Coach Speak Week 3



   Hendersonville Commandos (5A) at Cane Ridge Ravens (5A)  

Friday at 7:00 pm, Region 6-5A, MyTV30 – WUXP’s Friday Night Rivals Game of the Week

Hendersonville (2-0) started fast and never looked back in an impressive 31-9 victory over Siegel.  Running back Anthony Hughes led the Commandos offense with 138 yards rushing, 47 yards receiving and a touchdown.  Linebacker Bryan Strahm led the defense with seven total tackles and one tackle for a loss.  The Commandos will run their patent wing-t offense and feature a 4-2-5 on defense.

3 Keys for Hendersonville
1. Play extremely physical & dominate both lines of scrimmage
2. Sustain 10-12 play drives, control the clock & limit the Ravens offensive possessions
3. Minimize the Ravens 20+ yard plays in the passing game

Cane Ridge
survived a late scare from Mt. Juliet and secured a 27-19 victory last Thursday night.  The Ravens were led by quarterback DJ Thorpe (16-27, 180 yards, 6 carries, 53 yards, 1 TD) and running back Jordan Bell (15 carries, 88 yards, 2 TDs).  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. Keep DJ Thorpe upright & give him time to find open receivers
2. Must clean up the double digit penalties from last week
3. Stay disciplined on defense; read keys & keep eyes out of the backfield

“Coach Speak” Forecast:

This is a huge game to start Region play in the ultra-competitive Region 6-5A.  Both teams have the talent, coaching, and aspirations to be the #1 seed in the Region and make a deep run in the playoffs.  You will see two contrasting styles of offense with the Commandos sporting the wing-t and the Ravens lining up in the spread; however you will see both defenses play an aggressive, attacking brand of football.  Cane Ridge has to cut down the penalties and have eye discipline on defense to have a chance to pull the upset.  I believe Cane Ridge learned something from last year’s game and are a year smarter, stronger, and hungrier.  However, in what should be one heck of a football game, I like Hendersonville to be a little more disciplined on offense, defense, and special teams and to grind out a tough victory!

Prediction: Hendersonville 27, Cane Ridge 24

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. Noah Bayless – #44 – LB – Cane Ridge
5. Brandon Dove – #75 – OT/DE – Hendersonville –  Austin Peay Commit
6. Daly Cull – #54 – C/DT – Hendersonville
7. Anthony Hughes – #3 – RB/LB – Hendersonville
8. Emmitt Richardson – #55 – NG/DT – Hendersonville


  Stratford Spartans (3A) at East Nashville Eagles (3A)  

Friday at 7:00 pm, Region 5-3A

Stratford (2-0) jumped out to an early lead and cruised to a 54-0 shutout over Glencliff.  All-purpose back TJ Carter led the Spartans with 88 yards rushing on three carries and 68 yards receiving on two catches to go along with three touchdowns.  Quarterback Josh Trueheart had an efficient night completing 7-10 passes for 128 yards and three touchdowns.  Stratford plays an aggressive 3-4 defense and will show a variety of formations from their pro-style offense.

3 Keys for Stratford
1. Take care of the ball & win the turnover battle
2. Limit the Eagles big plays on offense & special teams
3. Control the clock, sustain drives, & win on 3rd down

East Nashville
lost a close battle to rival Maplewood 15-13 when their 2 pt. conversion attempt was stuffed late in the 4th quarter.  The Eagles were led by Rondarius Gregory’s seven receptions for 39 yards and two touchdowns.  East Nashville will run a balanced Spread offense and feature an active 3-4 defense.

3 Keys for East Nashville
1. Establish the running game & extend drives
2. Slow down the Spartans running game; force the Spartans to win by throwing the ball
3. Take advantage of field position

“Coach Speak”
The battle for East Nashville bragging rights will be on the line Friday night, not to mention early momentum towards a #1 seed in a Region that has been dominated by CPA for the last couple of years.  Stratford will strut out one of the best all-around football players in the state in TJ Carter, while East Nashville will counter with one of the best linebacker prospects in the country.  Both teams will play aggressive, hard-nose defense.  This game will come down to which team can win the turnover battle, eliminate costly penalties, and limit the other teams big play ability.  Stratford pulls out the win in a defensive slugfest behind a big play from TJ Carter and steady quarterback play from Josh Trueheart.

Prediction: Stratford 17, East Nashville 12

Players Worth the Price of Admission
1. TJ Carter
 – #1 – RB/WR/CB/KR – Stratford  –  (2017 #14 prospect TN, 247Sports)
2. Josh Trueheart – #9 – QB – Stratford
3. Bradley Jones – #13 – S/WR – Stratford
4. Jaalon Gupton – #64 – OL – Stratford
5. Jacob Phillips – #1 – LB – East Nashville    (2017 #8 prospect TN, 247Sports)
6. Jashon Watkins – #2 – S/QB – East Nashville
7. Dondre Ezell – #50 – DT/OG – East Nashville    Tennessee Tech Commit
8. Demarquez Trotter – #5 – DB/WR/PR/KR – East Nashville  – Indiana State Commit

  Brentwood Academy Eagles (DII-AA) at Pope John Paul II Knights (DII-AA)  

Friday at 7:00 pm, East/Middle Region

Brentwood Academy (1-1) struggled to sustain drives early, which allowed Trinity to wear down the defense late in a 35-21 loss.  Austin Peay commit Jeremiah Oatsvall led the Eagles connecting on 12-21 passes for 182 yards and a touchdown, while rushing 11 times for 98 yards and a touchdown.  The Eagles goal is to show balance in their Spread offense and play a disruptive 3-4 defense.

3 Keys for Brentwood Academy
1. Find consistent offensive line play
2. Keep Ben Brooks in the pocket & do not allow him to extend plays with his legs
3. Put together sustained & consistent drives on offense

Pope John Paul II
shot out to a 34-0 halftime lead and cruised to a 54-30 victory over Coffee County.  Running back/defensive back Drew Bledsoe led the Knights with 147 yards rushing on 14 carries and four touchdowns, while also notching nine tackles on defense.  The Knights will line up in multiple formations out of their I-Back/Spread offense and dial up the pressure in their 4-3 defense.

3 Keys for JPII
1. Play with the mindset & confidence that they can beat the defending DII-AA Champions
2. Get quarterback, Ben Brooks, outside the pocket & allow him to be a dual threat with his legs & arm
3. Limit the Eagles explosive plays down the field & on special teams

“Coach Speak”
This is the opening week of DII-AA East/Middle Region play.  I believe DII-AA is the most competitive and wide open we have seen in years.  Both teams have been battle tested early with the Knights surprising some people with a nice 2-0 start, including a tough road win at Melrose on their resume.  The Eagles and the Knights will both have special skill players on display and athletic quarterbacks who can beat you with their arm & legs.  This contest should be close for a half, with Brentwood Academy’s depth on both lines and at the skill positions proving too much for JPII in the 2nd half.

Prediction: BA 38, JPII 24

Players Worth the Price of Admission
1. Jeremiah Oatsvall
 – #4 – QB/FS – Brentwood Academy    (2017 #45 prospect TN, 247Sports) Austin Peay Commit
2. Camron Johnson – #27 – WR/DB – Brentwood Academy  –  (2018 #4 prospect TN, 247Sports)
3. Gavin Schoenwald – #10 – TE/QB – Brentwood Academy  –  (2018 #9 prospect TN, 247Sports)
4. Jack Sirmon – #44 LB – Brentwood Academy  –  (2018 #10 prospect TN, 247Sports)
5. Josh Smith – #19 – RB/OLB – Brentwood Academy  –   (2017 #49 prospect TN, 247Sports)
6. Chris Bell – #15 – S – JPII  –  (2017 #44 prospect TN, 247Sports)
7. Ben Brooks – #2 – QB – JPII    (2017 #57 prospect TN, 247Sports)  –  Memphis Baseball Commit
8. Jamaal Thompson – #4 – RB/CB – JPII


“Coach Speak” Season Record: 4-2 (67%)