By: Tim Chambers
Tomahawk Sports Editor
Its not the Jolly Green Giant but a tall task stands in the way of Johnson County moving into the second round of the TSSAA 3A playoffs. The Longhorns will travel to Knoxville on Friday to battle No. 3 ranked CAK.
The Warriors (9-1) suffered their first loss last Friday to top ranked Alcoa but a couple of their starters didnt play. Head coach Don Kerley knows what his squad is up against. He touched on the strength of CAK.
We were fortunate enough to get a win over Unicoi County on Friday and playing at home made a difference, said Kerley. Its going to be a great advantage for them too. They have a great quarterback who throws the ball well and five or six receivers who can catch it. Theyre impressive and they definitely like to throw the football. They are well coached and theyve got a good program.
Kerley was speaking of three-year starter Cole Smith who has put up some staggering numbers. The (62, 185 lb. senior) has completed 221-of-298 passes for 2673 yards and 27 touchdowns. His 74 percent completion rate is tops in the state of Tennessee.
Phillips Nichols leads the receiving corps with 62 receptions for 1097 yards. University of Tennessee signee Austin Pope has hauled in 43 receptions for 447 yards from his tight end position.
The Warriors throw the ball 70 percent of the time but when they do run you can expect Cole Welch to get the football. He leads the team with 403 yards rushing.
West Shuler leads the defense with 75 tackles.
They no doubt have some good athletes, added Kerley. We have to control the football and not turn it over. They normally score a lot of points so if we can keep them off the field were hoping they might get frustrated. Well try and mix our coverages up and hopefully get some pressure on him. Hes also a good runner so you have to be aware of that too.
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