Hawks hurdle ahead?

HVA looks to upset 8-1 Ads

Farragut High School can win a share of the Region 1-6A football championship with a victory tonight, Thursday, Oct. 26, at Hardin Valley Academy.

However, Kingsport Dobyns-Bennett can claim the No. 1 region playoff seed — based on winning head-to-head tiebreaker — with a victory at Jefferson County Friday evening, Oct. 27.

The Indians and FHS each are 5-1 in region, with the Admirals 8-1 overall.

If all goes as predicted after the final week, Week 11, of the 2017 regular season, Farragut would finish as No. 2 seed and host Cleveland, likely No. 3 seed from Region 2-6A, Friday night, Nov. 3, in the Class 6A playoff opening round.

Hardin Valley [4-5, 2-3] is looking to rebound after a weak performance at Bearden, blown away by the Bulldogs 42-3.

Despite all that’s at stake, Admirals skipper Eddie Courtney said it’s business as usual — almost. “We had a good day of practice on Sunday. We don’t usually practice on Sunday, but with the game being on Thursday, we couldn’t afford to miss a day of practice,” Courtney said.

Though losing control of its own playoff destiny, HVA could still earn the No. 4 playoff seed with an upset win versus Farragut and Morristown West winning at home versus Bearden Friday.

“I told our guys [Monday] we still have a chance to get into the playoffs,” Wes Jones, Hawks head coach, said. “... We know it’s going to be a tough game. Hopefully we’ll complete at the level we’ve played at most of the year.

“We had a ton of injuries last week. Hopefully we’ll be a little bit more healthy going into to the this ballgame on Thursday,” he added. “We know we’ve got some cards stacked up against us.”

Attempting to learn from the problems at BHS, Jones said about a team he’s labeled as “young” throughout the season, “We went back and simplified some things where our kids don’t have to think much at all. Just trying to really challenge them to go out and play hard this week.”

The biggest key for HVA to pull an upset Thursday? “We’re going to have to make some big plays,” Jones said.

The Hawks and Admirals have only met twice: Hardin Valley won 41-17 at HVA in 2014. Farragut prevailed 35-33 at FHS in 2013.