GAME PREVIEWS: Page Duels Lawrence Co.; Spring Hill Rides Explosive Rushing Attack

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Page looks to bounce back from its Week 4 loss with a matchup at Lawrence County Friday. Spring Hill will take its high-powered on the road against Tullahoma, while Grace Christian Academy seeks its first win at Moore County.

See below for a closer look at those matchups:

Page (1-2, 1-0) at Lawrence County (1-3, 0-1), 7 p.m. Friday*

The Page Patriots enter Week 5 hoping for their fingernails’ sake they can avoid another close game.

In the Patriots’ three games this season (their Week 2 contest was cancelled due to lightning), the difference hasn’t been more than seven points. Page’s two losses have come by just seven and three points, while its lone win in Week 3 was by just a single point against Spring Hill.

Though this week starts a four-game road streak for the Patriots, they could get just what the doctor ordered with a win against Lawrence County to send their Region 4-4A record to 2-0.

Page dominated the Wildcats 41-0 a season ago. With a new crop of talent this season, though, the game may not end in such a blowout.

The Patriots have not shown quite the same firepower they had last year offensively with the graduation of quarterback Michael Magochy, running back Michael Roberts, wide receiver Connor Morss and others. They are averaging just 16 points per game this season.

Junior quarterback Jacob Van Landingham will try to improve on a rough night against Forrest a week ago, in which he threw for 242 yards and a touchdown but had two critical interceptions in the end zone.

If he and running back Bubba Johnson (23 carries, 99 yards and a TD in Week 4) can have successful nights, the Patriots could put up some points against Lawrence County’s defense. The Wildcats are giving up an average of 26.5 points per game.

Page’s defense could also be in for a solid game Friday, as the Lawrence County offense has struggled at times this season.

The Wildcats are averaging 17 points per game, helped significantly by a 32-point outburst in a win over Columbia a week ago. They were shut out by Lincoln County in Week 2.

The Patriots come into the game giving up just 19 points per contest.

Spring Hill (3-1, 0-1) at Tullahoma (0-4, 0-1), 7 p.m. Friday*

Few teams in Middle Tennessee feature an offense quite like the Spring Hill Raiders’, and they should be chomping at the bit to get on the field Friday at Tullahoma.

The Raiders have been hot through four games, averaging 38 points per contest after a 56-point performance in Week 4 against Dickson County. Tullahoma’s defense, on the other hand, has been the opposite.

The Wildcats are giving up 48 points per game, and they’ve given up 54 and 55 in their last two games.

Spring Hill junior running back Dontae Smith will look for another dominating performance Friday. He rushed for 251 yards and three touchdowns on 14 carries against Dickson County.

Spring Hill RB Dontae Smith
Spring Hill running back Dontae Smith averages 11.45 yards per carry.

All of his touchdowns came in the first four minutes of play from 74, 45 and 23 yards.

He enters this week’s matchup with 756 rushing yards and eight touchdowns on 66 carries..

One area the Raiders haven’t looked as good this season is on the defensive side of the ball. They gave up 46 points to Dickson County to raise their per-game average to 26.75 points per game.

Tullahoma could be some good fuel to help kick-start Spring Hill’s defense. The Wildcats average just 12.75 points per game, though they did post 27 against Shelbyville last week.

GCA (0-3, 0-2) at Moore County (0-4, 0-2), 7 p.m. Friday*

The Grace Christian Academy Lions haven’t been able to get over the hump and win a close game through four weeks.

They will hope to change that against a struggling Moore County Raiders squad Friday.

After a bye in the first week, the Lions have lost all three games by a total of 14 points. Their largest margin of defeat was their last game against Summertown, which ended with a 40-34 defeat.

The issue for GCA so far has been its defense. Though they are averaging 32 points, opponents are scoring 36 per game on the Lions.

If GCA is going to get its first win, it will have to play well defensively. The Lions could be helped by the Raiders, who are averaging just 13.5 points scored per contest.

Moore County’s offense may not be the only unit that struggles Friday. The Raiders so far this season have presented a defense GCA should feel good about facing. They are giving up an average of 30 points per game.

The Lions will try for their first win of 2016 Friday with a kick off time set for 7 p.m.