League battles the rest of the way
The Tennessee Scholastic Sports Athletic Association (TSSAA) released their initial playoff matrix earlier in the week as the prep football season enters the second half of the season that begins the downward run towards the playoffs.
All three county squads are finished with their non-league schedules, embarking on a stretch of five consecutive district match-ups to end the regular season.
Forrest (3-2, 1-0), coming off a slim 28-26 win over intra-county rival Cornersville, is in the best shape, thanks to their big win over Community in Week 3.
The Rockets travel to Eagleville (2-4, 1-1) and will be looking to get back on the winning side of a 6-3 edge over the Eagles since 2003 with Chapel Hill losing the last two by scores of 14-10 in 2010 and 16-14 last year.
Eagleville is coming off a disappointing 27-14 homecoming loss to Copper Basin (5-1) and does not want to lose two in a row at home before finishing the season with two out the next three on the road to end the season.
The Rockets would love to win on the road this week and move into the middle of the timely and favorable portion of their schedule with three-out-four ballgames at "The Rock" in Chapel Hill to end the campaign.
After homecoming next week versus MTCS, Forrest plays their last road game at Huntland before two crucial games at "The Rock" to end the season, beginning with Cascade on Oct. 5 and a season ending clash with Moore County that could be a battle for first place.
Look for the Rockets to win 24-21 in Rutherford County on Friday as they begin a strong run towards a return trip to the playoffs.
Cornersville (2-3, 1-1) is also in good shape, even after two consecutive losses, as the go head-on at first place Loretto (4-2, 3-0) this week.
The Mustangs gallop into the contest versus the Bulldogs, riding a two-game winning streak versus Region 6A foes Wayne County and Richland with both victories coming in relatively easy fashion.
The Bulldogs had a victory in hand last week at Forrest before a heartbreaking ending, but there was no head hanging after the ballgame and Cornersville quarterback Hayden McMahon was already focused in on Loretto post-game.
Look for McMahon and the Bulldogs to go crazy on offense this week near the border in a huge 44-40 shootout win over Loretto.
A win over the Mustangs sets up the Dawgs for a pair of important home games at "Frog Bottom" the next two weeks with a homecoming match-up versus Wayne County next week, followed by the Battle of the Bulldogs against Columbia Academy in Week 9.
The Marshall County Tigers (2-3, 1-2) put up a big win at Preston Hopkins Field in Lewisburg last week as they hammered winless Spring Hill 37-13 to get back into the playoff picture.
More importantly, the Tigers regained some confidence after three straight losses, but the road ahead will be a tough one, beginning with a trip to Fairview (4-2, 3-1) this week.
Fairview is coming off a 27-0 shutout win over Hickman, but on the horizon for the Yellow Jackets is a date with top-ranked Giles County (5-0, 3-0) next week in Pulaski.
The Tigers have lost three straight to the Yellow Jackets, but head coach Aaron Pitts will have the team ready to play again this week and Fairview will look ahead just a little bit to the Bobcats, meaning MCHS will win the game 23-20.