Six area teams remain in the Division I playoffs, so this week’s Saturday Six is a thought on each of them:
Trousdale County: I was wrong. I wasn’t sure this team had what it took to get to the semifinals after watching them against Watertown in the first game. But they made it, and they did it by doing what they do best – pounding the ground game and playing excellent defense. Will they have to go to the air against Meigs County? Who knows, but as long as they don’t make special teams mistakes, the Yellow Jackets have a good chance to get to Cookeville. If Jayden Hicks can’t go, however, Cameron Rankins may see all the snaps at quarterback.
Pearl-Cohn: Okay, so the shutout streak is over. Not a big deal. The Firebirds will have to make sure and take care of the details when they visit Milan — a team they’ve not faced in the postseason before. The way both teams can score, this one could be quite the track meet.
Nolensville: The Knights were opportunistic, taking advantage of Tullahoma’s mistakes in avenging a 15-point loss earlier this season. Now, they get to host a semifinal game for the first time. Samson Johnson just keeps coming up with big plays, including a 99-yard kickoff return on Friday. He’ll need a few more as Elizabethton makes the long trek for the semifinal game. Nolensville wants revenge, but it will be a hard road to vengeance against the defending champs.
Summit: The game at Beech could easily have passed off for a championship game. Both teams had an outstanding back-and-forth affair, but the team with the best player on the field pulled it out in the end and Destin Wade just further proved why he’s a Mr. Football finalist. Henry County will be a tough task, especially on the road, but going on the road in the playoffs these past couple of season seems to be Summit’s thing.
Oakland: We’re way beyond a sequel or even a trilogy in the Oakland-Maryville rivalry. We’re up to Police Academy levels now, with this being the sixth semifinal clash between the two. Home team has won the last five in the playoffs, so that edge goes to Oakland, but Maryville won’t be bothered by that.
Brentwood: It’s been a trying week for Bruins head coach Ron Crawford, who lost his mother Pat this week. Brentwood has played inspired football all postseason and it figures to be no different this week on the road at Bartlett. Could they be a team of destiny?
But wait! There’s more!
A bonus one for the three Division II teams that sealed up spots in Cookeville:
Lipscomb Academy and CPA: We get to start the BlueCross Bowl weekend off with this doozy of a rematch. It’s an 11 a.m. kickoff on Dec. 3, so plan your lunch accordingly.
Davidson Academy: After the Lipscomb-CPA game ends, DA tries for a three-peat before leaving to join the Mustangs and Lions in their region next year. Griffin Swinea put together one of the most impressive games of the championship tilts last year. Can he do it again?