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TSSAA playoffs open tonight

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Friendship's Cody Walker / STEVE WAMPLER photo

Only two Wilson County football teams have surviving the 2013 season and earned spots in tonight's opening round of the TSSAA playoffs.
    
Two-time Class 2A state champion Friendship Christian School enters the Division II playoffs for the first time tonight as the 8-2 Commanders host Memphis Harding Academy at Pirtle Field.
    
Over in Murfreesboro, Wilson Central's 6-4 Wildcats will put a three-game winning streak on the line at No. 2-ranked and 10-0 Oakland in the Class 6A playoffs.
    
Coach John McNeal's FCS squad looks to be a prohibitive favorite against the 4-6 Lions.
    
The game is a rematch of the 2013 season-opener, a contest dominated by the Commanders 35-6.
    
Harding Academy took an early 6-0 lead, but FCS responded with five unanswered scores.
    
Following the opening loss to FCS, the Memphis-based program lost four of the next five games on the schedule, before closing out with victories in three of the last four contests -- including an impressive 55-20 win over Lausanne in the regular season finale.
    
Coach Brad Dedman’s Wildcats are battle-tested, having faced playoff elimination in each of the final three games of the regular season.
    
WCHS faces an uphill battle tonight against Oakland -- considered the best team in a strong District 7-AAA.
    
"We finally got healthy and started playing a much better brand of football," Dedman said.
    
Thanks to a 25-20 home win over Gallatin Friday, Nov. 1 at Wildcat Stadium, Wilson Central finishing the season by taking four out of five games.
    
The Patriots, who went undefeated in the regular season for the first time in school history -- a span of some 41 years, are hoping to win a playoff game for the first times since 2009.
    
Oakland lost in the first round to Franklin in 2010, Mt. Juliet in 2011 and Siegel in 2012.
    
Coach Thomas McDaniel's team is coming off a 62-6 victory at Stewarts Creek, a first-year program.
    
Oakland's defense has been one of the top outfits in the midstate, allowing just 9.8 points per game while the offense has been piling up an average of 37.2 ppg.

Tailback Fred Wade leads the Patriot offense, having rushed for 1,008 yards on 143 carries and 16 TDs.

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