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Crunch time: Fairview travels to CPA

Fairview sophomore quarterback Hunter Zimmerman (8) will lead the Yellow Jackets against CPA tomorrow night.  Zimmerman has thrown for 1,900 yards on the year, distributing the ball to 11 different receivers. Becky Williams

Fairview (11-1) hits the road for the first time in the playoffs tomorrow night, facing state favorite and undefeated Christ Presbyterian Academy (12-0) in the Class 3A quarter-finals.
At a time in the season when teams sometimes up the rhetoric and trash talk, these two communities appear to be preparing for a hard fought high school football contest with a different attitude.
“They are a good, sound football team,” said Yellow Jackets coach Chris Hughes.  “They are led by good people and it’ll be a hard hitting game. And when it’s over we’ll all be friends.”
The game is one of two in the state that is expected to have major implications on the last two teams standing at Cookeville next month. Christian Academy of Knoxville travels to Alcoa in the key upper bracket quarter-final.
The Lions have been rolling through opponents all season, including an impressive win over Milan early in the season. Milan knocked CPA out of the playoff last year.
CPA can score in almost any situation. Quarterback Zack Weatherly has thrown for nearly 1,600 yards and 19 touchdowns. On the ground, Chance Meier (784 yards, 6 TD’s) and Jay Hockaday (638 yards, 15 TD’s) keep defenses honest to open up the air game for Weatherly.
“They are tough to defend; just pick your poison. If you load up the box to stop the run, Weatherly can throw the ball. If you cover the pass, they’ve got a really big strong line that can open holes for a couple of really good backs,” said Hughes.
As strong as Hughes makes CPA sound, he’s not ready to concede by any stretch. He knows how well Fairview matches up in the skill positions.  
Sophomore quarterback Hunter Zimmerman has thrown for 1,900 yards, pitching 23 touchdowns against just five interceptions. Nic Harvey has caught 12 of those TD’s, notching nearly 1,100 yards through the air. On the ground, Dreshad Moore (852 yards, 13 TD’s), Garrett Wall (790 yards, 16 TD’s) along with Harvey and Hunter Myatt are more than capable of carrying the mail.
As even as the skill spots may be, the Yellow Jacket line will continue to be fighting an uphill battle, at least on paper. 
“They’ll have a huge advantage in size on the line,” Hughes said, “but we’ve faced that every game this year. Our kids know what they have to do.”
Weather could be the great equalizer, as early forecasts for tomorrow night call for rain.
“Turnovers will be the key to this game. With the rain, it could slow down their running game. As for our passing game, Hunter (Zimmerman) seems to like throwing in the rain so who knows. Bad weather might play in our favor.”
A win by Fairview could set up a rematch with expected Quad 4 winner Lewis County, the only team to beat the Jackets this season, but Hughes isn’t ready to look that far ahead.
“I felt like we had our best practice of the year Tuesday. We’re getting ready for CPA.  Right now, that’s the only game on our schedule.”

Posted on: 11/21/2013


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