BY TATE RUSSELL
SUN SPORTS WRITER
MOSHEIM - When Joe Case takes his West Greene football team to Morristown East Saturday, the game will serve as a reunion of sorts.
Case played football at Tusculum under current East head coach Dwayne Hatcher and defensive coordinator Dewayne Wells - both of whom were coordinators at Tusculum in the early 1990's.
West Greene will face the Hurricanes in the first game of the Citizen Tribune Kickoff Classic at Burke-Toney Stadium. Game time is scheduled for 4:30 p.m.
Morristown West will square off against Whitley County in the second game of the doubleheader. Kick off for that contest is 8 p.m.
"It's a fun thing to think about," Case said. "we had some good battles together when I was in college. It's neat to get go back and face your former coaches because those guys have taught me a lot of things."
Morristown East brings some talented skill players into the contest.
The player the Buffs will have to be most concerned with is running back Matt Thompson. Thompson saw two just carries against Jefferson County in the Inter-Mountain Athletic Conference preseason jamboree last week, but he used them to gain 102 yards and score twice.
"They've got some speed and they're really good at the skill positions," Case noted. "They've brought a lot kids back and have 20 something seniors on their team. They are a 6A program and they're hungry just like we are."
While the Hurricanes do bring back a lot of experience from the 2012 squad, they won just one game last year.
West Greene is coming off a 6-6 season in which it won the first playoff game in school history.
The Buffaloes are eager to continue building on that momentum, and Case likes how his team has approached practice this week leading up to this contest.
"I think we've prepared well," Case said. "I think our kids are excited about the opportunity they have to play in a game like this."
"I think they'll come out and play hard and do what we need to do be successful."
One area that Case feels his team can have success in is on the perimeter.
With Austin Greenlee back under center, the Buffaloes have a receiving unit that can make connections and move the ball down field.
With that said, though, Case wants to make sure his team remains balanced. And with the duo of Nathan Morgan and Johnathan Padgett in the backfield, that shouldn't be hard to do. The two combined for almost 1,800 yards rushing last season.
"I like some of the things we can do offensively with our outside guys and we may try to throw the ball a little bit," Case explained. "We'll use our backfield to keep them honest and help us out there.
"It will be a challenge but I think we can take advantage of some things offensively. I think we need to be balanced. We'll make it a point to be balanced and to try and get something from both the passing game and the run."
Case is familiar with the venue of Saturday's game. Both Morristown East and Morristown West play their home games at Burke-Toney Stadium.
Case was an assistant at Morristown West before taking the head coaching position at West Greene.
"I enjoyed my time at Morristown West with (current head coach) Lamar (Brown) and coach (Gary Salansky), and I love those guys to death," Case said. "We had a lot of fun times coaching together, and we could tell a lot of stories about each other.
"I go way back with Lamar because I graduated with his wife, Tonya, at Jefferson County, and I watched Lamar play ball in high school. It's interesting and proves it's a small world with all these things tying together."
Case also has ties to Whitley County.
"My wife is from Whitley County and graduated from Whitley County High School, and our niece plays volleyball there now," he explained. "It all just kind of ties in together."