By JOSH VARDAMAN
The Summit Spartans look to bounce back from their Week 1 loss with a road contest at Clarksville Northwest Friday, while Spring Hill hosts McGavock for its first home game of the season.
See below for a closer look at those matchups:
Summit (0-1) at Northwest (1-0), 7 p.m. Friday
After a heartbreaking 25-20 loss to rival Spring Hill in Week 1, the Summit Spartans (0-1) hit the road for a contest with Clarksville Northwest (1-0) Friday night
Summit head coach Brian Coleman is hoping the close loss, which was the Spartans’ third in a row against Spring Hill, won’t linger into Week 2.
“We can’t dwell on the loss,” he said. “We can’t let this loss turn into two losses because we’re still thinking about the last one.
“I do want it to hurt a little bit in order to understand what happened and what we could have done differently, but I don’t want it to linger into this week.”
Northwest comes into the matchup 1-0 after beating Hunters Lane 27-6 last week.
The Vikings carved up Hunters Lane offensively using a balanced passing and rushing attack. Quarterback Hunter Silverstrim connected on 11-of-16 passes for 241 yards, three touchdowns and one interception, while eight players combined to rush for 122 yards on 26 attempts.
Coleman said the diversity of the Northwest offense, which runs both a spread and wishbone, could give his defense some trouble.
“They’re diverse. They’re running a little wishbone and a little spread … and they do have a lot of athletes again this year, which is scary for us,” he said.
The key to stopping the Vikings’ attack will be staying disciplined defensively.
“You have to be responsible,” Coleman said. “You have to trust each other that the other guy is going to do his responsibility.”
The Spartans’ offense will hope to move the ball on the ground behind Tai Carter. The junior led the way in Week 1 with 139 yards and three touchdowns on 13 carries.
Coleman said they will have to play disciplined up front to get Carter and the rest of the rushing attack free.
“They squeeze down blocks and things like that, so they don’t come up field very much,” he said. “They get to the football and they’re a very athletic defense.”
What could be one of the biggest challenges for Summit this week will be traveling all the way to Clarksville.
“We’re going to leave [school] early,” Coleman said. “Sometimes it’s advantageous because you’re with your teammates and not around the other buzz going on at school, but again you’re on a bus going through Nashville. It will be difficult for us.”
McGavock (0-1) at Spring Hill (1-0), 7 p.m. Friday
The Spring Hill Raiders (1-0) will be at home for the first time this season on Friday when the McGavock Raiders (0-1) come to town.
Spring Hill is riding off an emotional first game in which it took down crosstown rival Summit 25-20.
In their opener, the Spring Hill Raiders used a balanced attack offensively to wear down the Spartans. Quarterback Blake Lovell connected on 16-of-23 passes for 193 yards and three scores, while running back Dontae Smith rushed 21 times for 134 yards and a touchdown. Receiver Justin Oden was Lovell’s favorite option, hauling in six catches for 121 yards and a TD.
They will be looking for another big night against a McGavock defense that gave up 31 points and 288 yards rushing to Hendersonville’s wing-T offense in Week 1.
The way the Commandos shredded the McGavock Raiders on the ground could give Smith and the Spring Hill offense plenty of optimism heading into Friday.
Where Spring Hill will be looking to fine-tune will be on the defensive side of the ball.
Summit’s Tai Carter torched the Spring Hill defense for 139 yards and three touchdowns on 13 carries in Week 1, and the Raiders should expect to see a lot more running against McGavock.
The McGavock Raiders gained just 141 yards of total offense against Hendersonville, and 136 of those were on the ground in 38 rushing attempts.
If Spring Hill’s offense can keep the momentum going from Week 1 and its defense can step up and slow down the McGavock rushing attack, the SHHS Raiders could be in good shape for a 2-0 start.
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