Father Ryan, the Fightin’ Irish (2-1, 1-0 in AA Division II, District 11) play at home against the Hillwood Hilltoppers (0-3) Friday at 7 p.m.
Father Ryan, after a very solid win last week against the ballyhooed BA Eagles (ranked 8th in Tenn.), jumped 30 spots in ranking to 26th in the state. They won by limiting big plays and BA’s biggest weapons, said coach Brucie Mussier. And, of course, with a lot of hard work and preparation.
The Fightin’ Irish play a team much less intimidating in the Hilltoppers (ranked 203 in Tenn.). The ‘toppers have yet to win a game, and it seems unlikely they will come the formidable atmosphere at Father Ryan and come out with a win. They are over matched and on the road.
The biggest challenge, probably, for Father Ryan will be to not make the same mistake BA did against the Irish last week: overlook this weeks lower-ranked opponent due to a huge game the next week.
For Father Ryan,that is Ensworth, a team the Irish will travel to play next week, and a team that is not just undefeated, ranked 1st in Tenn, 11th in the country, but also in the same District. So with so much riding on a win next week, this out-of-district, visiting, underdog of a team- the Hilltoppers- could easily take FR by surprise.
As long as Lussier can keep the team focused on the small picture- Hillwood-, and not the big picture- schedule, district standings, last weeks big, emotional win against a much higher ranked team-, then this should be a well played, solid football game by Father Ryan, and they should win.