Middlesboro set to host Claiborne Bulldogs

Published 11:42 am Thursday, August 23, 2018

Middlesboro’s season didn’t start as they would’ve hoped. Squaring off against rival Bell County, the Jackets were held scoreless en route to a 54-0 defeat against the Bobcats.

Now, Middlesboro must redirect their focus to Friday’s game against Claiborne, Tennessee. With only 25 minutes separating the two teams, this will be only the second time the teams have met in over a decade.

Last year, the Bulldogs got the better of Middlesboro with the Jackets falling 32-15 on the road. During that game, the Middlesboro defense allowed 247 yards rushing and 99 yards passing. In addition to those numbers, the Jackets had countless fumbles that prevented the team from getting into a flow.

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This season, Middlesboro will be entering the game in a similar situation — after losing a lopsided defeat to Bell. Most of the team will enter the game healthy with Sebastian Wagoner being the only question mark after sustaining an arm injury against the Bobcats last week.

Claiborne Bulldogs

Similar to Middlesboro, Claiborne is entering Friday’s game with hopes of getting on the winning track. Last Friday, the Bulldogs fell to Oneida, Tennessee 49-9. Eli Stone was the only player to score a touchdown for Claiborne with a field goal by Grayson Howard giving the Bulldogs nine points.

Stone will line up behind center for a Claiborne team that is down in numbers this year. The Bulldogs have a plethora of running backs and wide receivers to rely on. Bryce Laws, Greg Goins and Storm Livesay will anchor the running backs, while Hadyn Hollin, Logan Daniels, Blaine Caylor and Chesten Anderson man the wide outs.

Defensively, the team will look to offset the loss of Lukas Neely with the likes of Gage Callebs, Ryley Hager, Matt Cupp, Gage Trent, Austin Surber, Stone and Laws.