There are six games involving Williamson County area teams in this week’s TSSAA playoffs. Here’s a preview of each contest.
Summit tries to upend unbeaten Beech in 5A TSSAA Playoffs
Summit (10-2) figured to be in trouble without star running back Tai Carter, whose year is done due to a knee injury. But behind running backs Payton Craig and George Odimegwu, the Spartans’ wing-T attack hasn’t missed a beat.
The defense wasn’t necessarily what got Summit this far. But, with defensive touchdowns from Matt Szymanski and Kiston Arnold in the last two weeks, the Spartans have gotten the big plays when they needed them.
Next up for Summit is 12-0 Beech (12-0), which gives up just 11 points per game. The Buccaneers’ offense is led by running back Kaemon Dunlap, who’s run for almost 2,000 yards and 27 touchdowns.
Can Fairview’s rushing attack keep up with Pearl Cohn?
Fairview (9-3) continues to put up huge rushing numbers behind Darius James (30 carries, 209 yards last week), brothers Kam and Khristian Harris-Lusk and fullback David McNeil. Kam also threw a touchdown in Fairview’s 27-6 win over Giles County to get this far.
The Yellowjacket defense, led all year by experienced linebacker Tristan Mann, got big games from Brendan Nardozzi and K.K. McKinney, each of whom had two stops for loss last week.
Now, Fairview comes up against perennial power Pearl Cohn and coach Tony Brunetti. The Firebirds rush for 269 yards a game with a multifaceted attack, and Jimmyrous Parker is a play-making threat as a receiver also. Pearl Cohn has scored a remarkable 527 points this year.
Will Ravenwood’s magical year end at Cane Ridge?
Coach Matt Daniels’ first season at Ravenwood (10-2) has been a huge success.
The Raptor defense has given up 241 points, but linebacker Anthony McCarthy, who came out of nowhere to be one of the area’s best defenders, seems to come up with a big play whenever it’s needed. Last week, that included a 25-yard interception for a score.
On offense, Brian Garcia has done well since taking over the quarterback job from Nick Stallcup early in the year. That’s worked well for everyone. Stallcup has become one of several rushing threats for the Raptors, who are led by sophomore Jordan Smith (716 yards, 10.8 per carry) in that regard.
Cane Ridge (11-1) ousted 10-2 Brentwood from the playoffs last week. Devon Staling has accounted for over 2,000 offensive yards in leading the Ravens to 10 straight victories.
BGA, Lausanne meet in a battle of Division II heavyweights
Battle Ground Academy (11-1) spent most of its season blowing out opponents. That includes a 54-14 blasting of Harding Academy, followed by a 48-10 shellacking of University School of Jackson, in the first two rounds of the playoffs.
Quarterback Drew Martin has been phenomenal in his senior season, amassing 2,728 passing yards and 236 rushing. The Wildcats have four receivers—Tiy Reed, Ollie Reese, Jack Jewell and Kel Hawkins—each with over 500 yards.
BGA’s secondary is one of the best around, and linebacker Chico Bennett’s elite pass-rushing ability—he has 20 tackles for loss—has helped.
Lausanne (11-0) superstar Eric Gray has rushed for 2,493 yards and caught passes for 268. He’s scored 37 touchdowns this year.
CPA tries to cool off red-hot Notre Dame
The Lions (10-2) have made a joke of opponents in the first two playoff rounds, winning a combined 86-14.
CPA has been consistent on offense and defense, with Kane Patterson starring at linebacker and at running back. Quarterback Ryan Eledge has been consistent all year, and receiver Noah Henderson, a collegiate prospect, has turned in 100-yard receiving games his first two weeks.
Notre Dame (10-1) lost to Baylor in Week 1, and has run the table since.
Can anyone knock off Brentwood Academy?
BA (10-0), the nation’s sixth-best team according to USA Today, rolled to a 43-7 victory over Memphis University School after receiving a first-round playoff bye.
Last week, quarterback Gavin Schoenwald led the way with his arm and his feet. Fellow Vanderbilt commitment Camron Johnson, his best receiver, is one of the state’s most explosive players. So is junior running back Tomario Pleasant.
The Eagles’ defense may be the best around. Washington linebacker commit Jackson Sirmon is the defense’s best player, but BA’s had a lot of other players take their turn in the spotlight also. Last week, it was Tahir Annoor who had a 50-yard interception return for a touchdown.
BA defeated McCallie (9-3) by a 46-24 score on Oct. 6.