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Football puzzle only half complete

By: Tim Chambers
Tomahawk Sports Editor
[email protected]

Johnson County’s scrimmage game with Happy Valley resembled the Wild Eagle roller coaster ride at Dollywood. It was smooth at times but with highs and lows, ups and downs.
Coach Don Kerley and his staff spent a good part of the evening watching game film after Monday’s matinee in full pads. They’ll try and work out the kinks before Friday’s home scrimmage with Chuckey-Doak.
The Longhorns lone score came on a long touchdown pass from sophomore quarterback Nathan Arnold to speedster Dakota Wright who also had a couple of good runs.
The receiver core of Cody Bailie, Samuel Icenhour, Bud Icenhour and Wright had Happy Valley’s attention. But it also created a concern when they delivered a heavy rush.
Arnold was sacked a couple of times and was hurried another three by the Austin Hicks’ led defense. The Warriors did a good job of forcing Johnson County to hurry some plays.

But that wasn’t the case on the defensive side.
Johnson County’s line held firm and allowed the Warriors’ only one sizeable run who could possess the best ground game in their league.
The Longhorns graduated several linemen from last season with Jake Bower the lone returnee. Alec Tester had some good moments but there were some breakdowns.
Another concern was the secondary play. Twice they were beaten badly. One resulted in a touchdown and the other could have been had the pass been on target.
Those are things that must be fixed over the next two weeks. And it’s plenty doable.
Cloudland’s head coach, Brock Pittman, raised some eyebrows on media day when he emerged on the scene three years ago.
“We’ll pencil in our best people to play quarterback, running back and wide receivers,” said Pittman. “Then we’ll take our remaining best athletes and put them in the offensive line.”
One of those was Mason Carnett who had run for over 900 yards as a sophomore. Pittman made the 6’2, 200 pound tailback his center. His right guard and tackle were a tight end and fullback.
Carnett was lineman of the year his senior season and was the top defensive player in Northeast Tennessee. This reporter nicknamed him “Pittman the Prophet” after that.

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