By SAM McGAW
Brentwood Academy returns home Friday to take on A+ Academy from Dallas, while Christ Presbyterian Academy travels to battle Pearl-Cohn and Franklin Road Academy hosts the surging Goodpasture Cougars.
See below for a closer look at those matchups:
Dallas A+ Academy (0-2) at Brentwood Academy (2-1), 7 p.m. Friday
The Brentwood Academy Eagles have their final tune-up game Friday with a home contest against A+ Academy (Dallas).
The Eagles are coming off a dominant 41-14 win over Pope John Paul II.
Sophomore running back Mario Pleasant led the way with 105 rushing yards and four touchdowns.
Senior quarterback Jeremiah Oatsvall passed for 132 yards and rushed for 100 yards and a touchdown.
Oatsvall, an Austin Peay commit, enters this week’s matchup with 471 passing yards, 240 rushing yards, five touchdowns (2 rush) and four interceptions.
His top targets this season are junior receivers Camron Johnson (14 rec., 227 yards, 2 TDs) and Gavin Schoenwald (10 rec., 104 yds, 1 TD).
The group of playmakers has a chance to build on its early-season success against a Knights’ defense that’s allowed 62 points through two games.
A+ Academy’s offense has struggled this season, scoring just 14 points so far.
Junior running back Jeremiah Smith leads the unit with 173 rushing yards and a touchdown.
BA’s defense dominated the Pope John Paul rushing attack last week, allowing only 42 rushing yards.
The unit also registered five sacks, two interceptions and a fumble recovery.
Linebacker Jack McDonald leads the team in stops with 18 tackles. Safety Evan Beddoe has a team-high two interceptions and defensive end Josh Higgs leads the team in sacks with two.
Christ Presbyterian Academy (1-2) at Pearl-Cohn (2-1), 7 p.m. Friday
On the heels of their first win of the season, the CPA Lions look to keep their momentum rolling through Friday’s road contest against Pearl-Cohn.
After opening the season with two straight losses, the Lions turned their luck around with a 35-13 win against White House-Heritage last week.
Running backs James Deaton and Brad Smith took control of the offense in the victory.
Deaton rushed for 76 yards and a touchdown and caught two passes for 76 yards and a score. Smith rushed for 68 yards and two touchdowns.
The Lions also got the job done through the air, as sophomore Ryan Eledge passed for 253 yards, one touchdown and one interception.
The group will have to fight for every yard it earns against the Firebirds.
Pearl-Cohn has allowed an average of 230 total yards per game. Forty-nine of its 70 points allowed this season came in a Week 2 loss against Montgomery Bell Academy.
The Firebirds’ offense features a strong rushing attack and efficient passing game.
Ke’Juan Vaughn (164 rush yds, 1 TD), Jimmyrious Parker (102 rush yds, 1 TD) and Marion Liggett (71 rush yds, 2 TDs) headline the ground attack.
Quarterback Xavier Shepherd has thrown for 304 yards and two touchdowns this season, while also picking up 40 yards on the ground.
Goodpasture (2-1) at Franklin Road Academy (0-2), 7 p.m. Friday
With last Friday’s 48-34 loss against Donelson Christian Academy, the FRA Panthers enter Week 4 of the season still in search of their first win.
Reaching that feat won’t come easy this Friday, as they host the surging Goodpasture Cougars.
Goodpasture enters the contest with a 2-1 record, with its only loss coming against Battle Ground Academy in the season-opener.
The Cougars had a 22-game losing streak before their first win in Week 2.
“They’re a completely different team than what we faced last year,” FRA head coach Bill Whittemore said. “They have 16 seniors and some good football players we didn’t see last year. They present some challenges, for sure. They’re playing well and with a lot of excitement. They’re going to come in with a lot of confidence.”
FRA’s defense took a beating last week, as DCA running back Jayden Walker gashed the unit for 389 rushing yards and four total touchdowns (1 kickoff return).
The Panthers ability to stop the run will, once again, be tested against Goodpasture’s ground attack.
“What we haven’t shown to be great at is tackling,” Whittemore said. “It’s important we get to the football and wrap up, because they have a couple of guys that are just as talented as the DCA running back from last week. They can hurt us if we let them.”
Running backs Jermaine Mason and Julius Elders lead the Cougars.
Mason has 255 rushing yards and three touchdowns this season, while Elders has racked up 189 rushing yards and two TDs.
“They want to run the ball, but they do both,” Whittemore said. “They have a quarterback that can stand back there and throw it, and they have a couple of guys they want to make sure to get the ball to at receiver and running back. They’re not super complicated, but they do a good job at what they do.”
While FRA’s defense struggled a week ago, its offense took a step in the right direction.
The unit racked up 331 total yards and converted 7 of 12 third downs in the defeat.
Quarterback Eric Stoxstill-Diggs and wide receiver Adonis Otey made the biggest impact.
Otey had three receptions for 97 yards and two touchdowns, while Stoxstill-Diggs passed for 163 yards, three touchdowns and two interceptions.
Whittemore said Stoxstill-Diggs needs to continue working on taking more control of the offense in the weeks to come.
“There’s still a few things, such as alignments and motions, that aren’t his fault by any means, but it is under his control,” Whittemore stated. “He just needs to continue to build his confidence and continue to make plays in situations that aren’t drawn up exactly like we think it is. He needs to continue to be poised and be that coach on the field for us. He’s doing a great job and he’s getting better each week.”
Lighting up the scoreboard won’t be an easy task against a Goodpasture defense that averages 13.67 points allowed per game.
“They’re very sound on defense,” Whittemore said. “We just need to be consistent in our jobs and do them well.”