The Summit football team hosts Dyer County in the TSSAA Class 5A semifinals on Friday in the Spartans first home game in 50 days.
Summit’s last home game was a 56-21 win over Region 5-5A foe Franklin County on Oct. 10. They opened the playoffs on Nov. 8 at Gallatin winning 28-7. The Spartans avenged a loss at Page with a 28-3 victory in the second round. Last week, Summit traveled back to region foe Shelbyville Central and avenged another regular season loss with a 20-12 victory to reach the semifinals.
“We haven’t played on our field in forever, so to look up in our stands and see our fans all at home, that’s going to be special; special for our kids, special for our fans and community,” Summit coach Brian Coleman said. “Hopefully it makes the guys play harder, but to possibly win here at home and go to the state championship, man, that’s special.”
Both Summit (12-1) and Dyer County (11-2) made history by reaching the state semifinals with come-from-behind wins against region foes last week.
Summit trailed 12-0 early at Region 5-5A Shelbyville Central in the quarterfinals before scoring the final 20 points and holding off the Golden Eagles to advance to the school’s first final four. Dyer County trailed 24-7 early in the third quarter at Region 7-5A rival Henry County, but scored the final 24 points to rally and stun the Patriots in the quarterfinals last week to reach the state semifinals for the first time since 1976.
The Spartans held Shelbyville Central to just 171 yards of offense. The Golden Eagles scored a 42-25 win in the regular season meeting, which began this five-game road swing. Shelbyville Central quarterback Kade Cunningham closed 9-of-20 passing for just 53 yards, and his final pass was intercepted by Caleb Jolley to seal the win.
“We’ve had one bad quarter in the playoffs,” Coleman said. “At Shelbyville we went down 12-0 in the first and they had the ball. For our guys to turn that around, and mentally be able to handle that, it’s huge. Something has clicked with this team and it’s exciting to be a part of.”
SHELBYVILLE – Despite a rugged start at Shelbyville Central, the Summit football team advanc…
Summit stole the momentum with a Destin Wade 3-yard touchdown run in the final seconds of the first half in Shelbyville.
“Making the decision to go for a touchdown was big,” said Spartans coach Brian Coleman, whose team took a 13-12 lead at the break after the PAT with no time on the clock. “We had a chance to tie the game or go ahead with the momentum, and it worked out.”
Wade connected with senior George Odimegwu for a 15-yard strike midway through the third to provide the final score as the Summit defense held strong. Wade closed with 11-of-16 passing for 101 yards and also gained 88 yards on 25 carries.
“I can’t say enough about him and the job he’s done in the playoffs,” Coleman said of his defense and coordinator Alex Melton. The Spartans have outscored their last four opponents 110-29.
Wade has scored 24 touchdowns this season to lead the Spartans offense, despite missing some time with an ankle injury. The sophomore quarterback has thrown for 1,186 yards with 15 TDs and five interceptions. He’s also rushed for 602 yards and nine scores. Twin brother Keaten leads the ground game with 914 yards rushing and 13 touchdowns.
Summit will try to slow Dyer County running back LaQuinton Wells Friday. Wells, a 5-foot-10, 185-pound senior, scored four consecutive touchdowns in the win at Henry County and closed with more than 150 yards rushing. Senior quarterback Dain Patterson added 100 yards on the ground and completed 5-of-8 passes for 99 yards and a TD.
Summit dominated the line of scrimmage on both sides of the football and enacted some reveng…
Coleman said Patterson plays similarly to Page quarterback Cade Walker.
“He’s a scrambler and not that big of a kid, but he is big play capable,” Coleman said. “They can score fast and in a hurry and proved that last week. I think our defense is key again. They will have to play like they have been.
“I know our guys are looking forward to it. It’s going to be a fun one.”
Knoxville Central (11-2) hosts Knoxville West (12-1) in the other semifinal.