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Horns, Tigers to battle for second place

By: Tim Chambers
Tomahawk Sports Editor

Johnson County’s ability to prevail in must-win games has become habit forming since their loss to Chuckey-Doak four weeks ago. They currently are on a three-game winning streak and hope to make it a fourth. But they’ll need to cage the Tigers, ranked No. 11 in the state’s Class 3A poll in order to do so.
The Longhorns (3-2, 4-4) will travel to Dollywood Country on Friday to face Pigeon Forge (4-1, 6-2) with second place on the line.
Johnson County is currently tied with Unicoi County for third place and both teams support identical records. The Blue Devils must travel to Mountain City next Friday to face the Longhorns. A win over the Tigers would be huge according to head coach Don Kerley.

“We’ll have to play our best football and not turn it over to win,” said Kerley. “We’ve put ourselves in good position to make the playoffs but we still need to win one game. Unicoi was able to move the football on them but they turned it over three or four times which cost them. That’s what we have to avoid. We just need to play the way we’ve been playing.”
The Tigers were defeated soundly by Elizabethton 35-18 and Lenoir City 31-28.  They are currently on a two-game winning streak, beating Chuckey-Doak 41-20 and Unicoi County 22-8.

They were trailing 8-0 against the Blue Devils but got a pair of interceptions by Devin Davenport and Cyrus Smith that were turned into scores.
Quarterback Turner Whaley tossed an 11-yard touchdown pass to Dawson Day for their first score. The game was tied 8-8 at the half.
Noah Whaley was the workhorse for Pigeon Forge in the second half. He ended the game with 200 yards on 34 carries and a TD. His 21-yard touchdown run in the third quarter put them in front to stay. He is slightly over 1400 yards for the season.

“The Whaley boys are excellent backs,” added Kerley. “Turner is the second best quarterback we’ll face all year and Noah is probably the best running back. The quarterback is left-handed. He can keep it, run it or throw it. He does all of them well. No. 32 (Noah ) is extremely good when he runs straight ahead.”
The Longhorns are coming off their best game of the year.

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