The Fairview football team, which boasts a 2-2 record overall and 1-0 in Region 6-3A, dives back into region Friday night against Sycamore (2-2, 1-0) in a critical matchup at the midpoint of the season.
The Yellow Jackets were picked to once again win the region in the preseason, but graduation hit the Williamson County school hard, leaving head coach Chris Hughes with one of his youngest teams in years. The squad has sandwiched a pair of wins between two losses, including last week’s loss at former region foe Waverly 26-24.
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“It’s a critical game,” agreed Hughes, the dean of high school coaches in the county. “It obviously hurts the loser’s chances for the regional title and a better playoff draw.”
The Yellow Jackets will continue to depend on senior Anakin King to direct the offense. The quarterback has thrown for more than 500 yards in the first four games, with Garrett Wooten (12 receptions, 239 yards and 5 TDs) being his favorite target. Junior running back Logan Nardozzi has rushed for five scores and more than 500 yards and is averaging more than 11 yards per carry through the first four games while adding another score through the air.
Defensively, 11 Yellow Jackets have already recorded double digit tackles in four games, lead by Joey Mathis (24 tackles, 4 for loss) and Witt Chivers (21-1.5). Dillion Jewel and Connor Lindsey are the seniors in the group who own 28 tackles for a loss.
Fairview returns home after three straight weeks on the road and Hughes can’t wait.
“It feels great not to have to ride on the yellow bus,” he chuckled. “Our crowd and hometown energy will be sorely needed.”
A few miles east off Interstate 840, Franklin (1-3, 0-1) rolls into Independence (3-1, 1-0) in a battle that will begin to sort out the Region 6-6A race.
After a hard-fought loss to neighborhood rival Summit to open the season, the homestanding Eagles have started to earn back a bit of the swagger they have enjoyed the last half-decade, including a decisive blow-out of Blackman last week. Ethan Cash and Chayce Bishop hooked up for five touchdowns in that game and a young defense has begun to mature.
The Rebels have struggled a bit on offense, with senior Guy Lipscomb being the focal point. The quarterback has accounted for almost 70 percent of the offense (358 passing, 260 rushing). Franklin’s youthful defense continues to improve with game experience.
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Undefeated Summit (4-0, 1-0) steps out of Region 5-5A to travel to Class 6A Overton (0-4, 0-1). The Spartans, who are off to their best start, have been on an absolute roll behind Destin and Keaten Wade and George Odimegwu. After being the leading rusher for two seasons, Odimegwu has become the leading receiver on the team with 18 catches for 285 yards and three TDs.
After a week off, Nolensville (3-0, 1-0) jumps back into Region 4-4A play, hosting Lawrence County (3-1, 0-1) in a key region contest. The Knights are looking to extend to three their streak of making the playoffs. Nolensville has made the playoffs every year they have been eligible and hold a 2-0 record against the Wildcats.
Friday's tilt kicks off a five-game homestand.