The 2018 high school football season kicked off on Friday, August 17, all across the state of Tennessee. 2018 is a landmark season for DTC Sports, as it is the 10th season of high school football coverage on the local channel. Again this year, games will air on DTC channel 3 (on the DTC TV service), online at www.dtc3.tv, and Live on the DTC Communications Facebook page.
This year’s Football Game Night schedule will feature a total of 13 games – 11 live games and two others that will air on a tape-delayed basis. Tom Duggin, the Coach, Chris Vance, and J.R. Smith will all be back to bring all the action to you, each and every Friday night!
The remaining schedule of games to be aired on DTC3, and a brief synopsis of each game are as follows:
September 21: DeKalb County at Cannon County – Coach Matt Daniel will get his first shot at border rival DeKalb County as Lions’ head coach. He won’t have to worry about his team being fired up; Cannon County seems to always bring their ‘A’ game will they go up against their arch rival from Smithville. DeKalb County has dominated this long-time series however, winning 10 straight and 28 of the 34 all-time meetings (with 1 tie). Cannon County hasn’t been able to rely on homefield advantage much in this series either, having not won against the Tigers on their native soil since 1966 (they’ve won in Smithville four times in that span). It’s guaranteed, both teams will be fired up and ready to go come kickoff of this much heated rivalry.
September 28: Grundy County at Cannon County – Two Region 4-3A programs that have had more than their share of struggles on the gridiron. Grundy County is 5-25 over the course of the last three seasons; Cannon County has won only two games during that same span. It can be argued however, that the Grundy program is in much more turmoil as 2018 opens. After firing head coach Casey Tate and forfeiting a game due to a scandal late last season, the Yellow Jackets then hired the nomadic Scott Smith, who then was fired by the administration in July before ever coaching a game. With less than a month before kickoff (as of this writing), Grundy County sits with no head coach and a tenuous football future. Cannon County, meanwhile, appears to be looking up under new head coach, Matt Daniel. With all the struggles of both programs, Grundy has won all three of the previous meetings against the Lions.
October 5: DeKalb County at Smith County – Smith County once completely dominated this long-time border rivalry, having lost to the Tigers only twice from 1983-2011. The Tigers have now won four of the last six in the series, but it was the Owls who raced away with a 53-21 victory, last season in Smithville. Both teams enter 2018 with plenty of questions, but should very well know what their teams are capable of by the time of this Week 8 showdown. Smith County is 24-11 all-time on the football field against DeKalb County, dating back to 1973. Prior to consolidation at DeKalb County High School in 1963, Smith County dealt Smithville High one of its worst all-time defeats in 1948 – 72-0.
October 12: Jackson County at Watertown – All eyes will be on the playoff race as the high school football season reaches Week 9. One of the key battles in Region 4-2A will take place in Watertown, with the Purple Tigers hosting Jackson County. The Purple left Gainesboro with a 31-14 victory last season, but both teams ended up in the second season, as Watertown placed second in the region, while Jackson County finished fourth. Finding a win in eastern Wilson County won’t be easy for the rising Blue Devils against Heath Price and company, who enter 2018 with their sights fully set on hoisting the Region 4-2A hardware at the end of the season. Watertown has won the last four in the series, and Jackson County has yet to taste victory at the new Robinson Stadium.
October 19: Smith County at Watertown – Before last year’s meeting, Smith County and Watertown had not met on the gridiron since 1984. It hasn’t been a consistent series between the two schools, who aren’t that far away in proximity; the Purple Tigers and Owls, in fact, met only 20 times from 1938-1984, with the Owls holding a 14-7 lead in the overall series. Folks in Carthage were absolutely stunned last season, when Watertown left Owl Stadium with a gritty, hard-fought 14-12 victory. It easily could have been the biggest victory of the season for the Purple – a Class 2A school – against the eventual Region 4-3A champion. The game served as a wake-up call for Smith County, who not only went on to capture the Region crown, but won two games to advance to the Class 3A Quarterfinals.
October 26: Clay County at Gordonsville – The surprise of Region 4-1A last season was the Clay County Bulldogs, who turned low preseason expectations into a 6-4 regular season and a playoff appearance. Clay, in fact, was in the Region Championship race right up until Week 11, when Gordonsville dealt them a 27-14 setback. It was a solid start for first-year head coach, Matthew Bates, who was able to get more players out for football than had been in several years. As an encore, Coach Bates and his charges will be focused on the Region 4-1A Championship, and it could very well come down to this key Week 11 battle with the Tigers. Of course, Gordonsville has their eyes on the same prize, so this could turn out to be a fantastic finish to the regular season.
October 26: Cumberland County at DeKalb County – Just like in Gordonsville, a playoff berth – or a Region Championship – might be on the line in this regular season finale in Smithville. Not much will be expected of Cumberland County, who finished 0-10 a year ago, has won just one game in the last two years, and 9 total in the past seven years combined. But even with several key personnel losses, Region 3-4A coaches selected DeKalb County to claim the Region crown, which would be the first one in school history. Of course, by Week 11, injuries and other catastrophes can take a toll on any team, so who knows who may be in the driver’s season by then? However, if DeKalb County has any shot of a Region Championship when this Week 11 clash rolls around, expect them to come out fired up and with their full game faces on.