Six games that had various levels of surprise from the second round:
Brentwood 20, Independence 13: The Eagles tested Brentwood in the rematch, but the Bruins showed why they remain a 6A contender despite having a target on their backs every week. Surprise level: 1
Oakland 24, Mt. Juliet 14: Somebody finally made the Patriots play from behind. Give the Golden Bears credit – as they were leading midway through the game, they made a lot of folks do a double-take to make sure the score was real. It was, though Oakland’s comeback was real, too. Surprise level: 5
Nolensville 33, Livingston Academy 7: Speaking of the Knights, they were dominant in taking care of Livingston Academy. In a game where we thought the quarterbacks would take center stage, only one stood after it was over and his name is Ryder Galardi. The surprise here isn’t that Nolensville won, it’s that Livingston was so thoroughly dominated in its only loss of the season. Surprise level: 6
Shelbyville 20, Beech 17: Region 5-5A proved more than a worthy foe for Region 6, as Shelbyville marched up to Hendersonville and hung in until the end, when they delivered the knockout blow to Beech’s championship hopes. A strong season ends for the Buccaneers in the second round. Surprise level: 6
Summit 28, Page 3: Another rematch gets set up now, as Summit will head to Shelbyville for its quarterfinal tilt. Keaten Wade was phenomenal in this one, with three touchdowns and 165 yards on 19 carries. But it was the Spartans’ defense that really carried the night, holding Page to 160 yards of total offense. The shock value isn’t in that Summit won, it’s how dominant the Spartans were in doing so. They’re rolling right now. Surprise level: 7
DeKalb Co. 28, Marshall Co. 24: Did not see this one coming. Thought we were primed for a Marshall County-Nolensville rematch in the quarterfinals, but the Tigers (the visiting variety) had other plans. Nolensville now gets the home game, and DeKalb County gets to try and continue being Cinderella in Class 4A. Surprise level: 10
Six games we’re watching for next week:
Trousdale Co. (10-1) at Watertown (10-2): This Region 4-2A rematch goes back to September, when Watertown won 16-13 in overtime at home against the Yellow Jackets. You can bet Trousdale County remembers, and they certainly hope it goes like last year’s quarterfinals did. The Yellow Jackets have a way of exacting revenge like few teams can in this state.
DeKalb Co. (8-4) at Nolensville (10-2): Fresh off their upset of Marshall County, the Tigers hope to finish the job of vanquishing Region 4-4A in the quarterfinals at Nolensville. It’s the Knights’ first-ever third-round appearance after a strong performance at Livingston Academy, a place that’s quickly becoming very memorable for Nolensville. The winner gets to practice on Thanksgiving for the first time.
Hardin Co. (11-1) at Springfield (9-3): On the west side of the 4A bracket, the Yellow Jackets get to paint their field again for a visit from Hardin County. These teams played two years ago in the first round, and Springfield won 20-10 at home, so at least there’s a little familiarity with the opponent.
Ravenwood (11-1) at Brentwood (10-2): A Region 6-6A rematch from late September, when the Bruins took the Battle of the Woods with a 25-14 victory. The Raptors also hope it goes like last year’s quarterfinal rematch did.
Davidson Academy (9-2) at Friendship Christian (9-2): A rematch of their Sept. 20 battle and last year’s championship game. The Bears want the same results, while the Commanders want none of those as they lost both.
Lipscomb Academy (7-5) at CPA (6-6): Trent Dilfer’s bunch has rebounded nicely in the postseason, while Ingle Martin’s Lions have rolled since their tough start to the season against a brutal schedule. CPA won round one 28-7 in October, and the Mustangs will look to snap a six-game losing streak in the series to get to Cookeville.