Week 8

Football Preview: Summit’s trip to Shelbyville looms large; Page, Nolensville face big games

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Summit travels to Shelbyville Central Friday night in a key Region 5-5A contest that could have implications all the way into December.

The Spartans, who are 7-1 overall and 2-1 in region play, and the Golden Eagles (6-1, 2-1) were in the same position last year, when the Bedford County team rolled into Spring Hill and handed Summit their worst loss of the season, 35-6, a loss that dropped Summit into third place in the region.

Spartans coach Brian Coleman expects this contest to be equally difficult.

“They were very physical last year and will be Friday night," he said. "They are a very good football team and we know it will be a tough contest fighting for a home playoff spot.”

Summit enters still banged up, as senior George Odimegwu continues to nurse a sore shoulder and sophomore quarterback Destin Wade works on a tender ankle. But one big difference this year for the Spartans is they have some depth.

“Brady Pierce did a great job at quarterback against Franklin County," Coleman said. "Tre Hunter, Ashton Lebel and Jakalean Cotton really stepped up.”

Pierce stepped in and completed all three of his passes for 76 yards, while Hunter rushed for two touchdowns and 129 yards on just 12 carries. Lebel and Cotton also tallied rushing TDs. 

Each team’s single loss came at the hands of region leader Page, who defeated Shelbyville 34-29 in a wild finish in early September before stopping Summit 24-14 two weeks ago.

The Patriots (6-1, 2-0 Region 5-5A), ranked 10th in the state in Class 5A, travel to Columbia (5-2, 2-1) in what could be a trap game. The Patriots are expected to cruise into the playoffs but can’t afford to overlook the Lions, whose only losses have been to Summit and undefeated Nolensville. Page will be led by quarterback Cade Walker, this week’s Gateway Tire Male Athlete of the Week.

Nolensville (7-0, 3-0 Region 4-4A) puts its undefeated record and fifth-place ranking in the state on the line against Maplewood (3-5, 2-1). The Knights have been on a roll, averaging nearly 38 points per game and the defense led by senior Tim Coutras has given up more than one score only once the entire season.

After a week off, Independence (5-2, 2-1 Region 6-6A) travels to Dickson County (1-6, 0-3). The Eagles could unleash some pent-up frustration after losing at Brentwood two weeks ago, 24-7. Dickson County’s six losses have come by an average of almost 35 points per game.

Ravenwood (6-1) welcomes back head coach Matt Daniels after a two-week hiatus with a home game against Rutherford County’s Smyrna Bulldogs (4-3). The Raptors continue to post gaudy offensive numbers, averaging over 39 points per game behind the throwing of Brian Garcia to Tony Rice.

Despite that loss, the Lions will be looking to lock up a home game in the playoffs when Christ Presbyterian Academy (2-6, 2-0 DII-AA Middle Region) travels to Goodpasture (3-4, 0-3). CPA has fought through a brutal schedule, but it may be paying off as their wins have come against region foes Lipscomb Academy and Battle Ground Academy, ranked third and fifth, respectively, in the state.

The Wildcats will host Lincoln County Thursday. 

Grace Christian Academy (0-7, 0-4 DII-A East Region) will host Middle Tennessee Christian (1-6, 1-3), in what should be a good chance to erase the goose egg from the win column. The Lions and coach Rusty Smith are navigating their first season in Division II.

Father Ryan (1-6, 0-3 DII-AAA East Region) takes the long trip to region leader Chattanooga McCallie (7-0, 3-0).

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