Maryville, Knox Central and Powell have been juggernauts of 4A football in East Tennessee for many years now. One of the three has played for the TSSAA Eastern Bracket championship in the playoffs each year for as long as anyone cares to remember. Maryville has won 5 of the last 6 4A state championships.
But there's a wind of change in the air and it's blowing from the North. It's blowing from Hamblen County and the city of Morristown to be exact.
Now, no one's saying that the Morristown West Trojans and Morristown East Hurricanes are taking over 4A football in the East…hardly. This season might be a glimpse of great things to come for the two programs though.
With Central and Powell not turning in the 10-1 or 8-2 seasons they normally do, the two will most likely leave Maryville to take on one of the Morristown teams in Round 4 of the TSSAA playoffs.
If the Rebels march through the post season yet again this year, the Hamblen County team they'll most likely meet will be the Trojans.
Morristown West wouldn't be newcomers to that role either. As a matter of fact, the Trojans played the Rebels in Round 4 last year (0-28 L). Also, West has one of the best records vs. Maryville since George Quarles took over at MHS seven years ago.
Morristown West Trojans
West is 2-9 all time vs. the Rebels, so let's not crank up the band just yet.
However, they're 2-6 during Quarles term and their two wins are in the last five years. The Trojan's latest win sent the Rebels home in Round 4 of the 2003 4A playoffs. The Trojans went on to Murfreesboro that year.
West, like Maryville, is still undefeated in 2006, going into their Week 10 match up with Cocke County.
The Trojans are like the Red Rebels in another way as well. Their only allowing 10.5 points per contest thus far. Maryville is allowing just over that, at 10.6 ppg.
The Trojan "D" is lead by seniors JJ Sims (LB), Drameece Kyle (DE) and David Hollman (LB). The triumvirate has amassed over 200 tackles, 6 sacks and two interceptions in '06 thru Week 8.
On offense, the Trojans are lead by reliable QB Logan Wild. He's up over the 600 yard mark on the season, with 10 TD passes against just two interceptions. Wild piled up 3 TD passes in Week 7 alone vs. region rival Daniel Boone.
Protecting Wild will be college prospect and OL Joe Brown. At 6'4" and 285 lbs, he is a force to be reckoned with. Brown is surrounded by nearly a ton of junior and senior linemen on the Trojan O line as well.
The Trojans have a pair of punishing rushers in seniors Quentin Greenlee and Wesley Hale. The two are up over 1200 yards on the season in West's power running game. Greenlee is the marquee back, with Hale the FB getting the tough yards and more.
West passes for effect and they'll look to Hale out of the backfield first, then to junior WR Patrick Hodge. Sophomore Terrell McKinney will also figure in.
Morristown East Hurricanes
The Hurricanes have not had the kind of success the Trojans have had in recent years (9-13 last two seasons). To make matters worse, the city forces the two to share their playing field. As the home team vs. the Trojans in 2006, East lost badly 45-24.
Even with that embarrassment, things are looking way, way up with the arrival of first year head coach Dwayne Hatcher. Hatcher has the Hurricanes pointed in the right direction, with a 5-3 start and a possible 7-3 finish to the season. It equals East's last season over .500, when they went 7-3 in 2003.
East is giving up just under 20 points per contest at 19.6 ppg, which is an improvement over last year's 23 ppg. The Hurricane defense is lead by junior LB Richard Montes, with 73 stops and a sack thru Week 8. He's aided by senior SS Seth Ewing and fellow linebacker Demarcus Knight (So).
The East offensive is lead by a trio of backers in seniors Brad Ramsey (QB) and Jimmy Mosier (RB), and junior Terrell Dockery (RB). The trio has combined for over 1,940 yards thus far, for nearly 30 TD's. They constitute the bulk of the offense.
East passes for effect also and they'll look to senior WR Jeremy Dickerson, then Mosier out of the backfield. Ramsey has less than 400 yards passing on the season and 1 more interception than TD pass.
No, the Morristown teams haven't shifted the balance of 4A East power to a shared football field up North just yet. After all, the Trojans struggled to a 24-19 win vs. Knox West in Week 4 and the Running Rebels are hardly a perennial powerhouse.
As mentioned previously though, it looks as though the duo is on the rise and might possibly be real players in the 4A race annually. Far fetched?
Time will tell. Neither team has traveled to the Blue Cross Bowl since 2003. East is the only one with a football championship. As the 1969 Class AAA state champions it makes a better trivia questions than anything. West would have to count on girls cross country and golf for state championships at present.
With Maryville graduating ¾ of their offense in ‘06, head coach Joel Helton on the verge of retirement at Central and Powell still trying to find an offensive identity under new head coach Matt Lowe, who knows what the winds of change will bring.
The new home of 4A Football?
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