When the undefeated Summit Spartans (5-0, 1-0 Region 5-5A) host Clarksville Northwest (3-2, 1-1 Region 7-5A) Friday night, emotions should be high for a multitude of reasons, but the most important will be keeping that zero in the loss column.
It’s homecoming for the No. 5 Class 5A team in the state, which began its football tradition against Clarksville Northwest in 2011 with the first play for the new school on the new field being a 90-plus-yard kickoff return for a touchdown by Phillip Shearry. Add to those distractions the pressure of the undefeated record, the potential limitations of senior George Odimegwu and John Casey, and the looming collision next week with Page for regional supremacy and the Spartans have a full plate.
But head coach Brian Coleman is worried only about the Vikings.
“One game at a time. Clarksville Northwest is a quality football team. They’ve got their kids coached up, doing the right thing. We’ve got to concentrate on one game at a time.”
Unofficial word out of the Summit camp indicated that Odimegwu, with reports of daily improvement, might be available after suffering a shoulder stinger in the first quarter at Overton. Casey, who left the field in an ambulance at the end of the first half after landing awkwardly when his legs were cut out from under him while leaping for a pass, is reportedly following concussion protocol as a precaution. The senior is eager to play, but the decision will be made by the medical staff.
Nolensville (4-0, 2-0 Region 4-4A) also has homecoming distractions to deal with while trying to stay undefeated against an improving Columbia squad (4-1, 1-1 Region 5-5A). The Knights have a strong one-two punch in quarterback Ryan Galardi and athlete Tim Coutras. Galardi completed 13 of 15 passes for 244 yards last week, including four to Coutras for 119 yards and a touchdown. Nolensville has outscored its first four opponents 173-27. That is one of the reasons the Knights remain ranked fifth in the Associated Press high school poll.
Page (3-1, 1-0 Region 5-5A), ranked ninth in the Associated Press Class 5A poll, looks to shake off the cobwebs after a week off with a trip to Giles County (1-3, 0-2 Region 5/3A). The Patriots held Lipscomb Academy, a team that has scored 56 points or more in three of its five games, to just 24 points in a loss two weeks ago. With a probable regional title match with Summit set for next week, Page must not overlook the Bobcats this week.
Fairview’s Yellow Jackets (3-2, 2-0 Region 6-3A) take their third long road trip of the season when they travel to Greenbriar (1-4, 1-2 Region 5-4A) tonight. Getting the offense cranked up will be a key for Fairview. The Yellow Jackets are 3-0 when scoring 30 or more points. The Bobcats are riding high after their first victory of the year, a nail-biting 43-42 win at region rival White House Heritage last Friday night.