Bolton (5-5) at Centennial (9-1), 7 p.m. Friday

If it wasn’t for rival Independence, the Centennial Cougars would be entering their second straight postseason undefeated.

Instead, the Cougars go into the Class 5A playoffs with one loss for the second straight year, with both regular-season defeats coming against their rivals from Thompson’s Station.

The Cougars welcome the Bolton Wildcats to CHS on Friday for a first-round clash.

The Wildcats’ 5-5 record is a snapshot of their season so far. They have been inconsistent, never winning or losing more than two games in a row.

Bolton’s biggest downfall this season was its inconsistent play defensively. In their wins, the Wildcats gave up just 15.8 points per game, while in their losses teams scored an average of 34.4 points.

Centennial will hope to get its rushing attack rolling early with running backs Zyon Lee (809 rushing yards, 10 touchdowns) and Jariel Wilson (508 rushing yards, 10 TDs). Wide receiver Austin Waddell will also try to keep his momentum going after an 85-yard, two-touchdown performance in last week’s  34-7 win against Henry County.

Defensively, the Cougars will have to deal with a Bolton offense that has been a little more consistent than its defense. The Wildcats average 23.4 points scored per game.

Inside linebacker Clay Carder (team-high 97 tackles) and safety Senturian DuReaux (83 tackles, four forced fumbles, three interceptions) lead the Centennial defense.

The unit is giving up just 15.5 points per game this season.

With its talented defense and steady rushing attack, Centennial fans should be expecting a Cougar win Friday. Should that happen, they would advance to play the winner of Brighton against Henry County in the second round of the Class 5A postseason.

Germantown (3-7) at Franklin (8-2), 7 p.m. Friday

The 8-2 Franklin Rebels go into the Class 6A playoffs knowing their season could very easily look a little different.

They have just two losses this season – an overtime 42-35 loss to Mt. Juliet on Oct. 21 and a season-opening 28-24 defeat in the last minute to rival Centennial. If they would have won those two games, the Rebels would’ve been undefeated and gearing up to play Bartlett (3-7) on Friday. Instead, they welcome Germantown (3-7) to FHS.

Franklin should be itching to get after the Red Devils both on offense and defense. Germantown gives up 29.6 points per game to opponents while scoring just 20 per contest.

Franklin RB Mitch Rossi
Franklin RB Mitch Rossi (Photo by Steve Wheeler)

The Rebel offense, led by dual-threat quarterbacks Wes Patterson and Carter Hendry (20 touchdowns, four interceptions between them) and running back Mitch Rossi (1,058 rushing yards, 14 total TDs), will aim to keep their momentum rolling.

Franklin was able to let off some steam last week with a 45-0 drumming of Lebanon. In that game, five Rebels saw five or more rushing attempts and four scored touchdowns on the ground.