The Saturday Six: Week 1

Back for another year of taking a look at some of the notable items from each Friday’s action. Let’s not waste any time.

We made it to Week 1: No doubt about it, there were some days this summer when it felt like this week would not happen. But a lot of things happened to at least make high school football possible this season. It just feels good to see the game being played again. Here’s to more of that.

Had some big starts: La Vergne senior Ray Banner kicked things off on Thursday, rolling for 273 yards and five touchdowns in the Wolverines’ win at Rockvale. With his brother Keaten out for 6-8 weeks due to a broken foot, Summit junior quarterback Destin Wade put the Spartans on his back, accounting for 506 total yards and six scores in their come-from-behind win at Independence. Pope John Paul II senior Antwan Roberts carried the mail to the tune of 200 yards and five rushing touchdowns as the Knights rolled at Smyrna.

Mother Nature lost: Although the rain pulled a Crazy Ivan on us in some places, and lightning caused delays in others, every game locally at least started on Friday. Zion Christian and Franklin Grace started, but a second-quarter power outage forced that game to be halted until 4 p.m. Saturday.

But Mother Nature won, too: Although games did get played, the sometimes heavy rains did have a major effect on those games, especially early on in those contests. There were a lot of wet footballs getting mishandled and some sloppy grass surfaces in the rain. Not hard to see why some teams are gravitating toward turf fields.

Rust is showing: It’s probably only worth pointing out once, but the lack of scrimmages and 7-on-7 work was clearly evident on Friday. These teams are still getting into true regular season form and some of these contests may really feel like scrimmages for the next couple of weeks. Run-heavy teams are probably at a bit of an advantage right now, but by the time we reach Week 4, teams might be where they’d be in Week 1 of a normal season.

Some long, quiet trips home: Several games were put together quickly after some teams lost their original Week 1 matchups due to various school districts not allowing their teams to play. Beech traveled 180 miles to Powell and fell 26-24 in a battle of two strong 5A teams from last season. Cannon County found a Week 1 game on just a day’s notice, but after a 114-mile trip to Walker Valley, the Lions came home on the wrong end of a 39-0 shutout.

Columbia Academy fell 27-14 at Clay County, a 151-mile trek after the game was arranged earlier this week. Nashville Christian was originally scheduled to host USJ in Week 1. It was flipped to Jackson and the Eagles made the 124-mile drive back to Music City after a 30-7 loss that was doubly damaging, as it was their region opener.

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