By SAM McGAW
The Brentwood Bruins look to secure their first two-game win streak of the season Friday when they host Clarksville Northeast Eagles. Franklin Road Academy is also in action against Friendship Christian.
See below for a closer look at those matchups:
Clarksville Northeast (2-3, 0-2) at Brentwood (2-3, 1-1), 7 p.m. Friday*
Brentwood’s offense aims to keep rolling against the Clarksville Northeast Eagles in Friday’s Region 7-Class 5A showdown.
The Bruins exploded for 275 rushing yards in last week’s 45-26 win over Dickson County.
“We went in there with the mindset of don’t mess this up,” Brentwood head coach Ron Crawford said. “We wanted to run the football and get better at that. It was a good night for us.”
Running back Matt Phillips was responsible for a bulk of the production with 31 carries for 182 yards and three touchdowns.
“He’s a dynamic runner for us,” Crawford said. “We’ve struggled to get explosive plays, and Matt provides us with the ability to get 20-yard runs or more.”
Quarterback Carson Shacklett (729 pass yds, 222 rush yds, 9 TDs, 4 INTs) added 44 yards and two touchdowns on the ground in the victory.
The Bruins’ ground attack has a chance to feast for a second straight week against a weak Northeast run defense.
The Eagles gave up 295 rushing yards in last Thursday’s 21-3 loss against Centennial.
They allow an average of 22.4 points per game.
“They’re a pure eight-man front, so they’re going to try to force us to throw the ball,” Crawford stated. “We’re going to try to create good balance. I think we’re going to be in a little bit more one-back than two-back (offensive formations) this week.”
The key for the Bruins’ defense against the Eagles is to stay disciplined against their triple-option attack.
Northeast, which runs its offense out of the double-slot pistol formation, picked up 241 rushing yards on 45 carries against Centennial.
It averages 15.8 points per game.
“We’ll get a lot of midline and outside veer,” Crawford said. “The scariest thing is they have athletes that can score from any place on the field.”
Friendship Christian (1-3) at Franklin Road Academy (0-4), 7 p.m. Friday*
FRA aims to turn its season around against the struggling Friendship Christian Commanders Friday.
The Panthers are on the heels of a 21-7 loss against Mt. Juliet Christian. It was the third time this season they failed to score more than 10 points.
They’ll have an opportunity to put everything together against an FCS defense that’s allowing 31 points per game.
As for the Commanders’ offense, it averages 22 PPG behind a run-heavy attack. They’re carried by running back Spencer Burge, who’s rushed for 422 yards and four touchdowns this season.
As a whole, FCS averages 272.5 rushing yards per game.
That might be a problem FRA, as stopping the run has been its Achilles’ heel throughout the season.
The Panthers allow an average of 286.25 rushing yards per game and 7.53 yards per carry.
They gave up 391 yards on the ground in last week’s 21-7 loss against Mt. Juliet Christian.
Sam McGaw is sports editor of Home Page Media Group. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @SamMcGawSports.