Page-Fairview, Franklin-Indy, Centennial-Dickson County: Pick your poison
By Joe Williams, Sports Editor
As Week Nine of the high school football season rolls around every game is important, just ask any coach or player.
Tomorrow night is no different. It’s just a little tougher to pick your poison.
Fairview (7-1, 6-1 District 11-AA) is almost certainly headed for the TSSAA play-offs, but that won’t matter when the Yellow Jackets visit cross-county rival Page (4-4, 1-3 District 12-AA).
For the first time in years, the game will not count towards district records, as the pair separated during last year’s reclassification/redistricting, but the rivalry will fuel a contest with a play-off atmosphere.
Young Hunter Zimmerman (62-108-13, 1,162 yards, 8 int) has progressed well as Fairview’s quarterback, thanks to a bevy of receivers.
The keystone of both the offense and defense has been senior Garrett Wall. Wall has rushed for 16 touchdowns and 759 yards, a 7.5-yard per carry clip and notched 80 tackles, three interceptions and four sacks.
Wall gets help defensively from Mike Jordan (22 tackles, 4 INT’s) and Dreshad Moore (45 tackles, 4 INT’s, 1 fumble recovery) and offensively from Nic Harvey, who has turned nine of his 26 receptions into touchdowns while gaining 665 yards. Moore has been dominating on kick-off and punt returns.
Page counters with senior QB Zak Mizell, the second leading passer in the mid-state. The four-year starter is throwing over 35 times per game on average, completing 159 for 1,762 yards and 13 touchdowns.
Michael Roberts’ running (101 carries, 463 yds) helps to set up the passing game, where six different receivers have caught ten or more passes.
Both teams are coming off emotional wins last week, where Page upset Cascade and Fairview blistered Hickman County.
Coming off an emotional loss, Franklin (7-1, 3-1 District 11-AAA) has to travel to a resurgent Independence (5-3, 3-1 District 11-AAA) team, which overcame a surprising strong Dickson County team last week.
Franklin will need strong games from Joe Critchlow (94-154-18, 1,450 yards, 4 INT’s) to grab what will surely be a guaranteed spot in the play-offs the winner of this contest will earn. He’ll get help from a healthy Colton Black, the district’s fourth leading rusher (119 carries, 667 yards, 9 TD’s). Josh Filbey, Tyler Beasley and Austin Winstead will be depended on defensively.
Independence will be a struggle for Franklin’s passing game. However, with SEC commits RaSahaan Gaulden, Vic Wharton and Finis Stribling roaming the secondary. Gaulden has three INT’s, but his 107 tackles lead the district.
Wharton has been a return demon with his two kick-off returns for touchdowns last week, the deciding factor in the game.
Wharton’s 285 yards on the ground leads the team in rushing as the Eagles have been an airborne team most of the year.
The health of starter Caleb Hollis is still completely unclear, but back-up Andrew Bunch has stepped in and stepped up, leading Independence to key district wins over Centennial and Dickson County.
The Cougars of Centennial (4-4, 2-2 District 11-AAA) will be fighting for a play-off spot when they host the suddenly dangerous Cougars of Dickson County (1-8, 1-4 District 11-AAA).
The mid-state’s leading rusher Deon Sanders (1,332 yards on 214 carries, 14 TD’s), will need to get back on track, while the defense will have to find an answer for Dickson’s Otis Gerron (1,072 yards on 134 carries) who riddled Indy for 357 yards last week.
Posted on: 10/24/2013