Middle TN High School Football Game of The Week: Cane Ridge Ravens vs Smyrna Bulldogs

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The sun had gone down, and the stage was set for a 6A-6 matchup with huge playoff implications. Who would take control of the logjam at the top of the district? This was the perfect opportunity. Both these team’s offenses can light up the scoreboard, but what defense was going to step up and make the play in crunch time?

Both teams entered the field with great energy. Smyrna had a very unique entrance from under the home stands. While Cane Ridge made their presence felt from the opposing side.

Smyrna’s defense immediately took control and smothered the Ravens offense on their first drive and picked off The Cane Ridge QB, Shivan Abdullah, setting their offense up with great field position, but the Cane Ridge defense refused not only to break but to even bend. They forced a Bulldog field goal attempt that they would block. It seemed both defenses arrived prepared for the task ahead of them.

That proved to be the case, as both teams traded punts all the way until there was 10:30 left in the second quarter when Ravens QB Shivan Abdullah electrified the Cane Ridge sideline as he darted in and out between would-be tacklers for a 50-yard touchdown run. This would prove to be the jolt the Ravens needed. Abdullah would then kick his own PAT, making it 7-0 Cane Ridge with 10:25 to go in the half. It was going to be up to The Bulldogs to respond. They were not able to and Abdullah made them pay. After picking up a first down with his legs, The Ravens QB uncorked a 40-yard rainbow to the back of the end zone for a Cane Ridge touchdown making it 14-0 Ravens. Cane Ridge’s defense would continue to be up to the task of stopping the Bulldog’s offense forcing another punt late in the half giving themselves an opportunity to go up by 21 going into the locker room. Smyrna would get the stop and the half would end with the score staying at Cane Ridge 14, Smyrna 0. Not exactly how anyone expected this one to go with two high powered offenses.

Cane Ridge’s band, who had not stopped playing in the away stands for the entire first half, played the halftime show with assortment of songs by Michael Jackson that were so well done, the King of Pop himself would be proud.

Video courtesy of Cane Ridge Assistant Dance Coach, Nakieya Manuel.

The Ravens fed off that energy, scoring first in the second half. With a near 6o-yard run from running back Reggie Goodloe Jr. with 9:49 left in the third quarter, the Ravens extended their lead to 21. This lit a fire in the Bulldogs run game. They methodically pounded the ball down the field picking up first down after first down on a ten play, 80-yard drive that was capped off by an Anon Carter touchdown making it 21-7 Cane Ridge. While Cane Ridge had the lead, the momentum was now with Smyrna as they dropped the Ravens ballcarrier at the nine-yard line on the ensuing kickoff. Good teams have to overcome adversity such as bad field position, and overcome The Ravens did, as they worked the ball to the opposite 45-yard line. Once again Abdullah unleashed a beautiful deep pass to Mose Phillips III who hauled in the long ball for a touchdown, making it 28-7 Cane Ridge. That would remain the score as we headed into the fourth quarter. Neither team would score until Cane Ridge running back Goodloe Jr. cashed in for his second touchdown of the game, making it 35-7 with 2:45 remaining in the game.

You can watch that scoring drive below.

Smyrna would respond making it 35-14 with just under two minutes to play. Cane Ridge would run out the clock and end the game, getting a huge 6A-6 win.

MVP

Our MVP of the game is Cane Ridge quarterback Shivan Abdullah. Shivan had three highlight touchdowns on the night: a 50-yard run, a 45-yard pass, and a 40-yard pass. His offense put on a show while his defense put on a clinic. He had this to say about his performance, a big district win, and his defense.

“I give all credit to my coaches and teammates…we came into this game thinking it’s a playoff atmosphere. Its better for us to get better and we took it for our advantage. The defense played amazing. They just kept working together… a lot of communication.”