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Division I Playoffs

Football Preview: Page, Fairview host second round contests; Ravenwood, Nolensville on the road

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Playoff Football – Hillwood at Page

Both Page and Fairview will host second round playoff contests on Friday, while Ravenwood travels to Cane Ridge and Nolensville will battle at Maplewood, again, in Division I postseason matchups.

Brentwood hosts Independence in a Class 6A second round contest as well. 

Beech (8-3) at Page (10-1), Class 5A Second Round Playoff

Cade Walker guided the Patriot offense and the Page defense came away with five interceptions in a 45-14 win over visiting Hillwood in the first round of the playoffs last week.

Walker completed 15-of-24 passes for 255 yards and four touchdowns to lead the Patriot offense as Page won its seventh straight. Walker’s 76-yard strike to Mr. Football semifinalist Michael Burdick to end the first quarter ignited the offense. Walker threw two touchdowns to Whitten Luker in the second quarter as the home team opened a 24-0 lead by halftime. Walker has 1,809 yards passing with 23 TDs this season.

Burdick closed with seven grabs for 130 yards and two touchdowns with two interceptions against Hillwood.

Beech is coming off a 45-42 triple overtime win over Page’s Region 5-5A rival Summit in the first round. The Spartans trailed 28-14 to start the fourth quarter, but rallied to force OT and then traded blows before a fumble recovered by the Buccaneers in the third overtime ended Summit’s season.

After facing a pass-heavy offense in Hillwood, the Patriots will battle a run-heavy offense in Beech. The Buccaneers have thrown the ball just 74 times this season, but did convert a third-down passing TD in the second overtime against Summit last week.

Junior Ja’Sean Parks leads Beech with 1,152 yards rushing and 12 TDs. He rushed for 132 yards against Summit. Sophomore Tysean Jefferson has 862 yards and 12 more TDs for the Buccaneers.

East Nashville (10-1) at Fairview (9-2), Class 3A Second Round Playoff

The Yellow Jackets will have to get past a one-loss East Nashville team to reach the quarterfinals for a second straight year.

The Eagles only loss this season came against Pearl Cohn, which ended Fairview’s season last year in Nashville and likely will await in the next round. East Nashville cruised past Sycamore 40-10 last week.

The Eagles are guided by junior quarterback Arondai Thompson, who has 1,710 passing yards with 14 TDs to go with six more scores on the ground. Senior Rondarius Gregory leads the ground game with 772 yards rushing and 14 total touchdowns. Defensively, the Eagles have collected 21 sacks and 18 interceptions while limiting opponents to just 12.3 points per game.

Mr. Football semifinalist Kam Harris-Lusk leads Fairview with 28 total touchdowns and 1,580 all-purpose yards. Sophomore running back Logan Nardozzi has rushed for 1,224 yards and eight scores, while senior QB Brock Harris has thrown for 1,766 yards with 20 TDs and just four interceptions. Logan and Konnor Parsons lead the Yellow Jackets in tackles.

Fairview dispatched Whites Creek 35-6 in the first round, holding the Cobras to negative yardage rushing.

Ravenwood (9-2) at Cane Ridge (11-0), Class 6A Second Round Playoff

Last year a kickoff returned for a touchdown late in the fourth quarter catapulted Cane Ridge in front as the Ravens held on for a 21-18 win over the Raptors in the quarterfinals.

Unbeaten Cane Ridge straggled against Region 6-6A’s fourth seed Franklin last week before scoring five unanswered touchdowns over nine minutes spanning the third and fourth quarters to derail the Rebels upset bid for a 41-6 victory. Despite the explosive close, the Ravens were held more than 130 yards below their average with more than a third of their 313 yards of offense coming in that late surge.

Senior Devon Starling recorded back-to-back interception returns to ignite Cane Ridge against Franklin. The Mr. Football semifinalist has rushed for 1,901 yards and has 26 total touchdowns this season.

The Raptors advanced to the second round by forfeit after Overton was banned from the postseason following a fight at Antioch in the regular season finale. Both schools are also unable to participate in the postseason next season as well.

Ravenwood will come out of the extra week of rest to take on a Cane Ridge team that has amassed a 44-6 record since 2015. Junior QB Brian Garcia leads the Raptors with more than 2,000 yards passing and a school record 23 passing TDs.

Nolensville (7-4) at Maplewood (10-1), Class 4A Second Round Playoff

The Knights will head to Maplewood for the second time in a month to battle the Region 4-4A champions. Region 4 actually swept the first round matchups against Region 3 in Class 4A, with Tullahoma and Marshall County facing off on the other side of the bracket.

Nolensville fell 20-13 at Maplewood on Oct. 11. Last season, the Knights season ended in the second round with a 26-21 loss to the Panthers in Nashville. In the regular season 2017 matchup at Nolensville, Maplewood posted a 26-20 win. All four matchups in the series have been decided by a touchdown or less.

The Knights cruised to a 42-7 at Macon County last week behind three straight rushing touchdowns from Colton Dooley to open the game. Sophomore QB Ryder Galardi has more than 1,800 yards passing with 18 touchdowns for the Knights, while Dooley has rushed for more than 1,000 yards with 19 touchdowns. Galardi passed for one score and ran in another at Macon County.

Mr. Football semifinalist Bobo Hodges leads the Panthers with 2,572 yards passing with 36 TDs and just four interceptions. The senior completed 12-of-22 passes for a 177 yards and one TD in the Panthers win Oct. 11 over Nolensville. The 177 yards was the second lowest yardage for Hodges this season. He scored all three TDs for Nolensville in the Panthers second round win over the Knights last season.

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