Coach Speak Week 2


  Cane Ridge Ravens (5A) at Mt. Juliet Bears (6A)  

Thursday at 7:00 pm

Cane Ridge (1-0) is riding high after a 39-0 shutout versus rival Antioch.  The Ravens were led by Senior quarterback DJ Thorpe.  Thorpe completed 14-19 passes for 118 yards, 2 TDs, and carried the ball eight times for 64 yards.  The Ravens will feature a Spread attack on offense with multiple playmakers and line up in a 3-4 on defense.

3 Keys for Cane Ridge
1. Protect DJ Thorpe & give him time to find open receivers
2. Avoid turnovers & eliminate penalties
3. Play fast, apply pressure on defense, & force the Bears to convert 3rd & long situations

Mt. Juliet
avenged last year’s loss to Gallatin in impressive fashion 26-6.  The Bears were led by Senior quarterback, Mason Earls, who rushed for 119 yards on 19 carries and two touchdowns.  The Bears offense will rely on a massive and experienced offensive line to lead the way out of multiple Spread formations, with the defense lining up in a 4-2-5 alignment.

3 Keys for Mt. Juliet
1. Establish the running game early & keep the high-powered Ravens offense off the field
2. Avoid special teams mistakes
3. Minimize big plays from the Ravens offense by forcing them to drive the length of the field

My Forecast:
This is a classic match-up between power and speed.  Cane Ridge possesses an explosive offense and a fast, aggressive defense.  Mt. Juliet counters with five seniors on the offensive line that average 6’3, 282 pounds of beef and four seniors on the defensive line.  Mt. Juliet must eliminate the early turnovers that plagued them in last year’s loss and control time of possession on offense.  The Bears have to weather the shock factor of the Ravens overall team speed early, while the Ravens need to jump out to a fast start and make the Bears become one dimensional on offense.  Watch for the Cane Ridge offense to start fast behind dynamic playmakers and a ferocious defense to bring home a hard fought victory!

Prediction: Cane Ridge 27, Mt. Juliet 14

Players Worth the Price of Admission
1. DJ Thorpe
 – #5 – QB – Cane Ridge
2. Dewayne Johnson – #33 – OLB/DE – Cane Ridge
3. Christian Lancaster – #12 – WR/CB – Cane Ridge
4. D.J. Delfhendahl – #75 – OT – Mt. Juliet –   (’17 #50 prospect TN, 247Sports) MTSU Commit
5. Tony Thompson – #32 – SS – Mt. Juliet
6. Aaron Weist – #33 – DE – Mt. Juliet
7. Mason Earls – #3 – QB – Mt. Juliet

    Overton Bobcats (6A) at Marshall County Tigers (4A)  

Friday at 7:00 pm

Overton (1-0) was clicking on all cylinders on offense and defense en route to a 41-7 victory over Stewarts Creek.  Tennessee commit Theo Jackson led the Bobcats, rushing for 116 yards on nine carries and three rushing touchdowns.  The Overton offense will feature a heavy dose of Zone Read out of multiple Spread formations, while the defense will showcase multiple fronts & stunts.

3 Keys for Overton
1. Establish the running game, control the clock, limit the Tigers possessions on offense
2. Win the special teams & turnover battle
3. Keep the Tigers offense in front of them, limit 20+ yard plays, & rally to the football on defense

Marshall County (1-0) 
showed why many people believe they are a 4A State Title contender with a 49-6 Week 1 win over Franklin County.  The Tigers were led offensively by quarterback Bryce Wallace (14-17, 205 yards, 2 TDs) and wide receiver Tre Crutcher (5 catches, 97 yards, 52 yard punt return for a TD).  Linebacker Cain McWilliams led the defense with nine tackles, four tackles for a loss, and one sack.  Marshall County will run a Spread, no huddle offense and feature a 3-4 alignment on defense.

3 Keys for Marshall County
1. Play sound/gap control defense; limit holes for Theo Jackson & company to find space
2. Jump out to an early lead & force Overton out of their running game; make one-dimensional
3. Win 3rd down on defense, get off the field, & give the ball back to high-powered offense

My Forecast:
This may be the most entertaining game of the week and come down to who has the ball last.  Overton survived an absolute thriller a year ago 42-41.  Both teams will feature top notch skill players on offense and fly around on defense.  Look for this match-up to come down to a critical turnover and timely special teams play.  As much as I believe Marshall County has a team to compete for a 4A State Title this year, I cannot bring myself to pick against a hungry, Theo Jackson led Overton ball club.  Watch for Overton to control Marshall County’s offensive possessions with a solid running game, limit the Tigers 20+ yard explosive plays on defense, and make a decisive stop in the 4th quarter.

Prediction: Overton 38, Marshall County 34 

Players Worth the Price of Admission
1. Theo Jackson
 – #1 – QB/FS – Overton –   (’17 #16 prospect TN, 247Sports) Tennessee Commit
2. Taveruis Travis – #8 – RB/OLB – Overton
3. Derrick Payne – #7 – WR/CB/KR/PR – Overton
4. Bryce Wallace – #12 – QB – Marshall Co.
5. Cain McWilliams – #2 – LB/RB – Marshall Co.  –   (’17 #41 prospect TN, 247Sports)
6. Tre Crutcher – #10 – WR/DB – Marshall Co.
7. Jay Howard – #4 – WR – Marshall Co.

  Pearl Cohn Firebirds (4A) at MBA Big Red (DII-AA)

Friday at 7:00 pm

Pearl Cohn (1-0) won a defensive slugfest 9-7 over Hillsboro.  The Firebirds defense led the way forcing four Burros turnovers, with safety Jonathan Mercer tackling Hillsboro’s running back in the end zone late in the third quarter for a safety.  Jimmyrious Parker scored the Firebirds only touchdown on a 62-yard punt return.  Pearl Cohn will run a Spread, no huddle offense led by running back KeJuan Vaughn, and the Firebirds will base out of an attacking 4-2-5 scheme, defensively.

3 Keys for Pearl Cohn
1. Eliminate costly turnovers & protect the ball
2. Contain Ty Chandler, rally to the ball, & force him to work hard for his yardage
3. Make plays on offense

Montgomery Bell Academy (0-1) 
lost a hard fought contest to Hewitt-Trussville, AL 33-24.  Tennessee commit Ty Chandler led the Big Red offense with 226 yards rushing and three touchdowns.  MBA will feature a heavy dose of Ty Chandler out of their Multiple I offense and line up in a 4-2-5 on defense.

3 Keys for MBA
1. Physically dominate on both the offensive & defensive lines
2. Give Ty Chandler 25+ touches; find different ways to get him the ball in space & through the air
3. Force the Firebirds to drive the length of the field to earn points; force turnovers

My Forecast:
I always enjoy watching a local private school square off against a  local public school.  The student-athletes want to play it, the fans want to see it, and city of Nashville bragging rights are on the line.  Pearl Cohn has to find consistency in their running game and muster a little help from the passing game on offense to have any chance in this contest.  The Firebirds defense obviously must limit Ty Chandler and force somebody else on the Big Red to beat them.  MBA needs to establish their physical dominance on both lines of scrimmage early, force Pearl Cohn to play from behind, and avoid kicking the ball anywhere near Jimmyrious Parker on special teams.  Look for MBA to establish Ty Chandler early with a steady mix of play-action passes, and the Big Red defense to force the Firebirds into mistakes and turnovers.

Prediction: MBA 31, Pearl Cohn 17

Players Worth the Price of Admission
1. Jimmyrious Parker 
– #2 – WR/RB/KR/PR – Pearl Cohn
2. Brayden DeVault-Smith – #42 – LB – Pearl Cohn
3. Ke’Juan Vaughn – #6 – RB – Pearl Cohn
4. Ty Chandler – #44 RB – MBA –    (’17 #6 prospect TN, 247Sports) Tennessee Commit
5. Brett Starr – #3 – LB – MBA
6. Montgomery Owen – #2 – WR/DB – MBA

Coach Speak” Season Record: 2-1 (67%)