BY KENNETH SCHOTT
MURFREESBORO – Wilson Central’s defense pitched a shutout Friday night, leading the Wildcats to a 17-0 victory over Blackman – ruining the Blaze homecoming celebration.
Wilson Central improved to 4-2 overall and picked up a vital Region 4, 5A win, upping their regional mark to 1-2. Blackman fell to 3-4 with the loss / 1-3 in league play.
Wilson Central dominated from the early going, forcing a fumble on Blackman’s first offensive snap.
Six plays later, the Wildcats scored the first touchdown of the game, as JuJuan Brooks took the pitch from quarterback Kelton Stewart and ran into the end zone from five yards out.
That was all the Wildcats needed.
Blackman’s offense struggled throughout the rest of the game, as the Blaze only managed 88 yards and six first downs in the game.
"You can¹t take anything away from Blackman," said Wilson Central coach Traye Aric.
"You’ve got to hand it to their coaches. They’ve had to deal with a lot of adversity. We had a tough game here tonight. Our defense really stepped up, our defensive coaches did a great job. Anytime you get a shutout in this region, you’ve done something."
Wilson Central blocked a Blackman punt later in the first quarter, but couldn’t convert as a 42-yard field goal attempt by Jonathan Redditt slid just past the uprights.
On the very next play, Blackman attempted a play-action deep pass, only to see Brooks come up with the interception at the 46.
"I read the wide receiver, and keyed on him," said Brooks, who had two interceptions for Wilson Central.
The Wildcats again capitalized on a turnover, taking six plays to score. Stewart kept the drive alive on second-and-10 from the 28 by scrambling and running down to the 3.
After the Wildcats were penalized five yards for a false start, they scored on an eight-yard run by Cody Clawson to go ahead 14-0.
Redditt added a 23-yard field goal in the third quarter.
The Wildcats mixed up the pass and run throughout the game to keep Blackman off balance.
Wilson Central QB Stewart passed for 129 yards and the Wildcats rushed for 177 yards, led by Clawson, who had 58.
Wilson Central will be back in action Friday, Oct. 10 as they travel to Lebanon to take on the Blue Devils in a 7:30 p.m. game at Nokes-Lasater Field.
HOMECOMING WIN FOR BULLDOGS
LEBANON -- Cumberland rushed for 278 yards and Matt Eads threw for a pair of touchdowns en route to a 44-16 victory over Bethel College on Homecoming Saturday at Lindsey Donnell Stadium.
Four Cumberland running backs rushed at least 10 times, combining for 224 yards and a pair of touchdowns. Dexter Elston carried 10 times for 79 yards, while Travis Carter had 11 rushes for 61 yards and a touchdown, five catches for 68 yards and another score as well as a 49-yard punt return that helped set up another score for the Bulldogs.
The CU defense held Bethel to only 243 yards of total offense and came up with two big fourth-down stops, one on the opening drive of the second half and another early in the fourth quarter.
The home team took the ensuing possession in the third quarter and marched 12 plays and 61 yards, with Michael Hinson capping the drive with a 30-yard field goal.
NO. 4-RANKED COMMANDERS NOW 6-0
By JOHN B. BRYAN
LEBANON -- Tailback John Markham enjoyed a career night as No. 4-ranked Friendship Christian School rolled over Monterey 34-7 Friday at Pirtle Field.
The win was the sixth in a row for the Commanders without a loss and improved the FCS record to 3-0 in Region 4, 1A play.
Markham tallied 223 yards on 15 carries and added another 63 yards in receiving on his way to three scores in the lopsided victory.
"It was a great win. It felt good to avenge that loss from last year," Markham said after the victory.
Monterey stunned the Commanders last year at the Wildcats home field, a loss FCS head coach John McNeal kept in the back of his mind.
"We wanted this one. We didn’t have to remind the kids what happened to us last year. We executed our offense and I was proud of our defensive effort tonight," McNeal said.
Friendship took the opening kick off and drove 72 yards in just five plays, relying mostly on the legs of junior quarterback Lee Maasen before Markham raced in from 25 yards out for the first score.
The Wildcats answered with an impressive drive of their own, going 79 yards on ten plays, with the bulk coming on a 67 yard bomb down to the Commander 15 yard line.
"Our cornerback went for the interception and they made a big play. Fortunately for us that was their only big play of the night," McNeal said.
Monterey gave the Commanders great field position on their next possession after a bad snap on a punt attempt set FCS up at the Wildcat 18 yard line.
Two plays later Markham streaked in from nine yards out for the score.
"The holes were there all night. My offensive line blew huge openings for me, all I had to do was run through them," Markham said.
Maasen ended the night with 46 rushing yards on nine carries and completed two-of-four pass attempts for 63 yards.
Markham was the target on both completions, the longest a 56 yard bomb for a touchdown.
Friendship finished the night with 11 first downs and 374 yards of total offense. The Commander defense limited Monterey to 170 yards of offense and 10 first downs.
Friendship goes on the road Oct. 10 to winless Red Boiling Springs, a 51-20 loser Friday night to Mt. Juliet Christian Academy
From Post staff reports
MT. JULIET —The last two years, the winner of Mt. Juliet Christian versus Red Boiling Springs has come down to the last play. The Saints came out on top both times, but not in convincing fashion.
This year, there was no doubt as MJCA pummeled the Bulldogs 51-20 Friday night before a happy homecoming crowd.
MJ Christian improved to 2-4 with the victory and 1-2 in region 4, 1A. Red Boiling springs slipped to 0-6 on the season and 0-3 in the league.
Coach Paul Townsend’s team took an early 14-0 first quarter lead after an 18-yard run by Zach Harvey and a 57-yard pass from senior quarterback Chris Frazier to Zach Orr.
But RBS came roaring back to cut the margin to 14-12 after a failed two-point conversion.
But the Saints proved to be too much on this night, piling up over 500 yards of offense and putting six different players in the end zone en route to a lopsided win.
Senior Stephen Hughes finished with 113 rushing and two scores, while the other classmate Trey McNeill racked up 81 yards rushing, 91 receiving and a score.
"We did the things we needed to do" on offense, Townsend said, "and we forced some turnovers when we needed them."
The game was interesting for a while until the second quarter when MJCA put up 31 points going into the half, up by 19.
After an early third quarter RBS score, MJCA put the baby to bed with 20 unanswered points.
Townsend said he was happy so many players got into the action, as seven players carried the ball while maintaining offensive balance.
The Saints rushed the ball 40 times for 289 yards, and Frazier went 9-of-26 for 223 yards.
"Whenever you have this kind of statistical performance, you feel good about your offense," he added. "But the kids came out ready to go and did what they had to do."
MJCA’s defense piled on, stuffing Red Boiling Springs for just 207 yards of total offense and less than 100 on the ground.
The Saints go back on the road October 10 as they travel to Watertown to take on the Purple Tigers in a Region 4, 1A game at Robinson Stadium.
MJ takes care of business against Rossview 52-20
From Post staff reports
MT. JULIET — A few gaffes and missed assignments were made by a young Golden Bear defense, but Coach Roger Perry can hardly complain with his team’s 52-20 victory over region foe Rossview Friday night, keeping Mt. Juliet undefeated in Region 6, 4A at 3-0.
"We had a few costly breakdowns at times," Perry said of his defense, giving up a 47-yard passing score and a 99-yard kickoff return.
"We gave up a passing touchdown, which never really sits well with us. But I think we (the defense) showed when we had the opportunity, we got on the ball."
Mt. Juliet recovered six of eight Rossview fumbles.
Injured last week, junior tailback Brady Earnhardt got back to wellness by rushing for 179 yards on 17 carries and touchdown.
"I think we were a little healthier than we’ve been in a while," Perry said after the homecoming game.
Mt. Juliet rushed well as a team, racking up 338 yards on the ground and another 205 through the air.
Junior quarterback Reed Gurchiek went 6-of-10 on the night with 136 yards and a 34-yard score to Danny Valencic.
Valencic also threw twice on halfback passes for 32 yards, both touchdowns to 6-4 sophomore wide out Vaughn Cornelia
The Golden Bears got on the board early with one of Cornelia’s 16-yards scores, taking a 7-0 lead.
Less than two minutes later, Brady Earnhardt recovered a fumble and bolted 55 yards for the touchdown and a 14-0 lead just minutes into the first quarter.
MJ added another TD before Rossview got on the board with a 47-yard pass by Thomas Burch to Michael Simmons, but Mt. Juliet lead at the half 42-14.
Perry was able to play some younger athletes in the fourth quarter that managed 10 points and showed the coach that their future looks bright.
Next week, the Golden Bears will travel to Clarksville to face another region foe, which he called a "dangerous" 0-4 Kenwood team that is "hungry for a win."
By TOMMY BRYAN
MURFREESBORO – Outmanned up front, Lebanon proved to be little more than a speed bump for fired-up Riverdale Friday as the Warriors rolled to a 42-7 win over the Blue Devils at Tomahawk Stadium.
The Warriors rose to 4-3 on the season and 2-2 in Region 4, 5A. LHS fell to 2-4 / 1-2 in the league. Lebanon's last win over Riverdale came in the 1993 season.
"We definitely didn’t show up tonight,’ said Lebanon coach Bobby Brown. "We’ve got to check and see where our heart is next week. We’ve got to fight harder and that starts Monday in practice."
Fullback Aaron Ebalarosa chugged 70 yards down the Riverdale sideline on the second play from scrimmage to reach pay dirt at the 11:06 mark of the first quarter.
Moments later Riverdale was back in the endzone as defensive back Joey Lee picked off a Matthew Maynard pass and returned it 50 yards for a touchdown – and the rout was on.
Riverdale tacked on another touchdown with 5:43 left in the first as Ebalarosa capped off a five-play, 23 yard drive with a seven yard run – stretching the margin to 21-0.
Lebanon answered when tailback Jacob Maynard bounced off left end, slipped through a tackle and roared 69 yards down the sideline for a TD with 2:05 left in the period.
The warriors put the game out of reach with a pair of scores – just 13 seconds apart in the closing minutes of the first quarter for a 35-7 lead.
Ebalarosa scored his third touchdown of the night with 5:18 left in the first half as he caught a swing pass out of the backfield from Cody West, flattened a Lebanon defender and strolled over the goal line for a 41-7 Riverdale advantage.
Lebanon managed just four first downs and 141 yards in total offense.
Jacob Maynard led Lebanon with 92 yards on 14 carries; Matthew Maynard added 22 yards on six carries. William Benford rushed five times for six yards.
Matthew Maynard completed just 2-of-13 pass attempts for 21 yards. Jacob Maynard had one catch for 13 yards, Robert Crudup had the other reception for eight yards.
Ebalarosa rushed just eight times for 100 yards to lead Riverdale. The Warriors cranked out nine first downs and 267 yards rushing. Riverdale’s West was 3-for-5 passing for 27 yards.
Lebanon will return to action Oct. 10 as Wilson Central comes to town for a 7:30 p.m. game at Nokes-Lasater Field.
By KEVIN DONALDSON
CELINA – Watertown High broke a four-game losing streak Friday night with a 26-6 victory over Clay County High.
The victory leaves Watertown at 2-4 overall and 1-2 in Region 4, 1A. The Bulldogs dropped to 4-2 / 1-2 in the league.
The game was scoreless until the 2:55 mark of the second quarter, when Purple Tiger quarterback Phillips connected with Ethan Patterson for a 31-yard score.
Defensive lineman Nick Lennox had blocked a Clay County punt for Watertown in the early going, but the Tigers couldn’t punch it in after starting on the Bulldog 11.
Watertown took control of the contest in the third quarter, scoring only once, but getting more first downs (six) in the quarter than in the first half (five).
Senior Blaze Eaton had the only score of the third quarter, but Watertown hurt themselves with penalties in a couple of key situations.
They also recovered an onsides kick in the quarter (but didn’t score), and did recover a muffed punt by Clay County at the Bulldog 17.
That turnover eventually led to the scoring pass from Phillips to Adam Martin on the first play of the fourth quarter.
Watertown recovered another squib kick after that TD, and went in for another score, covering 31 yards in five plays, with Eaton getting his second TD from five yards out.
Clay County didn’t pick up a first down in the second half until the 8:00 mark of the fourth quarter.
They fumbled four times, lost two, and Watertown recovered a pair of the onsides kicks.
The Purple Tigers will be back in action Friday, October 10 as they host Mt. Juliet Christian Academy in a 7 p.m. game at Robinson Stadium.
Watertown 26, Clay Co. 6
WHS 0 6 6 14 - 26
CCHS 0 0 0 6 - 6
W - Ethan Patterson 31 pass from Dalton Phillips (kick failed) 2:55—2nd quarter
W - Blaze Eaton 1 run (run failed) 3:10—3rd quarter
W - Adam Martin 11 pass from Phillips (Ryan Huffman kick) 11:53—4th quarter
W - Eaton 5 run (Cody Lipski kick) 9:10—4th quarter
CC - T.J. Key 13 run (run failed) 3:12—4th quarter
Rushing 32-133 38-150
Passing 2-7-0 13-21-1
Pass yards 23 124
Total yards 156 274
First downs 9 16
Penalties 5-31 7-58
Watertown rushing: Dylan Holycross 6-37; Blaze Eaton 10-60, 2 TDs; Dalton Phillips 11-7;
Ethan Patterson 6-28; Cody Christian 1-1; Nate Gilley 4-17.
Watertown passing: Dalton Phillips 13-21-1, 124 yards, 2 TDs
Watertown receiving: Ethan Patterson 4-52, TD; Blaze Eaton 3-37; Dylan Holycross 2-5; Adam Martin 2-13 (TD);
Jacob Anderson 1-11; Cody Christian 1-6.