FCS & MJHS eliminated
FRANKLIN -- Surprising Wilson Central took a commanding lead, then held off a furious Franklin rally to down the Rebels 21-20 in the second round of the Class 6A playoffs Friday in Williamson County.
Now 6-6 on the season, the Wildcats will advance to the third round Friday, Nov. 20 at Memphis Whitehaven a 39-21 winner over Mt. Juliet.
Coach Brad Dedman's team led 14-0 at intermission, then tacked on a third quarter TD to take a 21-0 lead, only to see Franklin come roaring back.
The Rebels scored with :29 seconds left in regulation to cut the margin to one point, then opted to go for the win with a two-point play.
The Wilson Central defense deflected a pass intended for the Franklin tighten to preserve the win.
Prior to last week's 28-9 first round victory at Cordova, the Wildcats had gone winless in the playoffs since defeating Lincoln County 33-6 in the 2008 Class 5A playoffs.
Harding Academy 34, Friendship 33
LEBANON -- Friendship dug out of an early hole to take a 33-28 lead over Harding Academy, only to lose 34-33 Friday night in the second round of the DII-A playoffs at Pirtle Field.
A couple of early fumbles allowed the Lions to mount a 14-0 lead with 5:03 left in the first quarter, then FCS scored 19 unanswered points in the second quarter as QB Mikey Jones connected on touchdown passes to Speedy Fouth (16 yards), Marshall Taylor (24 yards) and Ben Jamison (30 yards).
Harding Academy got untracked and drove the ball 58 yards in eight plays to take a 21-19 lead into intermission.
FCS took a 26-21 lead with 3:36 left in the third quarter on a 28 yard run by Jones, only to see Harding Academy's Calvin Austin field a bounding kickoff at his own 26, then weave his way down the sideline for a 74 yard touchdown.
Friendship again took the lead after a Jackson Cherry interception and return put the ball at the Lion 18.
On first down, Jones found Taylor in the endzone for an 18-yard scoring play with :18 left in the third.
Midway through the fourth quarter and nursing a 33-28 lead, Carter Heinz recovered a Jones fumble at the Commander 40.
The Lions drove the ball 40 yards in seven plays with quarterback Zac Montgomery scrambling in from 16 yards out on a fourth and 10 with 1:43 left -- giving Harding Academy a 3433 lead.
"I thought we had him (Montgomery) sacked right there," said FCS coach John McNeal. "I thought he was going down, but somehow he got out.
"We gave up the 14 points early and it could have become a runaway, but our kids didn't quit. We answered the bell every time."
Harding Academy improved to 10-2 with the win and moved on to face St. George's in the third round.
Friendship closes the season 8-4 overall.
Whitehaven 39, Mt. Juliet 21
MEMPHIS -- Fourth-seeded Mt. Juliet saw the 2015 football season come to a close Friday with a 39-21 loss at Region 4, 6A champion Whitehaven in the second round of the TSSAA playoffs.
Coming off a rousing 28-24 home win over Collierville Nov. 6, the Bears ended 6-6 overall.