Jalen Locklayer Oakland

There are four TSSAA football playoff games this Friday involving Rutherford County teams. Here’s a quick preview of each.

Can Blackman beat Oakland this time around?

Oakland’s Woodi Washington. (Courtesy of Rajayna Riley)

Few games on the docket across the state are more interesting than this Class 6-A tilt.

Blackman receiver Trey Knox is one of the country’s most talented at his position. But the same may be said of Oakland defensive back Woodi Washington, who had a pair of interceptions in Oakland’s 42-21 win when the teams played on Sept. 22 at Blackman (9-2).

If Oakland (11-0) is able to shut the Blackman passing game down, watch for quarterback Connor Mitchell, who’s been a huge threat on the ground, to carry the load. That’s a tough task against a Patriot front seven that includes Christian Cantrell, Aaron Moore and a host of players on a defense allowing 10.7 points a night.

Oakland’s two-quarterback system of Timmy Goodrich and Brevin Linnel head an offense that averages 43.2 points per game. But the key all year to the Patriots’ success has been running back Jeron Rooks, who averages 10.4 yards per carry. Rooks leads Oakland in rushing and receiving yards, and has accounted for 1,861 yards from scrimmage. The Patriots won’t pass a lot, but Washington has increasingly been a threat when Oakland does throw.

Another tough Riverdale game headlines the best of the rest

Riverdale (9-2) at Cookeville (9-2) (Class 6A)

Riverdale, behind running back Savion Davis, went to Mt. Juliet and got a 20-14 win against a team that had given up 30 points all season coming in. Davis, as usual, was the hero, rushing for over 200 yards and scoring all three Riverdale touchdowns. He’ll operate against a Cookeville defense that gives up 15.5 points a game.

Siegel at Riverdale
Riverdale’s Savion Davis (11).

Riverdale won the first matchup between the teams, a home game on Sept. 29, by a 30-28 score.

Eagleville (9-2) at Columbia Academy (10-1) (Class 2A)

Eagleville quarterback Ethan Cobb can beat you with his feet or his arm, and is surrounded by playmakers like running back Antonio Turrentine and wide receivers Graham Hatcher. Trevor Griffin stood out on offense and defense last week-he had a touchdown reception and an interception—and Mari Stoudemire and Josh Wallman have been active defenders all season.

Columbia Academy’s defense gives up just under 14 points a game, making this an interesting matchup.

Middle Tennessee Christian (7-4) at Friendship Christian (10-0) (Division II Class A)

Siegel's Lelan Wilhoite Unstoppable Again on Friday
Middle Tennessee Christian running back Kemari McGowan had another great game last Friday.

MTCS’s two-headed rushing attack of Kemari McGowan and Drew Berry has been terrific all year. McGowan has rushed for 2,056 yards and 25 touchdowns as a sophomore, while Berry’s totals are 785 and 15.

MTCS has scored 4-3 points this year, but what can it do against a FCS defense that’s allowing just 10.7 points a game? And can an MTCS defense that’s prone to giving up points (246 of them) stop an attack that’s scored 400 points this season?

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