Win now, play later

Friday, October 10, 2008

Coaches, players, fans, pundits, and predictors like to talk about playing one game at a time and let the rest of what you cannot worry about, fall into place.

Easy to say, but not always so easy to accept when the pressure is on to achieve the goal of capturing a coveted spot in the TSSAA football playoffs.

Six weeks have flown by in the 2008 prep football season in the county and Marshall County High School is probably just one win, maybe two, from the Promised Land.

The undefeated Tigers (6-0, 3-0) have four Region 5/AAA games remaining on their schedule and should take care business and win the next two before they travel the end of the season gauntlet duo of last year's Class AAA state champion David Lipscomb, at home, followed by a road trip to Pulaski to take on long time rival, Giles County.

This week's game, the last of consecutive road games for the Tigers is against a winless Montgomery Central (0-6, 0-5) team that has not beaten MCHS in this decade. In six games this season, the Wildcats have been less than furious, allowing opposing teams to score more than 35 points in five of those six contests, while scoring over 14 points, just once.

Not a good omen for Montgomery Central. The Tigers are averaging 28.3 points per game this season and should be licking their chops this week. Quarterback Jake Morris and the highflying offense will get it done again, winning by a wide margin this week, 41-3.

For the Forrest Rockets (4-2, 3-2), heartbreak has been the story the past two weeks, caused by brutal end of the game losses to Jo Byrns and Cascade. Both times, it was apparent to all in attendance that the Rockets were poised to score when they blundered.

This week, they have to win and then not look ahead until the trickeries and treats of the regular season ending, Halloween night game at MTCS is in the pillowcase.

Three losses last year sent the Rockets home and they face an opponent this week in McEwen (5-1, 4-1) that have their sights set on returning to the playoffs.

Key to winning this week for the Rockets is two things, execute to the end of the game and stop the run, most notably Warrior running back Ethan Tummins, who has rushed for 835 yards on the season and has found the opposing team's end zone 17 times.

Predicting this game is about as tough as predicting the November presidential election. OK, 17-16, Rockets, by one hanging chad.

For the Cornersville Bulldogs (2-4, 0-4), unfortunately, the season ended with their disappointing loss to Zion, three weeks ago in Columbia. The young Bulldogs do not have enough muscle, experience, or confidence to travel to Wayne County (5-2, 4-1) and win. They go down again, 35-0.