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Volunteer hopes to end skid against Cherokee

DOUGLAS FRITZ • Sep 12, 2018 at 11:38 PM

High school football usually doesn’t get affected by the weather, in terms of postponements. But Hurricane Florence isn’t a usual situation.

Rivals Cherokee and Volunteer moved their game up a day, and the Hawkins County rivals will do battle Thursday in Church Hill. Kickoff is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.

Also responding to the potential for inclement weather, Cloudland will play host to Hancock County in a Region 1-1A contest on Thursday.

Cherokee at Volunteer

The Falcons haven’t had much success in this backyard battle.

They’ve lost 14 of the last 17 meetings, including 10 in a row. Volunteer’s last victory was a 19-15 decision in 2007.

Sometimes breaking through is a process, and the Falcons have to prove they can beat Cherokee. They haven’t been close in either of the last three meetings, losing by scores of 48-7, 45-7 and 21-0.

However, the door appears to be slightly ajar for the streak to end. The Falcons are 2-2 and have scored 120 points in four games this season.

“I think we are going to approach it like every game, but the kids are excited,” said Falcons’ head coach Justin Pressley. “We’re coming off a win, and we’re definitely in a good place right now. It’s a great opportunity for us.”

Cherokee is 0-4, and the Chiefs have surrendered 144 points. It should be noted Cherokee lost by only 10 points in Week 3, and three points in Week 4, so the Chiefs are improving.

“They have played a tough schedule,” said Pressley. “I think we would all be in a tough situation with the first four games they’ve faced. They have improved, and it should be a real competitive game.”

Pressley, in his first season as head coach, has leaned on the play of quarterback Eli Dorton.

“We’re not changing anything,” said Pressley. “He’s our playmaker, and we let the offense run through him.”

Hancock County at Cloudland

The Highlanders have had no problems with the Indians in recent years. They have racked up six straight wins by scores of 48-12, 40-8, 66-14, 42-14, 52-12 and 60-0.

However, Hancock did pull off a surprise win over Cloudland back in 2011. The Indians won 14-6 in a season the Highlanders finished with a record of 1-9.

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