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Tullahoma Holds Off Pearl-Cohn Comeback Attempt In Battle Of Region Heavyweights

Tullahoma took a massive step towards securing a Region 5-4A title, as they held off a Pearl-Cohn comeback attempt in a 24-21 victory for the Wildcats. “That was as intense of a game as we have been in a long time.” Tullahoma Head Coach John Olive said, “We are a gritty football team that will battle and will fight until the end.” It was all Wildcats in the first half, as Tullahoma jumped out to a quick 14-0 lead in the first quarter, followed by another touchdown in the second quarter that extended the lead to 21-0 before halftime. Ryan Scott was the go-to-guy on offense all night for the Wildcats, finishing with 72 passing yards and a touchdown, while making several plays with his legs as the game went along. The Wildcat defense was phenomenal for most of the game, but the plan to slow down the dynamic Pearl-Cohn offense worked really well throughout the first half and for most of the third quarter. “Our defense played extremely tough tonight.” Olive said, “We were dealing with some injuries and had some guys playing both ways. Some teams would have folded at the end, so I am proud of our guys.” Four-star recruit Barion Brown led the comeback effort for the Firebirds, finishing with 190 rushing yards and a touchdown on the night. The Firebirds led 24-7 in the third quarter at one point, and once they started to find ways to get Brown the ball in space, the lead was cut down to 24-21 all of the sudden. “(Barion) Brown may be the best high school football player that I have seen in person.” Olive said, “He was as tough as nails and a great competitor.” The momentum looked to be completely on the side of Pearl-Cohn as they drove deep into Tullahoma territory down by three, with less than two minutes left in the game. Olive’s “gritty” team lived up to that title, forcing a game-sealing fumble with less than a minute to go in the game. Tullahoma will look to continue their undefeated season next week as they travel to Hillwood, while Pearl-Cohn will look to bounce back next week as they travel to Glencliff.

Oakland defeats Lipscomb Academy in "Game of the Year"

Thursday night’s matchup between 6A #1 Oakland and DII-AA #1 Lipscomb Academy has been the most anticipated game of the season, and it lived up to every bit of the hype, as Oakland defeated LA 29-21 “When you get calls to play games like this, you play them.” Oakland Head Coach Kevin Creasy said, “It was just a heck of a game, win or lose you get a lot out of this game.” Other than the first drive of the game, the Oakland defense was lights out all night long with two goal line stands against the Mustangs, including a game-saving tackle by Eric Taylor to give the Patriots the win. “It was a great job by our defense, they bent but didn’t break at times.” Creasy said. “They have one of the best quarterbacks I’ve seen (Lipscomb Academy Quarterback Luther Richesson), but our defense stepped up time and time again.” Georgia commit Jordan James was the offensive star for the Patriots rushing for 200 yards and 2 touchdowns on 21 carries. His 75-yard touchdown run late in the third quarter led to 22 unanswered points for the Patriots, as they trailed 21-7 at the time. “For us to execute and come back on a great team like that, it showed a lot of heart.” James said. “Our Offensive Line is the reason we put 29 points on the board, they opened up holes for me all night. They’re the reason we got the job done.” This game was back-and-forth throughout, and lived up to the billing of “Game of the Year” in every single way. Oakland will host region rival Blackman next week, while Lipscomb Academy will look to bounce back on the road next week at Davidson Academy.

Week Six Game Picks

Week Six may have one of the most exciting games of the season thus far, including the potential game of the year between mid-state powers Lipscomb Academy and Oakland on Thursday night. Our guest picker this week is current Oklahoma and former Oakland defensive back Woodi Washington. Washington is currently starting at cornerback for the Sooners. Here are Washington’s and our staff’s predictions for some of the state’s top games this week, along with the season standings going into this week

Oakland Flexes Muscles In Big Win Over Siegel

When the Oakland Patriots stepped on the field Friday night to host the Siegel Stars, it was their first live game action in two weeks. Head Coach Kevin Creasy was named as a 2021 inductee to the TFCA Hall of Fame just before kickoff. Any ideas or hopes of Oakland struggling to regain their game legs or ruining the celebration of Coach Creasy were dashed as they led wire-to-wire in the 49-7 region win. Three of Oakland’s first four drives ended in finding the end zone. Touchdowns from Isaiah Horton, Jordan James and Antonio Patterson put the Patriots up 21-0 at the 10:24 mark in the second quarter. Siegel was getting desperate for points trying to stay in the game when the Stars had it on third down and one just inside Patriot territory. Sophomore quarterback Thomas Santel called his own number maneuvering his way through the defense, taking it 47 yards to pay dirt. Oakland would respond with a quick 14-point spurt to close out the half with Patterson’s second touchdown and a 59-yard pass from Kade Hewitt to Khalil James. Jordan James provided all the scoring the Patriots needed in the second half. Two touchdowns coming on the ground, 33 yards and three yards, brought the final tally to 49-7. The Patriot offense did not miss a beat scoring seven times on 10 drives, and junior quarterback Kade Hewitt was happy to be back. “Honestly, I think we were all hungry and ready to play. We got two games canceled on a late notice, we were a little rusty, but I thought we responded well in that second half.” Siegel Head Coach Adam Renshaw, despite the loss, had some things to be proud of. One of those was the fight and zero quit his team showed, especially in the second half. “I just think that’s what we're about,” Coach Renshaw said. “We talked about it before the ball game, we’re measured by our effort and that’s life. In everything we do were measured by our effort and effort is between you and you.” Both teams are out of region play next week with big games. Siegel (2-3, 0-2 region) heads to Warren County while Oakland (4-0, 2-0 region) hosts Lipscomb Academy in a big Thursday night tilt. Both games kickoff at 7pm.

Nashville Christian Wins Big Over Previously Undefeated Clarksville Academy

The Clarksville Academy Cougars rolled into West Nashville Friday night looking to continue their current four game winning streak against the host Nashville Christian School Eagles. The Eagles were too much for the Cougars to handle as they were able to stifle a high scoring Cougars’ offense all night with their physical defense and their physical run game, led by Senior running back Josh Strickland, to defeat the Cougars 47-14. “We felt we had a physical advantage at the line of scrimmage and our back ran with a lot of good power, and ran through some tackles.” NCS Head Coach Jeff Brothers said. Strickland would be the star of the night as he scored 4 touchdowns on 12 total touches; He ended the night with 10 carries for 168 yards and 3 touchdowns, he also had 2 receptions for 15 yards and 1 touchdown. The Cougars received the ball first and were not able to get anything going on the first drive and that was a precursor most of the night, especially the first half. The Eagles held the Cougars to two first downs in the first half behind a stingy defense led by a defensive back group who were able to force four interceptions on the night. Coach Brothers said this on his defensive backs, “Our defensive backfield played really well and we were able to keep them out of the endzone for 3 ½ quarters. They have been scoring a lot of points, we knew they were going to put the ball in the air and we would have to go get it.” The Eagles were able to get two touchdowns in the first quarter, the first was a 17-yard run from Senior running back Deion King and the second was Strickland’s 17-yard run. The Cougars were unable

Week Five Game Picks

We are now in week five of the season, and every game is becoming more and more important to playoff seeding. Our guest picker this week is former Ravenwood, Tennessee State, and Atlanta Falcons receiver Chris Rowland! Here are his picks, along with the rest of our staff’s pick, plus our standings going into this week’s action: 1. Carter Mansfield 36-19 2. Braedon Henson 35-20 3. Cooper Haines 34-21 4. Isaac Leedham 33-22 5. Jake Wallman 31-24 T-6. Landen Secrest 29-26 T-6. Hunter DeNote 29-26 T-8. Kelsey Crabtree 28-27 T-8. Guest Picker 28-27 10. Jackson Utley 24-31 Game of the Week 6A #6 Ravenwood (3-1) at Brentwood (1-3) Mansfield: Ravenwood Henson: Brentwood Haines: Ravenwood Leedham: Brentwood Wallman: Ravenwood Secrest: Ravenwood DeNote: Brentwood Crabtree: Ravenwood Rowland: Ravenwood Utley: Brentwood Other Games 2A #4 MAHS (3-0) at 2A #10 Mitchell (3-0) (Thu.) Mansfield: MAHS Henson: MAHS Haines: MAHS Leedham: Mitchell Wallman: Mitchell Secrest: MAHS DeNote: MAHS Crabtree: Mitchell Rowland: Mitchell Utley: Mitchell 3A #8 White House (3-1) at 3A #5 Waverly (3-0) (Thu. at Nissan Stadium)

Hardin County Wins Defensive Battle Over USJ

After a dominant 3-0 start to Hardin County’s regular-season campaign, week four would pit the Tigers against one of the top programs in West Tennessee. DII-A is a strong classification, and the USJ Bruins have been to back-to-back state championship games. The Bruins were on offense first. The HCHS defense was prepared for the run-heavy USJ offense, as Hardin County held the Bruins to a missed field goal. The powerful HCHS offense got started and ran an efficient drive, marching down the field to the 2-yard line. The Bruin defense held the Tigers to a fourth and goal, though sophomore Ryan Weaks made a diving catch to put HCHS ahead by seven. After the Seth Garner kickoff, the senior wideout and defensive back grabbed a 48-yard pick-six to close out the first quarter. The Bruins trailed 14-0 going into the second quarter. USJ offense marched to the Tiger 21-yard line when HCHS defense forced a field goal attempt. Bruin kicker Ben Pledger just missed the 31-yard attempt, with the kick sailing narrowly to the right. Despite having given up no sacks before this game, the Bruin defensive front got to the sophomore quarterback Carter Smith. HCHS took a 14-0 lead going into the half and received the opening kick-off of the second half. HCHS’s opening drive was a tone-setter for the second half; Senior tailback Jacob Harrison punished the Bruin defense, making gains to the USJ 31-yard line. The Tigers took a risky shot play, a Seth Garner route to the endzone with two Bruin defenders on top of him. The senior snagged the ball for a highlight play, extending the lead to 21. USJ never found paydirt through the third quarter even though the clock continued to tick, and the Bruins brought in fresh legs to create some production. USJ scored early in the fourth quarter on a 20-yard rush from freshman Noah Spencer. The Bruins attempted a squib kick, and Hardin County took over at their own 25. HCHS was able to run off some clock and secured tough field position for USJ thanks to a Seth Garner punt. The HCHS defense got the stops, and the Tigers took a 21-7 win over the USJ Bruins. Next week the Tigers travel to take on Chester County in a district matchup. Chester County has found more production than last year and defeated Adamsville 41-14, reversing a 41-9 loss to the Cardinals last year. USJ opens up district play against First Assembly Christian at Carlock Stadium at 7:00 pm.

Westview Makes Statement Over Fairview

Westview and Fairview has been one of the most anticipated matchups in the entire state for the last few weeks. The Chargers are led by 4-star Alabama quarterback commit Ty Simpson, and he did not disappoint, leading to a win over Fairview by a score of 47-14. To open the scoring, Fairview looked as if they would be able to hang with the Chargers to start the night, as they marched down the field and scored on a 6-yard touchdown run by Layden Grant with 9:57 in the first quarter. The Chargers came right back, and answered with a drive of their own that was capped by a Simpson 7-yard touchdown pass to Omarion Harris. Simpson went 4 of 5 on the drive, and showed sharp command early for the Chargers. The Yellow Jackets, again, were able to sustain a long drive on their next possession, as they took five and half minutes off the clock and were able to get deep into the Chargers’ territory, but they were unable to get any points on the board. The Yellow Jackets were able to stop Simpson and the Chargers offensively on the next two possessions, holding them to two field goals from 35 yards and 25 yards to increase their lead to 13-7 in the first half. Fairview was able to get one more solid drive in before the first half ended, but the Yellow Jackets again were not able to get any points on the board as they gave up a big sack of quarterback Kennedy Pendergrass, which forced them to punt the ball. The Chargers took advantage as Simpson led them down the field to add another score to the board, as he connected with Garner Anderson on an 11-yard pass to increase their lead to 19-7. The second half belonged to the Chargers as they were able to add 4 touchdowns to the scoreboard. The first being on a 95-yard kickoff return by Javion Goins to open the third quarter. A few plays later Harris was able to intercept Pendergrass and return it for six points from 55 yards out. The fourth quarter saw the Chargers add their last two touchdowns, the first on a 40-yard scamper run from Grant. The last TD came on a Simpson pass where he found Anderson on a slant route who raced to the endzone for a 41-yard score. Fairview falls to 2-2 on the season and will look to bounce back next week on the road at region opponent Cheatham County. Westview improves to 3-1 on the season and will look to extend their current 2 game win streak on the road at region opponent Camden.

Lebanon Gets Close Win Over Siegel

The Siegel Stars stepped out of region play Friday night and played host to the Lebanon Blue Devils. With a big stretch of region play looming for both teams, a win was an important step. Lebanon forced three turnovers, two in the second half, winning the showdown on the last play of the game 28-21. The majority of the first quarter was a quiet, back and forth battle, but Lebanon would strike first on a 23-yard strike from Jaylen Abston to Kemontez Logue with 52 seconds remaining to grab a 7-0 lead. The second quarter was all Siegel scoring 14 unanswered points. The first touchdown came on a 20-yard pass from sophomore quarterback Thomas Santel to junior wide receiver Boko Nannemann. Cory Sims scampered from a yard out and led at halftime 14-7. Lebanon received the football to start the second half. They marched the ball down the field in ten plays and senior running back Brandon Martin scored from 20 yards out sparking a 21-7 run. Two more touchdowns were added, as Lebanon capitalized off two more Siegel turnovers. After a second Martin touchdown and 37-yard pass from Abston to Anthony Crowell, Lebanon led 28-21 with just under three minutes to play. Siegel would make it to the Blue Devil 38-yard line before Lebanon made a stand as the clock ran off the final seconds to snatch the win. With three total turnovers and a mirage of second half penalties, Siegel Head Coach Adam Renshaw did not have much to say in postgame. “We have to focus on ourselves, and get better. Like I said, we have to avoid turnovers and penalties. Timely penalties are hurting us quite a bit, so those are the two things we have to fix.” Lebanon Head Coach Chuck Gentry praised his team on the win and their tough “next man up” mentality. Siegel, now 2-2, will hop back into region play with a tall task facing the defending state champ, the Oakland Patriots. Lebanon, now at 3-1, also continues district play as they play Coffee County at home. Both games kick-off at 7pm.

Powell Wins Big Over Science Hill

On Friday night, the Science Hill Hilltoppers hosted the Powell Panthers in a heavily anticipated matchup, as any game involving the number one recruit in the nation promises to be. Walter Nolen, a 5-star defensive tackle for the Panthers, sits atop ESPN’s 300 list at the 1 spot. Recruited by schools in every corner of college football, Nolen promises to put on a show every week, and did he ever deliver Friday against Science Hill. A 36 yard pass from senior Quarterback Jordyn Potts to Wide Receiver Jayden Collins would set Powell up for a 15 yard touchdown pass to break the ice first, making it 7-0 Panthers. Science Hill wouldn’t be so fruitful, however. Their first offensive snap would be a wild one, flying over quarterback Jaxon Diamond’s head for a 15 yard loss. An incomplete pass and QB hit by Walter Nolen would lead to the game’s first punt. The Panthers picked up right where they left off, adding to their lead on a 28 yard touchdown reception by junior wideout Ayden Greene, making it 14-0 Powell. Walter Nolen would go down on the next play, the first of three occurrences where the 300-pounder would be banged up after a whistle. He would counter this, however, with 2 QB hits and 3 combined sacks. With 9:44 left in the first half, Jordyn Potts would heave a 50-yard touchdown pass to Ayden Greene once again. The Panthers would get the ball back and after a few penalties, Potts would scramble for a 61 yard touchdown rush, extending their lead to 28-0. Science Hill’s final drive of the second quarter would look hopeful, until a textbook 4th down deflection by Owen Peterson shot down the Hilltopper momentum. They would give the ball back to Panthers in favorable field position, who would take advantage with a deflected touchdown pass caught by Gianni Magdos, extending the Powell lead to 35-0. The final score at Steve Spurrier Field would be a resounding one, as the Panthers etched up 42 to Science Hill’s 14. The Player of the Game would be Powell Quarterback Jordyn Potts, who threw for over 300 yards, and racked up 6 total touchdowns, with two of those rushing. Powell’s defense, which has struggled this year, showed up big time with 4 sacks and an interception by Ayden Greene. This game was a nice transition for the Panthers, as they will now host two games in a row at home. Sitting at 2-2, Science Hill will now play William Blount and Maryville, followed by both Morristown Hamblen schools.

Ensworth Dominates Nolensville in 59-6 Rout

The Ensworth Tigers hosted the Nolensville Knights on Friday night, in a fairly one sided matchup. The Tigers won in dominant fashion 59-6. The game was already out of reach by halftime, as Ensworth already had a huge lead. Ensworth came out hot, early in the first quarterback Levi Moore connected with Charles Ingram on a swing pass for a long touchdown. Later in that same quarter, Moore found Shamar Porter for a score. Nolensville got on the board late in the first credits to running back Samson Johnson. Unfortunately, that was their only score for the night. Just before the opening quarter ended, Ensworth's Mark Smith ran for a 46-yard touchdown. The Tigers led 21-6 after one quarter. In the second quarter, the Tigers offense truly caught fire. Martez Cooksey started things off with a touchdown on the ground. Then, Moore snuck into the endzone from two yards out, and also found Shamar Porter again for a highlight reel score. Jacob Page picked off Nolensville quarterback Colby Walton and returned it for a score. The Tigers went into halftime leading 49-6. Overall, Moore was 11 of 14 for 175 yards with 4 touchdowns through the air. He also added one touchdown on the ground. Porter led the receiving corps with 4 receptions for 68 yards and two scores. Page added a receiving touchdown early in the third to pair with his interception. Smith totaled 127 yards on the ground. Sam Haley and Sammy Taylor, among others, headlined a lockdown defensive performance for the Tigers. Ensworth will look to carry their momentum into their week five matchup against Memphis University School at home. Nolensville will look to bounce back next week at Columbia.

Week Four Game Picks

It is already week four of the high school football season, and there are plenty of great matchups to look forward to. Our game of the week is one of the state’s best rivalries, as Maryville will travel to Alcoa Friday night. Our guest picker this week is former Alcoa and current UTSA wide receiver, Tykee Ogle-Kellogg. Ogle-Kellogg is currently a junior for the Roadrunners. He was a state champion and all-state receiver for the Tornadoes in high school. Let’s get into this week’s picks:

Fairview Earns Huge Region Win Over Stewart County

Fairview and Stewart County has been one of the most anticipated 3A region matchups in the entire state.The Yellow Jackets would showcase their power run game all night, in their first true home game of the season, amassing over 350 yards on the ground. The Yellow Jackets finally got to play their first true home game of the season at “The Nest” after their new turf field was fully installed. “We won our first game on our new turf field and I’m thankful for that.” Fairview head coach Chris Hughes said. To open the scoring, the Rebels blocked a field goal attempt by Fairview, and junior Trent Wallace scooped it and ran it back 80 yards for a Rebel touchdown, giving Stewart County a 7-0 lead with 2:54 left in the 1st quarter. The Rebels took advantage of another Fairview miscue. This time, intercepting Fairview quarterback Kennedy Pendergrass late in the first quarter, followed by a 8-yard touchdown pass from Senior quarterback Will Page to Junior Colten Morgan to take a 14-0 lead with 11:56 left in the second quarter. Fairview would finally get on the scoreboard in the second quarter, on a 4-yard touchdown run from Kendrick Curtis to cut the lead to 14-7. Thirty seconds later, the Yellow Jackets got an interception of Page by Senior Dillan Sullivan. A nice return set up the Yellow Jackets inside of Stewart County territory. The Yellow Jackets would add another touchdown on a 4-yard touchdown run by Senior Jacob Clevenger to tie the game at 14-14 with 1:36 left in the first half. After a quick three and out by the Rebels, they were forced to punt to Fairview with 1:16 left. However, two plays later Page intercepted a pass by Pendergrass and returned it for a 55-yard touchdown to give the Rebels a 20-14 lead at the half. Fairview’s defense was sharp to start the third quarter as they forced a punt, which was then blocked and returned inside the Rebels 10-yard line. Two plays later, Junior Layden Grant scored from 6-yards out to put the Yellow Jackets up 21-20 with 9:36 in the third quarter.
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