Clinton hosts its last football home game this week, along with its senior night, as the Dragons face off against West High School.
Meanwhile, Anderson County travels to East Ridge High School for its second away game in a row — and a region game, to boot.
Clinton hosts West High School for a region match against the Rebels after losing to Oak Ridge this past Friday in its long-time rivalry game against the Wildcats.
The Dragons were required to take two weeks off due to an abundance of caution regarding COVID-19 protocols, and the game against Oak Ridge was their first after resuming the season.
Clinton currently stands 0-5 for the season, scoring an average of just under seven points a game. The Dragons are ranked 186th in the state and 37th in their class.
West, meanwhile, has scored an average of 33 points per game as it has steamrolled over Farragut, Karns, Bearden, and Oak Ridge.
The Rebels are coming into the game strong after a 55-0 win against Hardin Valley Academy last Friday. Currently, the Rebels are ranked as the 12th best team in the state and second in their class, trailing only Powell in the regional 5A rankings.
Dragons Head Coach Darell Keith, said the game might not be already as decided as people think.
“West’s star running back isn’t playing. [Isaiah] Mattress is out. That’s going to be big,” said Keith.
When asked if there was anything special planned for Senior Night, Keith said he’s just hoping for a win.
“We’re going to try to win, and that’s what we want to do special for them,” he said of the seniors. “That would be special.”
The Dragons are already looking forward on the games ahead, with Keith thinking about where the Dragons could end up at for the season.
“I like the people here in Clinton, and I feel like I’m letting them down,” he said. “The only way I feel like I can make it up to them is to make the playoffs. I have every intention of beating Fulton, every intention of beating Campbell County, and every intention of beating Karns. The only way I’ll be able to sleep this season is if I make the playoffs, and if I don’t, I’m not going to be able to sleep until next season.”
As for Anderson County, the Mavs are 4-2 on the season after beating Jefferson County 48-7 on the road last week.
This week they’ll face East Ridge High School, which sits at 3-2.
Last year’s game was a victory for Anderson County, winning 42-14 at home.
Currently, Anderson County is ranked 58th in the state and seventh in their class, just between East Hamilton (eighth) and Springfield (sixth).
Meanwhile, East Ridge, at the time of writing, sits at 158th in the state, and 23rd in its class, just above Jackson North Side and just below Macon County. East Ridge has scored an average of 22 points a game to Anderson County’s 37.
The head coach for the Mavericks, David Gillum, said the team is expecting an interesting game.
“It’s a big region game. Hard to tell on film, but they played East Hamilton really tight, and that’s supposed to be a good team that may end up beating us,” he said. “ [East Hamilton] is actually ranked higher than us in the state right now, so East Ridge should be a pretty tough challenge by the rankings. We definitely won’t take them lightly, and if we’re going to fight for the championship, we need a one-seed, so this is a big game.”
Gillum said the coaches are stressing execution this week, making sure players know their assignments and can execute on every play.
“East Ridge is an athletic team,” he said. “If we don’t tackle well on defense, they’ll have the speed and athleticism to take it to the house. It’s frustrating that you can play great every single play and then one kid misses one tackle and they take it home. It’ll be execution. They’re a bit chaotic on defense, too, so we’ll be stressing that to the kids, making sure everyone knows their assignments. And if we do that, it should be a long night for them.”