Week 2 Preview: Maryville/Oakland Headline a Big Weekend

It’s Week 2 in the high school football season in East Tennessee and we’re already gearing up for another Friday night of great action. Here’s the three biggest games you need to know about.

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Season Preview: Greeneville High School Green Devils

Jul 23, 2018 | Home Spotlight, Mark Alewine | 0 comments

Season Preview: Greeneville High School Green Devils

Jul 23, 2018 | Home Spotlight, Mark Alewine | 0 comments

The Greeneville Green Devils walked off the field at Tennessee Tech on Dec 1 having finished one of the most dominant seasons in the recent history of East Tennessee football.

Greeneville ended the 2017 season as undefeated Class 4A State Champions. Powered by a the arm and legs of Class 4A Mr. Football, Cade Ballard, the Green Devils averaged 42 points per game. In six games last season, Greeneville scored over 50 points, and in three of those games went for more 60.

The Green Devils capped off its impressive 2017 with an exclamatory rout over Springfield High School, 54-13, to bring home their third state title since 2010.

Bringing back the bulk of its scoring offense, the Green Devils are expecting a repeat.

Ballard, who is the son of Greeneville head coach Caine Ballard, is heading into his senior year as a four year starter for the Green Devils and much to gain for his future in college football. According to the 24/7 composite rankings, Ballard is a projected two star recruit and ranked as the no. 75 recruit in Tennessee.

Ballard is currently being pursued by schools like the Air Force Academy, West Point, the Citadel, and Austin Peay. However, Ballard might be able to move up recruiting boards for larger and more prominent schools with another stand out season like he had in 2017. In the state championship game, Ballard took complete control of the game with seven touchdowns combined on the ground and through the air.

Ballard’s top targets are receivers Cameron Hite and Dorien Goddard, who have committed to Wake Forest and Virginia, respectively. Hite and Goddard combined for 1,553 yards receiving and 21 touchdowns in 2017. Goddard alone had 68 receptions last season. Both are expected to lead the Green Devils passing attack, creating more space for the Greeneville ground game.

The 2018 season schedule for Greeneville is identical to last year, and the Green Devils are again expected to make a dominant run into the state playoffs. The only true challenges awaiting Coach Ballard’s team is week one on the road against Dobyns Bennett and week eight at home against Elizabethton.

Dobyns Bennett pushed Greeneville last season, taking a 21-14 lead into halftime on the road, but fell short after a giving up a 21 point fourth quarter off three rushing touchdowns from Ballard en route to a 35-21 loss.

The Tribe boasts one of the top home field advantages in East Tennessee at J. Fred Johnson Stadium, but the Green Devils should have no problem opening the season with a road win.

Greeneville will likely not be tested again until week 8 against rival Elizabethton, who posted a strong 8-2 regular season record in 2017. Like Dobyns Bennett, the Cyclones pushed Greeneville in their regular season meeting, trailing just 10-3 going into the fourth quarter before losing to the Green Devils, 24-10.

The Cyclones offense will be powered by a senior backfield featuring quarterback Carter Everett and running back Corey Russell, however Elizabethton should be no match for dominant Greeneville.

The state playoffs are a wildcard every year, but our prediction is the Green Devils will bring home another 4A State title and likely run the table for back-to-back seasons.

Mark Alewine

Mark Alewine

Digital Producer at WVLT, and freelance journalist in Knoxville, TN

Mark Alewine is a long time journalist in Knoxville, Tennessee. He has covered a wide range of sporting and news events, and his work has appeared in several print and online publications, including Champion magazine, the Knoxville News Sentinel, and Bleacher Report. Alewine’s stories include college and high school sports, and has covered such major events as the Final Four, the Big Ten Football Championship, and the NFL scouting combine. He is a recent graduate student at IUPUI, earning a master’s degree in sports journalism.

 

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