Today is Saturday, August 19, 2017

Friendship and Mt. Juliet face semifinals foes tonight

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Mt. Juliet (12-1) at Whitehaven (13-0)Mt. Juliets Golden Bears are coming off a 31-20 road victory over Brentwood High in last weeks quarterfinal game -- the eighth in a row for Coach Roger Perrys team.


Whitehaven destroyed Germantown 52-7 last week and stands 13-0 overall.


They return most everybody from last year, Coach Perry said, they are an outstanding football team no doubt. We just feel blessed to be able to play again in the semifinals. We graduated 27 players off last years team and this group of seniors have really come in here and led us. Weve played some outstanding football and I couldnt be any prouder of a group.


Whitehaven is playing in the Class 6A semifinals for the third consecutive season -- having smoked Mt. Juliet 44-10 in Mt. Juliet last year.


Last week, the Tigers opened the game with three touchdowns on just 10 offensive plays, speeding past a solid Germantown High squad (9-4).


Ole Miss commitment Mark Dodson has rushed for over 2,300 yards from the tailback position for the Tigers while the defense is led by linebacker Adam Collins.


The winner of the Mt. Juliet - Whitehaven game will play either Siegel or Maryville in the Class 6A state championship game next week in Cookeville.


The game at a glance --Head Coaches- Mt. Juliet-Roger Perry, Whitehaven-Rodney SaulsberryOffense-Mt. Juliet- Hybrid Wing T, Whitehaven-MultipleDefense- Mt. Juliet- 3-4 Whitehaven- 50Winning Streaks-Mt. Juliet- 8, Whitehaven- 13Last Semifinal Appearance- Mt. Juliet- 2011, Whitehaven- 2011Semifinal Records- Mt. Juliet- 0-2, Whitehaven- 1-1Players To Watch- Mt. Juliet- Contrez McCathern (RB/LB, Sr., 1,586 rushing yards, 20 TDs), Caleb Hopkins (RB, Sr., 1,142 rushing yards, 16 TDs), Cody Carr (SS, Sr., 129 tackles), Jalen Graham (RB, Sr.), Josh Belhu (LB, Sr., 91 tackles), Tre Nealous (DB, Sr.), Ryan Jenkins (K, Sr., 13 of 14 FGs), Nolan Chowbay (QB, Soph.); Whitehaven- Mark Dodson (RB, Sr., 2,673 rushing yards, 28 TDs), Gerald Perry (WR/DB, Sr.), Adam Collins (LB, Sr.),Vincent Hunter (OL, Sr.), Darrius Sims (DB/ATH, Sr., 4 INTs, 2 for TD), Justin Hunt (WR/DB, Sr., 3 INTs), Patrick Smith (QB, Sr.), Andra Smith (DE, Sr.), Racquan Robinson (LB, Sr.), David Rivers (DB, Sr.), Gerald Bates (DL, Sr.), Roderick Owens (RB/DB, Sr., 5 INTs, one for TD ), Cordarro Chatman (OL/DL, Sr.)


Boyd Buchanan (12-1) at Friendship (11-1)Boyd Buchanan School has been waiting for this moment all year. The Bucs are sill steaming about a call in last seasons overtime loss to Friendship Christian -- a game that helped springboard the Commanders on to the Class 2A state title.


Winners of four straight games since an Oct. 19 home loss to Nashville Maplewood, the Bucs come into Lebanon tonight 12-1 overall. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. at Pirtle Field.


Boyd Buchanan is led by tough senior two-way player Austin Bailey -- a 5-10, 220 pound center / defensive end. Senior fullback Rance Harden and junior quarterback Jim Caldwell lead a Buc offense that has averaged 34 points per contest.


Boyd Christian has won two consecutive road playoff games -- last weeks 35-13 victory at top-ranked Knoxville Grace Christian and a 21-6 win at Oneida on Nov. 9.


Last week, after giving up a frustrating five fourth-down conversions in the first half, including two for touchdowns, which helped Grace Christian stay within a point at halftime, Boyd-Buchanan's defense shut the door on those extra chances in the second half, stopping the Lions four times in the deciding second half.


The FCS Commanders enter tonights contest winners of nine straight games -- including last weeks 49-12 home win over Marion County -- a game that saw junior QB A.J. Long throw five touchdown passes.


The game at a glance --Head Coaches- Boyd Buchanan-Grant Reynolds, Friendship Christian- John McNealOffense-Boyd Buchanan- Spread, Friendship Christian- SpreadDefense- Boyd Buchanan- Split 4, Friendship Christian- 3-5Winning Streaks- Boyd Buchanan- 4, Friendship Christian-9Last Semifinal Appearance- Boyd Buchanan- 2010, Friendship Christian-2011Semifinal Records- Boyd Buchanan- 4-2, Friendship Christian-2-0Players To Watch- Boyd Buchanan- Malik Brewer (OL, Sr., Class A Mr. Football Lineman Finalist), Jim Cardwell (QB, Jr., 1,177 rushing yards, 8 TDs, 919 passing yards, 10 TDs), Rance Harden (LB, Sr., 1,570 rushing yards, 20 TDs), Austin Bailey (C/DE, Sr.), Austin Hall (TE/LB, Sr.), John Hale (RB/FS, Sr.), Colton Robinson (OL/DL, Sr.), Grant Mathis (WR/DE, Sr.), Stephen Ingram (LB, Sr., 81 tackles); Friendship Christian- A.J. Long (QB, Jr., 2,240 passing yards, 33 TDs, 1 INT, 629 rushing yards, 10 TDs), Cale Mitchell (WR/SS, Sr., 13 catches, 440 yards, 5 TDs), Stefan Remus (WR/DB, Sr., 23 catches, 681 yards, 11 TDs), Tanner Martin (OL/DL, Sr., Class A Mr. Football Lineman Finalist), Hunter Watts (WR, Sr., 27 catches, 635 yards, 11 TDs), Steven Hollis (RB/DB, Soph., 864 rushing yards, 13 TDs), Greg Norton (OL, Sr.), Michael Hawks (RB, Jr.), Colton Gaines (OL/DL, Soph.).


DONOVAN STEWART / donovan.stewart@bellsouth.net


Follow Donovan on Twitter at dstew4vu.

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