There are a dozen playoff games involving teams in our Williamson County coverage area in Week 2 of the playoffs. Here’s a look at each.
One-loss Brentwood, Cane Ridge headline Friday’s slate
Brentwood, with a lone loss that game to Ravenwood on Sept. 15, has beaten teams equally with offensive and defensive success. The Bruins hope last week’s 36-7 thrashing of McGavock is the first step towards a 6-A state title.
The Bruins are led on offense by quarterback Carson Shacklett, who’s rung up huge passing numbers and rarely makes mistakes. Brentwood has spread the targets around—receivers Parker Bullion, Chayce Bishop and Grant Yocam, and running backs Carter McKechnie and Jordan Nicholas have all made plays—and Brentwood has one of the area’s top offensive linemen in tackle Cole Mabry.
But the Cane Ridge defense, which has given up 12.8 points per game, is no pushover.
It’s also been a collective effort on defense for Brentwood. Linebacker C.J. Grissim has headlined the defense for two years, and makes plays week in and week out. But there’s plenty of help from players like Mack Anderton and Austin Chaffin, who’ve helped Brentwood give up 13.2 points per contest.
However, the Bruins have their hands full stopping Devon Starling, who’s run for 1,725 yards and 20 touchdowns.
Cane Ridge (10-1) lost its only game to Brentwood in Week 2 by a 41-21 score.
An Independence, Ravenwood rematch
Nobody expected Independence’s defense to lead the team to a win in the first round of the 6A playoffs, but that’s what happened in the Eagles’ 14-13 upset of Smyrna last week.
If Independence (6-5) can pull another surprise, it’ll more than likely be the Eagles’ big-play offense, led by talented running back Troy Henderson and wideouts Kendrell Scurry and T.J. Sheffield.
But Ravenwood (9-2) also has plenty of firepower. Quarterback Brian Garcia has played well all year, running back Jordan Smith has come up big lately, and all-purpose player Nick Stallcup has also had his moments.
The Raptors’ defense isn’t the stingiest around, but led by Anthony McCarthy, Ravenwood has a knack for coming up with big plays at the right time.
Ravenwood won the Oct. 27 matchup between the teams by a 22-13 score.
Other public school games of interest
Giles County (7-4) at Fairview (8-3) (Class 3A)
Led by Darius James and brothers Kam and Khristian Harris-Lusk, the Yellowjackets have rung up 442 points on the season. That’s overshadowed a solid defense, led by Tristan Mann, that’s given up 15.6 points per game. Giles County comes in having won three of its last four.
Spring Hill (6-5) at Marshall County (7-4) (Class 5A)
Running back Dontae Smith looks healthy again. When that happens, it generally means a 200-yard game. Marshall County won the first meeting by a 34-27 score, despite 173 yards and three scores from Smith.
Page (8-3) at Summit (9-2) (Class 5A)
If you like running games, this one’s for you. Page is led by battering ram Bubba Johnson, and Jacob Van Landingham adds some big-play capabilities. Summit’s two-headed duo of George Odimegwu and Payton Craig has helped the Spartans this far.
Nolensville (4-7) at Maplewood (8-3) (Class 4A)
Nolensville’s season took a surprising turn with a 21-14 win over then-8-2 Livingston Academy. The Knights’ hopes hinge on quarterback Brandon Wharton II’s big-play ability and that of running back Colton Dooley, who’s had big games recently.
Unbeaten Brentwood Academy-MUS game headlines private school slate
Memphis University School (6-5) at Brentwood Academy (9-0) (Division II AAA)
Brentwood Academy, ranked sixth nationally in the USA Today Super 25 poll, enters Friday a heavy favorite. BA quarterback Gavin Schoenwald has two huge big-play threats at his disposal in receiver Camron Johnson and running back Tomario Pleasant, and linebacker Jackson Sirmon leads one of the best defenses around.
But MUS, which scored 332 points and gave up 170 against a tough schedule, may not be the pushover that its 6-5 record suggests.
Father Ryan (5-6) at Christian Brothers (11-0) (Division II AAA)
It’s hard to know which Father Ryan team will show up. Is it the one that upset Ravenwood? The team that beat Pope John Paul 35-7 last week, avenging a four-point loss earlier? Or the one that lost 45-7 to McCallie in the regular season finale?
The Fighting Irish pin their advancement hopes on quarterback Seamus O’Connell and running back Jackson Byrd, who’ve each had their share of huge games.
Lausanne (10-0) at Franklin Road Academy (5-6) (Division II AA)
It’s been a confusing season for FRA, which has looked good at times and not-so-good at others. Quarterback Eric Stoxstill-Diggs and receiver Lance Wilhoite lead what’s been an explosive offense at times, and lineman Tymon Mitchell has been consistent for a defense that hasn’t always matched his level of play. FRA will have a challenge in unbeaten Lausanne and superstar runner Eric Gray.
University School of Jackson (7-4) at Battle Ground Academy (10-1) (Division II AA)
BGA’s Drew Martin completed seven passes last week. Six went for touchdowns. It won’t be that easy this week, but having Ollie Reese and Jack Jewell as targets, and Tiy Reed out of the backfield helps. Linebacker Chico Bennett and an outstanding secondary keyed by Garnett Hollis lead a play-making defense.
Knoxville Webb (7-3) at Christ Presbyterian Academy (9-2) (Division II AA)
CPA puts its hopes on running back/linebacker Kane Patterson and quarterback Ryan Eledge, who’s had a solid year. Receiver Noah Henderson has also had stellar games of late for CPA, which has two losses by a combined three points.
Grace Christian Academy (6-4) at Cornersville (10-1) (Class A)
GCA’s first playoff game in school history went stunningly well. The Lions, coached by former Titans’ quarterback Rusty Smith, blew out Wayne County on the road by a 64-24 score. It’s no secret that Grace Christian’s fate will be determined by the play of quarterback Austin Amor, who’s accounted for an incredible 14 touchdowns the last two weeks. Cornersville has out-scored opponents by 306 points this season.