Local teams play in football playoffs

Friday, November 5, 2010

Call it the high school playoffs. Call it November Madness.

Whatever you call it, understand that Marshall County has never experienced anything like it. All three county high schools have their football teams playing in the first round of the TSSAA playoffs.

All three schools go on the road. Marshall County High School, playing in Class 4A, plays at Nashville's Maplewood High School. Forrest, playing in Class 2A, visits Dresden. Cornersville, playing in Class 1A, travels to Murfreesboro to take on Middle Tennessee Christian School.

Kickoff across the state is 7 p.m. local time.

"It's an exciting time for everybody," Forrest coach Kyle Stacey said. "It is an exciting time for Lewisburg, and Cornersville, and us as well. Any time you make the playoffs, it is just so hard to get there, especially in football. It's an honor to be there and you can cast everything aside because everybody's got a shot once they are in."

Forrest, at 6-4, had the best record of any county team. The Rockets drew the longest drive, however, and visit Dresden -- in between Martin and Paris, on the western side of the state.

"We are obviously the underdogs in this situation, which doesn't bother me at all," said Stacey.

Although Stacey will have his hands full with the Rockets' opponent, he will have a keen interest in the other two county games. He gave Cornersville game film of MTCS to help the Bulldogs prepare for tonight, and his brother, Keith, is principal at MCHS.

"I think (CHS has) a good shot," Stacey said. "Actually, they match up well with them. MTCS had a little trouble defending the pass when we played them and Cornersville is a passing team. I think they got a good draw."

While Cornersville has made the playoffs in consecutive years for the first time in school history, MCHS has had quite a turnaround, too. The Tigers were 1-9 last year and lost their coach, Don Thomas, in the summer when he took an assistant principal's job at Lincoln County High School.

New coach Tom Turchetta led MCHS to four wins, enough to get them into the postseason.

"I think Marshall County has one important thing going for them," Stacey said. "I think if they can play a disciplined style of football and out-scheme them, you can sometimes take advantage of that wild, over aggressive type team. I think that can be anybody's ballgame."