Campbell County’s game this week against Anderson County will be the first meeting of the two teams since Sept. 2, 1994, when the Mavericks opened the season with a 39-0 victory on their home field.
Both teams made the playoffs last season in their respective divisions. Both teams also had to replace several starters, including their quarterbacks. However, this is where their similarities end.
The Mavericks have a new coach — Davey Gillum — who has installed a new spread option offense and likes to throw the ball all over the lot. Last week, in a season opening shootout, AC quarterback Tanner Williams passed for 342 yards and 5 touchdowns in a 41-35 loss to Morristown East. His favorite target is 6-foot-3 wide receiver Josh Wilson.
AC didn’t run the ball much last week, but the Mavericks have the ability to maintain long, time-consuming drives with Drew Hicks and Chad Blakely in the backfield.
Dewayne Wells, who holds the distinction of being Campbell County’s longest-serving and winningest head football coach, plays it close to the vest with a version of Georgia Tech’s ground-hugging flex option offense. The Cougars rarely throw the ball. Instead, they like to batter opposing defenses with a stable of running backs including Joe Goins, Zach Ward and Wesley Cook, a transfer who blocked for Devrin Young last year at Bearden.
Campbell County also has the defense to take the wind out of AC’s passing game. Last week, during a 42-12 rout of White County, the Cougars set school records for most interceptions in a single game (4) and interceptions returned for touchdowns in a single game (2). Trevor Nolan, a senior defensive back, already has three interceptions to his credit this season.
Linebackers Bradley Hicks and Keenan Evans are the heavy hitters for the Cougars.
Last week, both teams put a bushel of points on the scoreboard. Campbell County’s 42 points against White County were the third most in Cougar football history. AC took a two-touchdown lead over Morristown East, fell behind by two touchdowns, and then almost came back to win the game in the final five minutes.
Come expecting fireworks for tomorrow night’s game, but don’t be surprised if the winning team has only a couple of touchdowns at the end. Both defenses are sound and are capable of making it a low scoring game. Like most games between evenly matched football teams, the outcome will be determined by whoever can control the line of scrimmage.
AC (0-1 overall) has more offensive firepower. Campbell County (1-1 overall) has home field advantage and two games under its belt. Prediction: Cougars win a very close game, 14-13 in overtime.