Fresh off its first playoff victory since 2010, Roane County hits the road Friday to take on unbeaten Independence in the Class AA playoff quarterfinals. Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m. in Coal City.
The 10th-seeded Raiders (9-2) knocked off No. 7 Nicholas County 18-15 last weekend, giving them a chance to tackle the No. 2 seed Patriots (9-0).
Roane has relied all season on a productive ground game that features a pair of 1,000-yard rushers in Briar Begler and Skyler Delk. Begler has run for 1,499 yards and 20 touchdowns, backed by Delk with 1,059 yards and 12 TDs. Quarterback Shadraq Greathouse has thrown for 590 yards, six touchdowns and nine 2-point conversions.
Layne Epling is the Raiders’ leading receiver with 10 catches for 138 yards and one TD.
Independence features a running back, Atticus Goodson, who will likely get a lot of attention in the Kennedy Award balloting as the state’s top player. Goodson, in seven games, has gained 1,354 yards on 102 carries and scored 25 touchdowns.
Other top ball-carriers for the Patriots include Judah Price (798 yards, 13 TDs), Logan Phalin (430 yards, six TDs) and Tyler Linkswiler (422 yards, five TDs). Phalin has passed for 1,105 yards and 19 touchdowns. His top targets are Trey Bowers (19 catches, 460 yards, seven TDs) and Cyrus Goodson (20 catches, 487 yards, seven TDs).
The Roane-Indy winner takes on the Bluefield-North Marion winner in the playoff semifinals next weekend.