News Examiner: Friday Night Previews (WH at Sycamore)

sycamore logoBy Staff Reports for The News Examiner

Both Gallatin and Station Camp had short nights last Friday as each team recorded blowout victories over Region 6-5A opponents.

Their attention now turns to each other this Friday evening as the Green Wave host the Bison, with kickoff at 7 at Calvin Short Field.

Gallatin can keep pace with Hillsboro as the Green Wave (4-1 overall, 2-0 in Region 6-5A) would remain in at least a share of first place with a victory.

Consequently for the Bison (1-4, 1-1), a victory would keep them in the playoff picture as well. Station Camp currently sits one game behind Gallatin and Hillsboro in the region standings.

Gallatin defeated visiting Glencliff, 49-7 last week, but head coach Mark Williams expects a tough test from the Bison. Close games have not been the norm in this series, with Gallatin’s 15-point victory in 2010 being the closest margin of victory in the series’ six meetings.

“I expect a hard football game,” Williams said. “Throw records out the window when you play Station Camp. They’re a good football team. Coach (Shaun) Hollinsworth does a good job with them. We have to prepare a lot better (this week).”

The contest will feature two teams that love to run the football, albeit in different ways. Gallatin’s offense has run through junior tailback Jordan Mason as he has amassed a county-high 853 yards and 14 touchdowns, averaging 7.7 yards per carry. Sophomore Jalen Porter has also scored six times.

The Bison have gone with a running-back-by-committee approach as five different rushers have gained at least 100 yards and scored at least one touchdown this season. Sophomore Kaemon Dunlap leads the Bison with 319 yards and two touchdowns, while classmate Sirtavious Perry eclipsed the 100-yard mark in last week’s 42-0 victory over visiting Hunters Lane.

Seniors Perry Foxx, Tyler Thompson and Chris Dunavin have also rushed for more than 100 yards, with Dunavin scoring three times last week.

“On either side, you’re not going to have to get the kids amped up to play,” Hollinsworth said. “We’re going to have to put together a solid offensive and defensive game plan. It’s going to come down to which team makes the least mistakes.”

Last season, the Green Wave pulled away in the second half for a 42-14 victory in a game that included a 90-minute lightning delay in the third quarter.

White House (2-3) at Sycamore (4-1)

Photo by Justin Goff- Grant Wicker (9) vs. Sycamore

Photo by Justin Goff- Grant Wicker (9) vs. Sycamore

Kickoff at 7 p.m. at Ralph Spangler Stadium

Last week: The Blue Devils suffered a 24-7 loss to visiting Springfield. The War Eagles captured a 35-12 victory over visiting East Hickman.

Last meeting between the two programs: White House claimed a 38-18 victory at Sycamore last season.

The Blue Devils have lost their last three games, scoring just 13 points over the last two weeks.

White House continued to play without senior quarterback Steven Rankin (leg injury) last Friday. Senior tailback/linebacker Trey Hyde – the Sumner County Defensive Player of the Year in 2014 – suffered a season-ending, knee injury in the team’s loss to Greenbrier two weeks ago.

Senior Luke Hopkins, who started three consecutive games at quarterback in Rankin’s absence, didn’t play due to an injury last Friday either, and junior tailback Ronald Honeycutt played last week but was limited due to an injury. They were joined on the sideline by multiple offensive linemen.

As a result, the Blue Devils produced just 53 total yards against Springfield.

The War Eagle program combined for just four victories over the last two seasons, but they enter Friday’s game on a four-game winning streak.

Sycamore is under the direction of first-year head coach Al Pellegrino.

White House last lost three consecutive games during the 2011 season. The Blue Devil program will be attempting to avoid a four-game losing streak for the first time since the 2010 campaign.

The Blue Devils have won 11 of the 13 meetings between the two programs.

Lebanon (2-2) at Portland (2-3)

Kickoff at 7 p.m. at Edgar Johnson Stadium

Last week: The Blue Devil suffered a 35-0 loss to visiting Mt. Juliet. The Panthers suffered a 54-0 loss at Pearl-Cohn.

Last meeting between the two programs: The Panthers captured a 20-14 victory at Lebanon last season.

The two programs combined for just one win last season, which was Portland’s victory over the Blue Devils.

However, each squad has captured two victories already this fall.

Both teams were shut out last week. Lebanon produced just 140 total yards last Friday, while the Panthers managed just 97 total yards.

The Panthers are looking to bounce back from back-to-back losses to White House Heritage (36-24) and Lebanon.

Portland – which is celebrating homecoming on Friday – is allowing 31.6 points per game.

The Blue Devils have outscored their opponents 69-16 in their two wins (over Warren County and Summit), but Lebanon has been outscored 72-7 in its two losses (to Mt. Juliet and McGavock).

Blue Devil senior quarterback Jarren Stewart has two 100-yard rushing efforts this season and five rushing touchdowns.

The two programs have alternated wins over their last four meetings.

Jackson County (2-3 overall, 0-2 in Region 4-2A) at Westmoreland (2-3, 2-1)

Kickoff at 7 p.m. at Eagle Stadium

Last week: The Blue Devils suffered a 48-20 loss at Watertown. The Eagles captured a 48-19 victory at East Robertson.

Last meeting between the two programs: Westmoreland rolled to a 52-0 victory at Jackson County in the final regular-season contest of the 2008 season.

After starting the season with three consecutive losses, the Eagles are looking to extend their winning streak to three games.

Westmoreland produced a total of 29 points over the first three games, but the Eagles have combined for 83 points in its two wins (including a 35-0 victory over visiting Community two weeks ago).

The Blue Devils are trending in the opposite direction, opening the season with wins over Clay County (24-20) and Cannon County (47-0) before dropping its last three games (to Community, Macon County and Watertown).

Jackson County has allowed at least 30 points in each of those setbacks.

Sophomore quarterback Colby Long directs the Blue Devil offense, serving as a threat both running and throwing the football.

East Nashville (1-4) at Hendersonville (4-1)

Kickoff at 7 p.m. at Memorial Stadium

Last week: East Nashville captured a 20-13 victory over visiting Greenbrier. Hendersonville suffered a 49-21 loss at Hillsboro.

Last meeting between the two teams: Never played.

The Commandos will face East Nashville for the first time on Friday evening and are looking to rebound from their first loss of the season.

Hendersonville was outgained by a 420-218 margin in total yardage against the Burros, and the Commandos were outscored 35-0 over the second and third quarters, after ending the first quarter tied at 14.

East Nashville won its first game last week, defeating Greenbrier for a region victory after struggling to find points over the first four weeks of the season.

The Eagles were victorious despite only collecting six first downs against the Bobcats.

This contest was originally scheduled to be a home game for East Nashville, but the school doesn’t have a football field on its campus. The Eagles play home games at Tennessee Preparatory School, and the field doesn’t have separate bleachers, creating overcrowding concerns between the two schools. Both sides agreed to move the game, with East Nashville receiving an undisclosed percentage of the gate for agreeing to the venue change.

Beech (3-2) at Springfield (3-2)

Kickoff at 7 p.m. at Boyce Smith Field

Last week: Beech captured a 31-28 win at Cane Ridge. Springfield claimed a 24-7 win at White House 24-7.

Last meeting between the two teams: Beech rolled to a 35-6 victory over visiting Springfield during the 2008 season.

Beech had to survive a last-ditch rally by Cane Ridge last week, but the Buccaneers were able to come away with a victory and avoid a two-game losing streak in region play.

Both teams have alternated wins and losses through their first five games, but someone will walk away from Boyce Smith Field with a two-game winning streak in hand before returning to region play.

Senior Rodrick Napper rushed for 239 yards and three touchdowns as the Buccaneers took a 10-point lead in the final few minutes, only to have Cane Ridge answer and recover an onside kick that gave the Ravens a chance to steal the victory. However, senior Ian Hafner intercepted a last-second pass in the end zone to preserve the victory. It was Hafner’s third interception of the season.

Springfield rolled up 434 yards of total offense against White House, with three rushers – Alan Gardner, Dewayne Buckner and Isaiah Bigbee – rushing for more than 50 yards. Bucker is the Yellow Jackets’ starting quarterback and threw for 156 yards, completing 12 of 19 passes against the Blue Devils.

Nashville Christian (5-0) at Pope John Paul II (1-4)

Kickoff at 7 p.m. at the Jim Carell Athletic Complex

Last week: Nashville Christian captured a 49-7 win at Jo Byrns. Pope John Paul II suffered a 52-35 loss to visiting Ensworth.

Last meeting between the two teams: Never played.

It will be homecoming on more than one front at Pope John Paul II High on Friday evening when the Knights host Nashville Christian.

The Eagles are coached by Jeff Brothers, who was PJP II’s first head coach from 2002-2009. Brothers took the Nashville Christian head-coaching job and turned the Eagles into a perennial contender. Prior to Brothers’ arrival, Nashville Christian had not reached the postseason since 2000.

Since then, the Eagles have advanced at least two rounds in the Class 1A playoffs every year. They have been semifinalists in each of the last three seasons, with eventual champion Union City eliminating them the last two years.

Four of the Eagles’ five victories have come by at least 40 points, including a 49-7 victory at Jo Byrns last week in which the Eagles rushed for 330 yards.

The Knights were unable to match Ensworth’s scoring pace last week, falling behind 38-20 at the half.

Ensworth rushed for 250 yards against the Knight defense, and the Tigers’ special teams unit also did damage with a kickoff return for a touchdown in the first half.

Senior tailback Quar’Derius Hunter and junior quarterback Ben Brooks each scored their fifth rushing touchdown of the season last week.

Gallatin-Station Camp Series

2009 Gallatin 27-3

2010 Gallatin 21-6

2011 Gallatin 30-7

2012 Station Camp 41-7

2013 Station Camp 42-14

2014 Gallatin 42-14

Gallatin leads series 4-2.

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