BY DARREN REESE
There are no shortage of story lines this week as the high school football regular season comes to a close.
None of the four local schools in action have to travel across the county borders Friday night, and all three games have some type of postseason implications.
South Greene is set to host Chuckey-Doak at Rebel Hill, with the Black Knights still harboring an outside chance of hosting a first-round playoff game.
Greeneville, meanwhile, can lock up a home game for next week by taking care of business against Claiborne County tomorrow.
At North Greene, the Huskies are in a situation where they have to beat Hancock County and then get a little help on top of that in order for their season to continue.
Make sure to pick up the weekend edition of The Greeneville Sun for a full re-cap of all of Friday night's football action.
BLACK KNIGHTS AT REBEL HILL
Last year, Chuckey-Doak recorded its first win over South Greene since 1992, which also happens to be the last time the Black Knights won at Rebel Hill.
Chuckey-Doak will try to end that streak tomorrow night in a game that features a pair of teams playing for two different things.
The Black Knights (2-3 District 2-AA, 5-4 overall) are in the playoffs at this point, though they are probably looking at being a low seed in the Class 3A bracket. A win could possibly boost them high enough to host a first-round game next week.
South Greene (0-5, 1-8), meanwhile, has nothing left to play for but pride as it looks to pick up its second win of the season.
"We are anticipating being in the playoffs at this point," Chuckey-Doak Aaron Christian said. "We still may have an outside chance to be at home."
"But we aren't taking this South Greene game for granted. It's a big rivalry game, and there is something about those maroon uniforms that throw Chuckey-Doak for a loop."
South Greene head coach Shawn Jones isn't concerned about whether his team will finish the year in the right frame of mind.
It's senior night at Rebel Hill, and though Jones has just three seniors on the roster - Matt Nicodemus, Jessie Dalton and Cody Brobeck - he says they deserve a fitting farewell.
"Those kids haven't given up on this team all season," Jones said. "I know we don't have a chance to make the playoffs or anything like that, but those three seniors have stayed with it and we are going to go out and give it all we have for them this week."
Chuckey-Doak is coming off a disappointing 33-27 loss to cross-county rival West Greene, which kept the Black Knights from winning their first out-right county championship in 20 seasons.
"We tell the guys all year, you have Sunday to celebrate or Sunday to sulk," Christian said. "But it was disappointing. I can't question our effort, the kids play hard."
"We just didn't execute like we needed to. When it gets to crunch time, we need someone to step up. It was a total team loss. There are certainly decisions or plays called that I would like to have back. But it's time to refocus."
South Greene, meanwhile, allowed 508 yards of offense in a 44-12 loss to Claiborne County. Jones knows his defense will have to do a better job this week if it wants to slow down Chuckey-Doak standout back Bryce Malone, who has rushed for 1,600 yards and 17 touchdowns this season.
"I know it's easier said than done," Jones said. "I lot of teams have tried to slow him down, but really that's key to the game."
"You have to slow him down and get a couple of scores on them early. That's not something we've done this year. We haven't led a lot of games. But that's what we have to do this week."
Christian hopes to have more consistent play out of his quarterback position this week. Last week, he had to bench his top two signal callers for the first quarter due to disciplinary issues.
Freshman Ty Waddell started against West Greene and the Black Knights scored on the two drives he led.
Junior Kris Hinkle has been Chuckey-Doak's regular starter this year and was progressing nicely through the first six games before being sidelined with a concussion. He returned two weeks ago against Greeneville.
HUSKIES HOST HANCOCK CO.
For the better part of the past couple of weeks, North Greene head coach Josh Edens thought all his team had to do was beat Hancock County in the season finale and his team would be in the Class AA playoff field.
A recent turn of events has changed that, though.
The Huskies (2-2 Region 1-A, 4-5 overall) now not only need a win Friday night, but they also need Trinity Christian (Jackson, Tn.) to lose in order to have their season extended.
"This is not the situation we had hoped to be in," Edens said. "But at the same time, it's a lot better placed to be than some other teams."
"We are going out there and lay it all on the line Friday night. It's like I told my guys, we have to go out there and take care of the things that we can control, and that's beating Hancock County."
Booker T. Washington is responsible for the wrench thrown into North Greene's playoff plans. The Memphis high school has already concluded its regular season with a 3-7 overall record. But the Warriors are going to finish second in the four-team District 16-A, which automatically gives them a berth into the playoffs and bumps a bubble team out of the picture - that currently happens to be North Greene.
"Is it fair? No," Edens said. "But we can't dwell on that."
Hancock County (0-5, 2-6) has had an interesting season in the fact that it had to forfeit a game earlier this year because it didn't have enough healthy players to make the trip to region-leading Hampton.
Head coach Darrell Miller has just 19 players on the roster, but Edens says looks can be deceiving.
"They play hard, and they always play us close," Edens said. "They run an interesting offense that is hard to prepare for. Our kids know that we can't take them lightly, especially with all that we have on the line Friday night."