By Kenneth Schott
LAVERGNE--Wilson Central¹s first two offensive plays against La Vergne were handoffs to Cody Clawson, and both of them resulted in touchdowns.
In the Region 4-5A matchup, the visiting Wildcats went on and defeated the Wolverines 14-7 Friday night, in LaVergne¹s final home game of the season.
After recovering a LaVergne fumble to stop the Wolverines’ opening drive, the Wildcats took over at the 44. Quarterback Kelton Stewart pitched the ball to Clawson, and he made it look easy. He went 56 yards untouched for the score.
The Wildcats hemmed the Wolverines in at their 10 on the following kickoff, and on third down, La Vergne quarterback Landon Grooms was sacked inside his own one. La Vergne punter Callib Zielinski had to punt from the back of his end zone. The punt was partially blocked, and the Wildcats took over at the eight.
Central’s Stewart pitched it to Clawson, and he scored again sprinting to the corner of the end zone to give Wilson Central a 14-0 advantage.
The Wolverines scored later in the first quarter, going 65 yards in nine plays. Grooms hit Ryan McBee for 40 yards on a bomb, setting La Vergne up inside the 10. On fourth and goal from the three, the Wolverines went for it, and Grooms took it into the option on the quarterback keeper. The score remained 14-7 throughout the rest of the game.
Due to the poor weather conditions, players on both teams had trouble with their footing and neither could maintain any consistency on offense.
Clawson and Jordan Poole had a powerful one-two punch for Wilson Central. They each had over 100 yards - Poole had 113, Clawson 109. The Wildcats had a total of 261 rushing yards in the game. But twice, the Wolverines stopped Wilson Central’s running backs on fourth-down conversions.
The Wolverines also forced three Central punts and had an interception.
"You’ve got to hand it to La Vergne, they really played hard and battled," said Wilson Central coach Traye Aric.
"The scoreboard clock malfunctioned, and the time was kept on the field by the referees throughout the game. It was hard because we had to keep asking the referees how much time was on the clock," said LaVergne head coach Will Hester.
"But that wasn’t that much of a factor, it wasn¹t the reason we lost."
By ZACK OWENSBY
MT. JULIET -- The Saints of Mt. Juliet Christian Academy (2-7) were run down, run around, and run over in a 40-14 loss to Clay County (6-3) Friday night.
With the early discovery of a weakness in MJCA’s defense, the Bulldogs ran to the tune of 400-plus yards on the ground.
And once they discovered that no Saints’ defender could stop them, they committed to the run and dared MJCA to stop them.
But the Saints have had trouble all year stopping the run, head coach Paul Townsend said after the game. "Once they found something they liked, they kept doing it, and we couldn’t stop them."
The Saints scrapped hard the whole game, but turnovers at inopportune times cost them big.
MJCA’s Devin Bradshaw threw an interception on the Saints first offensive play on a lateral from senior QB Chris Frazier.
Frazier had troubles of his own, throwing three picks himself. His accuracy was off all night due to confusion in routes, coverage schemes, or poor footwork when rolling out of the pocket on bootlegs often.
But when Frazier did hit his target, his receivers didn’t help him out much, dropping 8 to 10 passes, two in the end zone, which hit them in their hands or chest. He finished 12 for 40 for 115 yards and three interceptions.
Senior running back Stephen Hughes gained a tough 96 yards and two three-yard touchdowns and a catch.
Clay County took the opening kickoff 80 yards in five plays for an early 6-0 lead. Clay Co.’s T.J. Key ran it in from 8 yards out. He finished with 12 carries for 220 yards and 3 TDs.
MJCA answered with 3:54 remaining in the first quarter on a touchdown run by Hughes to lead 7-6.
Clay County junior Matt Brown added a pair of rushing touchdowns in the second quarter to send the lead to 20-7.
The Bulldogs’ Key rushed in two more, from 34 and 80 yards out to put the game out of reach at 34-7.
The Saints fought back but came up empty twice after long drives, first after a 10-play, 50-yard drive that stalled just outside the Bulldogs’ 10 yard line, and again on a 10-play, 45-yard drive.
"We had opportunities to get back in it late," Townsend said, "but we just couldn’t capitalize. We had two nice drives there at the end that stalled and we didn’t get anything from them. But I’m proud of our boys; they played hard the entire game. I was concerned, being that we’ve played so poorly the two weeks prior to this game. So I am pleased with their effort."
MJCA will host Friendship Christian next Thursday, October 30. The game has been moved up a day to accommodate Halloween night.
By JOHN B. BRYAN
GORDONSVILLE -- Watertown overcame a sluggish first quarter but scored 25 unanswered points to beat Region 4, 1A rival Gordonsville 25-7 Friday at Turney Ford Field.
The win secures the Purple Tigers a spot in the TSSAA playoffs running their Region 4 record to 3-3 and locking up third place in the league.
Gordonsville took advantage of good field position early and scored on a 12 play, 37 yard drive as Tiger quarterback Chase Malone hit Derek Bennett in the back of the end zone from 15 yards out.
From there it was all Watertown and the Purple Tiger ground game.
Blaze Eaton ran the ball 26 times for 185 yards and two scores eating up the G-Men defense and the clock.
The Watertown offense mixed in a few inside screen passes to keep the G-Men honest but pounded out 252 yards rushing for their work.
The second quarter of play proved to be the difference as the Purple Tigers scored three times on drives of 50, 45 and 65 yards to take a 19-7 advantage in at the half.
Purple Tiger quarterback Dalton Phillips finished with five of eight passing with one interception and added 18 yards on the ground and a touchdown.
Most every time Gordonsville would get a drive started, Watertown’s stingy defense would have an answer by either sacking Malone for a loss or stopping sophomore running back Cody Woodmore before he could break the line of scrimmage.
Woodmore finished the night with just 51 yards rushing on 17 carries as Watertown only allowed the G-Men 62 yards of total offense and five first downs.
Watertown finished with 308 yards of total offense while picking up 16 first downs.
With the win Watertown improves to 5-4 on the year and will stay in Region 4,1A play as they host Monterey Thursday, Oct. 30 at Robinson Stadium.