking their first conference victory since a 40-30 win at Cumberland Gap in 2015.
Hunter Workman scored the Eagles’ only touchdown against Midway on an 85-yard keeper. He completed 2-of-4 passes for 24 yards. Eduardo Gonzalez carried 15 times for 29 yards.
Fifth-year coach Jason Jarrett’s Warriors beat Cloudland (19-6), Chuckey-Doak (14-6) and Hampton (14-8) before last week’s 35-0 loss at Unicoi County.
Eli Ayers completed 5-of-8 for 57 yards against Hampton including the 13-yard game winner to Gabe Nichols.
Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m. from Virgil Ball Stadium.
Cloudland at Hancock Co.
Hancock County (2-2, 1-0 Region 1-A) all but assures itself a home playoff game with a win over Cloudland (0-3, 0-0) tonight.
Jadon Royston ran for 182 yards and 3 touchdowns on 17 attempts in Week 4. Devon Blevins returned a blocked punt for a TD while completing 3 passes for 33 yards, and he kept 13 times for 47 yards. Ethan Short ran 7 times for 36.
Conner Birchfield ran for 31 yards and Hunter Blair added 19 in Cloudland’s loss at Hampton. Hunter Shell and Tristan Lacy connected twice for TDs against South Greene.
It’s the conference opener for first-year Cloudland coach Glenn White.
Kickoff is at 7:30 p.m. in Sneedville tonight.