By TOMMY BRYAN
LEBANON -- It was just another typical backyard brawl Friday at Nokes-Lasater Field as Wilson Central held off courageous Lebanon 21-14.
The Wildcats improved to 5-2 on the season and more importantly, 2-2 in Region 4, 5A headed into next week’s home game with Riverdale.
"It was a very physical game, a slugfest," said Wilson Central coach Traye Aric, "it doesn’t get any easier for us either."
With the offensive line decimated by injury, the Blue Devils hung close, trying for a puncher’s chance to score the big knockout.
"We battled," said LHS coach Bobby Brown, "Wilson Central did a great job, we’re just going to keep on working. This was another tough one. It’s certainly not from a lack of effort, we just keep coming up a little bit short."
Lebanon falls to 2-5 on the season and 1-3 in the region with the loss.
RED BOILING SPRINGS -- Friendship Christian remained perfect on the season taking care of Red Boiling Springs 49-0 Friday. The 7-0 Commanders went to work early scoring on their first six possessions en route to a 40-0 halftime advantage.
"Our goal tonight was to get a win and not get anyone else hurt," explained FCS head coach John McNeal.
McNeal’s Commanders accomplished both goals picking up seven first downs and totaling 379 yards of total offense.
Much of the first team offense and defense saw playing time limited in the first half as junior running back and leading rusher John Markham picked up 55 yards on one attempt for the opening touchdown before calling it a night.
Peyton Alsup continued to turn in impressive numbers on special teams returning the Bulldogs first punt 76 yards for the Commanders’ second score.
Junior QB Lee Maasen had five yards and a touchdown on his only carry while completing four passes for 121 yards and a touchdown.
Junior wide receiver Parker Teeter hauled in three passes for 88 yards -- his longest of 41 set up Maasen’s first quarter TD.
Backup quarterback Kyle Neal scored twice for the Commanders on runs of 19 and 40 yards while sophomore receiver Chris Hall caught a 21 yard pass for a touchdown.
On a historic note, senior Camille Cross booted a 20 yard field goal in the third quarter, marking the first ever female football player to make good on a field goal for the school.
Cross booted an extra point attempt last week while missing another and just missing a field goal wide left from about the same distance in the Monterey win.
Freshman back Dekolas Reeves had 77 yards on 15 carries and a touchdown while eighth graders Destin Manous and Jacob Hodges picked up 29 and seven yards each.
The Commander defense kept up their stingy ways giving up only 64 yards of offense against the winless Bulldogs.
Friendship is 4-0 in Region 4,1A tied with undefeated rival Trousdale County.
The Commanders stay in the region and travel to Smith County Oct. 17 to face the Tigers -- who are 3-4 on the year.
Gordonsville defeated Monterey 23-22 Friday.
By MARLON SCOTT, Correspondent
CLARKSVILLE -- Overcoming five turnovers and surviving four overtime periods, Mt. Juliet mustered just enough to defeat Kenwood 42-35 Friday night — remaining undefeated in 6, 4A competition at 4-0.
"It was a battle," Bears coach Roger Perry said. "We played in spurts. I think we played well at times. We continually made mistakes and Kenwood capitalized on those. We were just blessed to come out with a victory here at the end."
Three first half turnovers put Mt. Juliet behind 7-0 at halftime.
Their opening drive ended abruptly when Reed Gurchiek’s first pass of the game was intercepted by Kenwood’s David Hale.
The Bear defense kept the Knights from the end zone in the first quarter, but a fumble by Brady Earnhardt recovered by the Knights set up the first touchdown of the game.
Kenwood running back Marquette Gray dashed 26 yards for a touchdown with eight minutes left before halftime.
Earnhardt made up some ground when he plowed through several Knights for a 25 yard gain at the 3:30 mark. But another interception, this time by Kenwood’s Antono Spates, ended the Bears opportunity to score before halftime.
Gurchiek turned his game around in the second half.
At the 3:50 mark in the third quarter, he completed a 44 yard pass to Vaughn Cornelia that put the Bears in Knights territory.
In the same drive, Gurchiek sprinted eight yards to convert a fourth down. Gurchiek continued to scramble and set up a first and ten on the Knights ten yard line. Danny Valensic completed the drive with a ten-yard dash to the end zone.
The momentum continued in the Bears favor when Kenwood’s Rick Johnson fumbled the ball with 9:21 left in the game.
The Bears recovered and it only took two plays to take advantage of the opportunity. Brady Earnhardt went through the middle of the defense and emerged untouched to run 40 yards for a touchdown.
It looked like the game was over when Kenwood failed to convert a fourth down with 2:30 left in the game.
However, as the Bears tried to run out the clock by running the ball, Mt. Juliet fumbled and the Knights recovered at midfield.
Two plays later, Triston Mcafee launched a 50 yard bomb to Jeremiah Rutledge in the end zone.
Tied 14-14, the Knights caught another break when the Bears committed their fifth turnover of the game.
They recovered a fumble by Cornelia and took over at the Bears 38 yard line. But the Knights couldn’t score and the game progressed to overtime.
In overtime, the Knights relied on Gray and he didn’t let them down. For three straight overtime possessions, Gray found the end zone and the extra points were good.
Gurchiek kept the game extended for the Bears. He completed two passes to Vaughn for overtime scores, and dove for the end zone twice himself. The last score proved to be enough.
Too far from the end zone for a run, the Knights were forced to try and pass for another tie and failed.
Mt. Juliet improved to 4-3 on the season, heading into an Oct. 17 game in Shackle Island against Region 6, 4A rival Beech High School.
Kenwood fell to 1-6 overall / 1-3 in the region.
By ZACK OWENSBY
WATERTOWN -- There wasn’t much stopping Watertown Friday night as the Tigers rolled big against Region 4, 1A rival Mt. Juliet Christian 49-6 at Robinson Stadium.
Not only is this the last time for seniors on both sides to face off against each other, it may likely be the last time the schools play each other at all, at least for the foreseeable future.
MJCA’s loss comes on the heels of the school’s announcement that they will be moving to Division II effective next school year, citing a desire to be able to provide financial aid to students involved in athletics.
MJCA is joining the ranks of Donelson Christian Academy, Franklin Road Academy, Ezell Harding, Davidson Academy and Rutherford County’s Lancaster Christian for all sports.
Watertown Coach Gavin Webster said his team’s performance is the product of a team that is starting to click after healing its wounds from a shaky early season start.
For the second week in a row, junior QB Dalton Phillips took control, throwing for four touchdown passes and running in a fifth.
"It started last week," Webster said after the game, "that Dalton finally started playing the way we knew he could play. He’s finally playing with confidence. He’s calm in the pocket, and he’s keeping his poise. After he started the season kind of slow, he came out last week and played extremely well, and he did it again tonight."
Phillips first put the Purple Tigers on the board at the 9:49 mark of the first quarter when he found senior Ethan Patterson who broke a tackle and dashed 46 yards to house for an early 7-0 lead.
Mt. Juliet Christian muffed the ensuing kickoff and Watertown’s Cody Christian recovered on the MJCA 15. The Saints held Watertown to a field goal attempt that was blocked, about the only bright spot for the night for Mt. Juliet Christian.
"We came out flat, not ready to play tonight," MJCA coach Paul Townshend said, "and we picked a terrible time to come out like that, against a team like that."
Townshend also labeled his team’s effort as being "a step slow" and "unfocused," adding he was disappointed with the effort, to say the least.
"It was like a bad cold, and we all had it. Every problem goes back to that. We were not ready to play tonight."
Phillips found Patterson again before the first quarter ended, this time for 26 yards to up the lead to 14-0. He found senior Blaze Eaton from 3 yards out
A de-cleating block by Patterson freed Eaton to dive just short of the goal line, setting up Phillips’ 1-yard touchdown run to push the lead to 28-0.
Eaton hauled in another pass from Phillips, this one for 46 yards, engaging the contact with two Saints’ defenders and then running them over, to send Watertown into the half with a cushy 35-0 lead.
Phillips ended his night with a 6-yard pass to Adam Martin for his fourth passing TD of the night. He finished 13/18 for 128 yards and the four TDs, also rushing five times for 26 yards and a score.
Although he didn’t score, junior back Dylan Holycross ate the Saints’ defense up for 127 yards on 10 carries.
The Purple Tigers racked up 319 yards on the ground versus MJCA’s 8. Watertown’s Dustin Murphy and Zach Dodd combined for more than 90 yards on the ground. Eaton added 68 yards on his own four carries.
"Now we have to prepare for a big stretch for us," Webster said. "We have some big region games ahead of us that we need to win," to get back in the playoff picture.
Watertown (3-4, 2-2) goes to Red Boiling Springs, Gordonsville, then hosts Monterey, while MJCA (2-5, 1-3) will travel to region leader Trousdale County before hosting Clay County and Friendship Christian.