Gridiron squads gearing up for big week
All three Marshall County squads are deep into region play this week with Forrest and Marshall County High School hosting home games and Cornersville hitting the road for a second week in a row.
The Bulldogs travel to Maury County to take on Mount Pleasant for a game in which the winner will slide into the driver’s seat of Region 5-A and possibly the number one seed when the playoffs roll around.
The Bulldogs (4-0, 2-0) and the Tigers (4-0, 2-0) both enter the contest undefeated, but Cornersville has faced a more challenging schedule with its opponents’ overall record sitting at 6-8, including a 41-0 blowout over then seventh-ranked 2A Eagleville.
The Tigers’ four wins have come against opponents with a 1-12 overall record.
With an underwhelming schedule the rest of the season, a Bulldogs win on Friday should wrap up a second straight region championship.
To win, the Bulldogs have to stop the running tandem of junior Kayne Forrest (30 carries, 268 yards, 5 TDs) and senior Zyshon Alderson (63 carries, 610 yards, 7 TDs).
Forrest and Alderson both run for nearly 10 yards per carry.
The Tigers occasionally throw the ball with junior Hayden Lovely completing 21-of-41 attempts for 488 yards and seven scores.
On defense, sophomore Ethan Beasley paces the Tiger with 34 tackles and 5.5 tackles for a loss and junior Jacob Campbell is close behind with 33 tackles and 4.5 tackles for a loss.
The Bulldogs feature the triple threat of seniors Eli Woodard, Cam Whitaker, and Trenten Warren running the ball.
All three backs have ran the ball for over 100 yards at least once this season.
But the Bulldogs massive rushing attack has opened up the air the past few games.
Last Friday, in a 50-0 win over Grace Christian Academy-Franklin, senior quarterback Henlee Mitchell threw for a career-high three scores to receivers Ryan Prosser and Peyton Finch, plus one to Woodard out of the backfield.
The defense, led by the Baus brothers, Dylan and Devin have held each of the last three opponents to zero points.
Community is the only team to reach the end zone on the Bulldogs this season, scoring 21 points in the season opening 41-21 Cornersville win.
The Rockets return to Chapel Hill after a much-needed win last Friday at Summertown.
A Josh Meglis to Jeff Gross 13-yard pass proved to be the only score of the game as the Rockets took home the 7-0 win.
Friday's matchup does not get any easier.
Columbia Academy (4-0, 1-0) comes calling with an undefeated record against considerable competition.
The Bulldogs beat 1A private school powerhouse Nashville Christian 21-14 in the season opener before taking out 4A Spring Hill 35-15 in a Week Two shocker and then dismantling Summertown 37-0 in Week Three.
Last Friday, CA beat Lipscomb Academy 16-10 at Columbia.
The Bulldogs earn their share of their yards on the ground with 300 rushing yards a game to just 94 passing yards.
Tennessee baseball commitment Kavares Tears mans the quarterback position and has passed for 317 yards and five touchdowns, but has also thrown five interceptions.
The big threat for the Rockets (2-2, 1-1) to worry about will be senior running back Tre Davidson.
Davidson has already rushed for 651 yards on 69 attempts and also leads the Bulldogs with 118 yards on the three receptions.
UT-Martin commitment Rush Landsdell adds five receptions for 79 yards.
After a 42-7 season opening loss to BGA, the Rockets have settled back into the swing of things.
The Forrest defense has allowed just 14 points in the last three games but have scored just 20 points in the past two.
Meglis attempted just four passes the last game, but the one completion was all it took to win the game.
Nick McClendon added another 100-yard rushing game with 125 yards on 19 attempts against Summertown and Blaize Sweeney added 71 yards on nine attempts.
Expect another large dose of the run attack against Columbia Academy Friday night.
The Marshall County Tigers enter Friday night’s game against Maplewood at a crossroads.
The Tigers lost a region game for the first time since a loss against Christ Presbyterian Academy in 2014 (head coach Thomas Osteen's first year at the helm) with an unlikely 14-13 loss to Tullahoma two weeks ago.
Coming off a bye week, the schedule does not get any easier for the Tigers (1-2, 0-1).
Maplewood (3-1, 2-0) comes into the contest red-hot, beating Lawrence County and Whites Creek by a combined score of 120-6.
The Panthers have been explosive on offense, led by a name Tigers fans are sick of hearing.
Hodges, now a senior, has been the starting quarterback against the Tigers the past two seasons but has saved his best season for his last.
The quarterback has thrown for 984 yards on 46-of-66 attempts for 16 scores and just three interceptions, while adding 176 yards on the ground.
And Hodges has a stable of talent to throw to.
Independence transfer Kentrell Scurry, who holds 19 major offers with Miami (FL), Mississippi State and Oregon as current favorites has caught 11 balls for 235 yards and four touchdowns.
Western Kentucky commitment Travaeres Springer adds nine catches for 183 yards and two scores and senior receiver Markell Smith leads the team with 13 receptions for 359 yards and seven scores.
Senior Harley Zirker leads the defense with 36 tackles with eight tackles for a loss.
The Tigers, a historically high-powered, pass happy offense, have struggled to score.
Marshall County needed a late touchdown to put away Shelbyville Central in week two before the one-point loss to Tullahoma.
One huge bright spot for the Tigers is the defense.
Seniors Jayshon Wilcox and Marcellus Campbell lead a defense that held high-scoring Shelbyville to just 21 points and allowed just two scores last week.
To compete against Maplewood, the Tigers will need big games from Malik Thomison and Javarria Rucker.
Thomison leads the Tigers with 261 yards on the ground and Rucker adds 225 yards on 40 attempts.
Expect the week off to have a big impact as the Tigers get back in position to make a run for the region title with a win over Maplewood.