Welcome to Hash Marks, a Main Street Preps column.
Each week in this space, we will rewind the previous week and look at the week ahead in Middle Tennessee football.
The matchup fans deserve
This is gold.
Undefeated No. 1 Oakland and No. 2 Lipscomb Academy will stage a massive showdown in Murfreesboro on Thursday, Sept. 23, in a battle between top programs.
It was made possible after both teams’ Week 3 games were canceled due to COVID issues on opposing teams.
“In the midst of teams that are still struggling with COVID and having to lose games, we feel very fortunate to be able to find a replacement for our game with Goodpasture,” Lipscomb Academy athletic director Michelle York said. “We understand that when you want to be the best, you play the best and you work to schedule teams that will make you better for your playoff run. We know that this game with Oakland will make us better. We are looking forward to a great night of competition between our two programs.”
York also pointed this out for what it’s worth: MaxPreps lists Lipscomb Academy and Oakland as No. 1 and 2, respectively, in both overall ranking and strength of schedule.
The private-public school clash is oozing with talent and quality coaches.
Oakland is led by Georgia running back commitment Jordan James and Miami receiver commitment Isaiah Horton. Kevin Creasy has guided the Patriots to Class 6A titles in two of the past three years.
Lipscomb Academy, a top contender for the Division II-AA crown and coached by former NFL quarterback Trent Dilfer, is averaging 67.3 points not counting the Goodpasture forfeit. The Mustangs have two future Division I players in quarterback Luke Richesson (uncommitted) and running back Alex Broome (Boston College).
The meeting will create a media buzz and should rake in ticket revenue for Oakland, which hasn’t played a game in two weeks due to cancelations from other teams. (For context on revenue, this is the kind of cash that playoff-level football draws in Tennessee.)
It’s a state championship caliber matchup in September.
We are all winners here.
One big question
Could Davidson Academy roll into its game against Lipscomb Academy undefeated?
It won’t be easy.
The three-time defending Division I-A state champion Bears have won 28 consecutive games dating back to 2019. They’re 4-0 this season while transitioning to Division II-AA. Rossview transfer running back Diivonta Phillips has made a splash with 685 rushing yards and 12 touchdowns so far.
The Bears must get through Battle Ground Academy (2-2) this week and Nashville Christian (2-1) the next before hosting Lipscomb Academy on Oct. 1.
This statistic caught our attention last week.
Stewarts Creek running back Gabriel Walker ran 18 times for 219 yards and four touchdowns in the Red Hawks’ 30-20 win at Franklin.
That could be an energy boost for Stewarts Creek after it started the year with a tough 14-12 loss in the Battle of Smyrna rivalry game, followed by two COVID-related forfeits.
Where to be this week
Don’t overlook The Battle of the Woods.
Ravenwood (3-1, 1-0 Region 7-6A) is ranked No. 9 in Main Street Preps’ latest poll. No. 19 Brentwood (1-3, 0-1 Region 7-6A) didn’t command much attention during a slow start, but the Bruins are trending upward after a competitive outing vs. Summit, followed by a 21-14 victory over Henry County last week.
It’s a crosstown rivalry where anything can happen.
Other good games: Father Ryan at Montgomery Bell Academy; Davidson Academy at Battle Ground Academy.
Number to know: 30
The number of shutouts across the state of Tennessee last week. (Credit Donovan Stewart with the statistic. He has a lot more here).
Who said defense is dead?
They said it
“If you break that seal, you’re gone.”
That’s Summit coach Brian Coleman talking to Maurice Patton last week regarding Blackman’s man-to-man defensive alignment against quarterback Destin Wade’s speed.
Wade ran wild for 260 yards and four touchdowns on 11 carries. (Look at these scoring runs: 43, 72, 68 and 30 yards).
Coleman was speaking in X's and O's, but it doesn’t take a genius to figure out his message: No matter what formation they choose, opponents better find a way to seal up Wade.
All the feels
Station Camp’s Jack Biller scored the winning touchdown in a 14-10 victory over White County on Sept. 3. Just two days earlier, he had lost his mom Michelle to pancreatitis, Zach Womble writes.
The power of sports is very real.
“If I didn’t have football, I don’t think I’d have much of anything,” Biller said of how he has leaned on the football team while grieving. “They have carried me; they are a true family.”