Huge region battles await
ornersville takes on Columbia Academy, Tigers face Spring Hill
Cornersville and Marshall County have huge region home games this week as the Bulldogs entertain first place Columbia Academy at Frog Bottom, while the Tigers battle Spring Hill at Preston Hopkins Field in Lewisburg.
The Bulldogs (2-5, 2-3) are coming off a big win versus Summertown that broke a three-game losing streak.
"This football team has done a tremendous job of coming out and giving maximum effort each night they take the field," Cornersville coach Gerard Randolph said. "They truly deserved this big win for our program.
Randolph and the Dawgs have their work cut this week versus their namesakes from Columbia, who are 6-1 overall and undefeated at 6-0 in Region 4-A play.
"We will take the same businesslike approach as we have all year and our coaching staff has done a really good job of trying to get guys in the right spots to be successful," Randolph said.
"We have preached all year long that if we believe and go play mistake free football, we have a chance to be successful. Our ball club is looking forward to the opportunity to play a really good CA team."
Cornersville needs a win to stay alive in the post-season race and will rely heavily on the youth that has seen action on the field the entire season because of a bevy of injuries to the upper classmen.
"We have been plagued by the injury bug all year long and guys have accepted the challenge to step up," Randolph said. "I thought offensively, freshmen Peyton Finch and Cameron Whitaker did an awesome job of giving us some offensive fire power."
Randolph added, "Defensively, we stepped up as a unit and got it done when we had to. I was really pleased with the play of sophomore defensive end Adam Qualls, who came through with some timely sacks for us during the (Summertown) game.
The No. 5 ranked Marshall County Tigers will be healed and ready to go after their bye week and there will also be some extra motivation with the return of former coach Tom Turchetta, who was let go under confusing circumstances before the start of the 2012-2013 season.
"We have had a very productive week off," MCHS coach Thomas Osteen said. "We have been able to work on fundamentals while at the same time get some guys some much needed rest to heal up before the final three regular season games and of course it's been very nice to have 2 weeks to prepare for a huge region opponent in Spring Hill."
Osteen added, "We hope to get Tristan Maxwell and Tre Crutcher both back this week in some capacity. They are both exceptional football players."
More importantly, the game has huge playoff implications, especially for the Tigers who are tied with Page for the Class 4-A Region 4 lead.
"The team is itching to get to play again after having a week off. We have accomplished one of our goals in earning a playoff berth and the next step is to try and capture a region championship," Osteen said. "Spring Hill stands in the way of that. Our guys know how hard they have worked and know what their goals are. It has been easy to keep them focused because they are a very hungry football team."
Marshall County (6-1, 3-0) and Page (5-2, 3-0) meet at Lewisburg in the final week of the season.
"The home crowd will play a huge roll this Friday night," the coach said. "We need to pack Preston Hopkins like we have done all year and give our kids a great home field advantage."
Tiger quarterback Ashton Posey leads a Marshall County offense that has posted a region leading 298 points on offense.
Posey has thrown for 1,536 yards on the season, completing 100-out-of-144 passes and 18 touchdowns.
The senior signal caller is a strong candidate for Mr. Football, leading an offense that has outscored its opponents 298-105 on the year.
The Forrest Rockets have a bye week and will play Eagleville next week at Murrey E. Holton Field at Chapel Hill with a victory securing their first region title in 29 years.