LIZ LYONS, CADENCE CAPTURES  – West High cheerleaders lead the way in making a lot of noise to support their team on the field against Farragut Friday. The stands on both sides at Bill Wilson Field were almost full in one of the biggest football games locally in Week 3. 

HVA coach: ‘I knew these guys had it in them’

By Steve Williams

Jeff Miner has not been surprised with Hardin Valley Academy’s 3-0 start this season.

“I knew these guys had it in them,” said Miner, who is in his second season as the Hawks’ head coach.

After 1-9 records in 2022 and 2021 and a 2-8 record in 2020 that included a Covid win, Hardin Valley has defeated Karns, Morristown East and Cocke County in its first three games this season.

“I know they’re a good football team full of good players,” said Miner. “They’ve worked incredibly hard and gotten bigger, faster and stronger all off-season. They work hard in practice and do everything we ask. They’ve bought in.”

Miner was defensive coordinator at Oak Ridge for nine years prior to taking over the Hardin Valley program last season.

“Different guys step up every week, so it’s hard to point out one person,” added Miner. “Our guys are a team. They’ve bought in to what we are teaching and coaching, and they play for each other.”

After their 51-0 win over Cocke County in Week 3, the Hawks will be getting their toughest test so far this Friday night when they travel to Halls. The Red Devils also are 3-0.

Linebacker Kaden Cutcher had a Pick Six and also scored a safety in HVA’s win over Cocke County. He also had two solo tackles and assisted on six others.

Offensively, Brady Loveland carried the ball eight times for 76 yards and a TD.

Other statistical leaders in the win included quarterback Caleb Standifer and wide receiver Isaac Shelby on offense and linebacker Nathan Holbrook and lineman Andrew Beeler on defense.


HALLS ROLLING: The Red Devils under second-year head coach Brent Hughes shut out host Fulton 21-0 in Week 3. Their first two victories came against Campbell County and Gibbs.

Fulton and Halls were meeting for the first time since 1992. The two schools had only played each other in football a total of seven times since 1958.


REGION BATTLES: Week 3 marked the start of region play for many schools across the state. Teams began battling their regional rivals with the goal of securing a playoff spot come the end of the season. Of the 176 total games across the state in Week 3, 78 were region games.


FIVE TD NIGHT: Senior slot back Boone Brockwell was named Player of the Game in the Eagles’ 49-20 win over Karns. He scored five touchdowns, carrying the ball 12 times 161 yards, including an 81-yarder. He also caught two passes for nine yards.

Defensive Players of the Week for Gibbs were junior LB Brady Hughes (13 tackles, one interception) and senior DE Cash Mount (10 Tackles, one TFL, and one sack).

It was Gibbs’ first home win since beating Halls in the 2021 season opener. Gibbs did not have any home games in 2022 due to construction on its stadium not being completed.


WEEK 3 HIGHLIGHTS also included Bearden and South-Doyle getting their first wins. The Bulldogs defeated Anderson County 45-27 and the Cherokees outscored Austin-East 55-51.


COTTRELL RECOGNIZED: Former West High standout Nathan Cottrell was recognized at halftime of the Farragut at West game Friday night. He was a two-time All-State running back and the MVP of the Rebels’ Class 5A state championship win in 2014.

Cottrell, who has the WHS record for most career touchdowns (64), played college football at Georgia Tech and in the NFL with the Jacksonville Jaguars.

“We framed his (No. 5) jersey with a plaque of his accomplishments,” said West Athletic Director Paul Romero. “We wanted to recognize him to celebrate his recent retirement from the NFL.”


Hornets sting G-P, 49-29

It wasn’t a region game, but Carter notched a big road win over highly regarded Gatlinburg-Pittman Friday night.

The Hornets returned to Strawberry Plains with a 49-29 win over the Highlanders.

“Incredibly proud of our kids and our football program tonight,” said Carter Head Coach Justin Pressley. “We challenged our kids to play big and they stepped up. We got to keep it rolling and keep improving as a team!”

Isaiah Monday completed 21 of 26 passes for 307 yards and three touchdowns with one interception.

Also contributing to the TD parade were Spencer Russell, Jody Scruggs, Isaiah Webb and Gabe Dennis.

Russell had eight catches for 124 yards and two touchdowns. Scruggs carried the ball 16 times for 119 yards and two TDs.

Webb got into the end zone with a fumble return and also ran for one TD. Dennis snagged two passes for 70 yards and contributed one touchdown.

Carter is now 2-1 overall. It was G-P’s first loss after two wins.