Today is Thursday, August 17, 2017

TSSAA PLAYOFFS -- Only FCS, MJHS in action

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MJ's Zach McConnell / Randy Self photo

Commanders host Northpoint Christian
Only two of Wilson County's six football teams have advanced to the TSSAA playoffs with action starting tonight.

Mt. Juliet (5-5) will be on the road this evening for a meeting with Oakland High in Murfreesboro (9-1). Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. at Ray Hughes Stadium

Senior quarterback Nolan Chowbay has thrown for 1,607 yards and has run for 504 -- accounting for 2111 total yards and 23.

Fullback Kyle Mahler, also a senior, has run for 636 yards and six touchdowns. He also had 11 receptions and two touchdowns.

Alex Landis is the team's leading receiver with 30 grabs and five touchdowns.

The Patriots are paced by tailback Josh Cunningham, a 5-7, 170-pound senior who has rushed for 1,014 yards on 164 carries -- an average of 6-2 yards per attempt.

Senior Tyler Black, 5-9, 170, is second on the rushing list with 613 yards on 89 attempts, an average of 6.9 per try.

Senior Jacory Smith has settled in as the Patriot quarterback, and has made himself quite at home.

The winner of the Oakland vs. Mt. Juliet game will advance to take on the winner of Cookeville vs. LaVergne Friday, Nov. 14.

Northpoint Christian at Friendship Christian
Closer to home, Friendship Christian will be making a 15th consecutive playoff trip under Coach John McNeal as the 9-1 Commanders host 7-3 Northpoint Christian in the Division II first round.

Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. at Pirtle Field.

QB Nelson Fabrizius guides the Trojan offense. Fabrizius has completed 72-of-128 passing attempts (56%) for 1,171 yards.

He's also carried the ball 139 times for 673 yards, an average of 4.8 per attempt, and has scored six touchdowns.

Speedy tailback Christian Saulsberry (5-7, 175) is also a junior. He's gained 1,149 yards on 138 carries, an average of 8.3 yards per attempt, with 17 touchdowns.

Northpoint is averaging 26 points per game while allowing 18.8 ppg.

Senior halfback Austin Taylor has been a workhorse for the Commanders since the team lost Steven Hollis to injury in the fourth game of the season against Knoxville Webb.

Taylor, an all region performer in 2013, has responded with 1,695 yards on and 22 touchdowns on 210 carries -- an average of over eight yards per attempt.

Helping pave the way for Taylor as been a pair of senior offensive linemen, center Colton Gaines and guard Andrew Wood.

Freshman QB Mikey Jones has run 93 times for 645 yards and scored 10 TDs.

Jones has completed 19-of-46 attempts (41%) for 645 yards, five TDs and six INTS.

Junior Gene Carman leads the Commanders on defense with 91 tackles while Taylor and Gage Bentley are tied for second place on the team with 61 stops each.

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