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Breaking down the remaining football schedule

By: Tim Chambers
Tomahawk Sports Editor
[email protected]

One game is now in the books and it wasn’t what Johnson County was hoping for. The Longhorns struggled in a 21-0 home opening loss to Sullivan East. But one game doesn’t make a season.
The Patriots were favored to win and they did so in convincing fashion. The Longhorns will be even bigger underdogs in their next two contests. Trying to beat Hampton and Elizabethton on the road can be a difficult task. And if the offense continues to sputter it will be virtually impossible.
It’s possible that the season could start 0-3. It’s also possible that the Longhorns stand a good chance of a six-win season if they can get untracked.
Here is a breakdown of the remaining schedule and what to expect.

Johnson County at Hampton
A capacity crowd will pack J.C. Campbell Stadium to see these two teams do battle. This could be one of Hampton’s most talented teams in past years. Friday night told the tale.
They knocked off Avery County, NC 54-17 behind their three-headed monster, Adam McClain, Jerry Lunsford and Coby Jones.
McClain scored four times and Lunsford three in the win. Jones toyed the Vikings with a 100 yard passing performance in limited work.
The three back tandem could be the best in Northeast Tennessee.
Johnson County will need to find a way to play flawlessly in order to pull off an upset. This game is usually a “Dog Fight” and close till the end.

Johnson County at Elizabethton
The Cyclones will be hyped up due to playing their first game inside the new Citizens Bank Stadium. All the pregame hype could play in Johnson County’s favor.
Elizabethton is the better team on paper. But they suffered a huge loss recently when star running back Caleb Jones tore his ACL in a jet ski accident and is lost for the season.  The Longhorns can make history by winning the first game ever inside ‘Betsy’s new confines. The Cyclones would rather eat raw fish with the head still attached than to let that happen.

Sullivan Central at Johnson County
The Cougars finished 3-7 in 2014 but played a tough schedule. They ended the year with a pair of touchdown wins over Volunteer and Unicoi County. The Cougars will visit Mountain City after playing a physical Cherokee squad the week before. This could be a must-win depending on how they fare in their first three games. The Cougars are led by quarterback Drew Robinette. He threw touchdown passes of 80 and 14 yards in a 24-14 loss to Sullivan North in their first game.

Chuckey-Doak at Johnson County
Chuckey-Doak had a banner season last year but graduated nearly all of its playmakers. Johnson County will have a huge speed advantage against the Black Knights who had to replace the entire defensive backfield. C-D will try and establish a ball control ground game. 

Claiborne County at Johnson County
It’s a long ways from Tazewell, Tennessee to Johnson County. And the Bulldogs haven’t enjoyed very much success on the gridiron.
They finished 2-8 in 2-14 and both those wins can against winless opponents. Enough said. Hook ‘em Horns.

Johnson County at West Greene
Head coach Joe Case has built a good football program down on the Buffalo range. West Greene won six straight games in 2014 but lost their last five. Two of those losses were to Greeneville and Pigeon Forge. It’s said to be a rebuilding year for the boys at Mosheim but Case coached teams are always physical. This game could be the one that has playoffs written all over it. West Greene dropped its first game in 2015 to Murray, Kentucky 40-7.

Northview Academy at Johnson County
Obtaining information about this opponent is like trying to get cell phone service halfway up Cross Mountain, but I was able to do so.
They played a junior varsity schedule last season so they should match up good with the Longhorns who started five sophomores in their opener. JCHS needs to beat Northview now. They’ll be a much stronger opponent in the upcoming years. Quarterback Justin Howard tossed a couple of long touchdown passes in a 47-36 road win against Cloudland last Friday. He also rushed for 102 yards. Cade Barnes scored three times and ran for 110.

To read the entire article, pick up a copy o this week's Tomahawk.