The atmosphere inside Nolensville High School’s football stadium was electric Friday as the Knights took on Lawrence County in search of their first 4-0 start in the school’s brief history.
It was all Nolensville from the start, as the Knights (4-0, 2-0) won 43-0, jumping to the top of the Region 4-4A standings alongside Marshall County and sending the Wildcats (3-2) to 0-2 the region.
“This was an exciting game for everyone here,” Nolensville coach Paul Derrick said. “The atmosphere of the stadium helped feed the players tonight.
“There have been a lot of firsts for this program this year. It was the first time we went 2-0, 3-0, now 4-0. Plus, we were able to accomplish the goal of being 2-0 in the region, which puts us right where we want to be for homecoming next week.”
Derrick wanted to start fast, which was exactly what the Knights did.
Lawrence County had an impressive opening drive, moving the ball downfield until Nolensville forced a fumble, recovered it and proceeded to score with a 5-yard punch-in from running back Ryan Pistulka.
The Knights went on to score 22 points in the first quarter, helped by some trickery Derrick had up his sleeve. First came a two-point conversion by Jeffery Weisel, who scored eight by himself when he ran it in for a 5-yard touchdown and then completed a pass to Nick Beattie for the extra two points. Then, as Nolensville lined up for the kickoff, Derrick caught the Wildcats off guard with an onside kick that led to another score, this time through the air as Ryder Galardi found Tim Coutras in the back of the end zone.
The final touchdown of the half came early in the second quarter with a 10-yard run by Samson Johnson. At halftime, Nolensville was leading 29-0.
Another fumble by the Wildcats midway through the third quarter set up another rushing touchdown by Johnson, putting the Knights up 36-0 going into the fourth quarter and bringing on a running clock. Galardi hit Weisel in the back of the end zone at the start of the quarter to put the finishing touches on the big night.
Galardi finished with 219 passing yards and two touchdowns, connecting on 13-of-15 passes. Coutras was his favorite target, catching four balls for 100 yards and a TD to go with four tackles and a fumble recovery on defense. Pistulka added 87 yards rushing and a score, and Johnson had two rushing TDs.
Defensively, Grant Reeder had five tackles, a sack and a forced fumble to lead the way for Nolensville.
Next week, the Knights take on Columbia Central for their homecoming game at 7 p.m.