Clarksville Academy would have loved to make the final few weeks of the high school football regular season a rat race by other District 10-A teams in an effort to catch the Cougars. But a loss to Houston County last Friday made that impossible.
Right now six teams are looking up at Jo Byrns as the Red Devils are the only undefeated team left in the district. Two of those teams trying to stay in the hunt are ranked in Houston County (No. 8 in 2A) and Clarksville Academy (No. 9 in Class A).
Jo Byrns is currently 4-3 and one of its three district victories came against the Fighting Irish. Both Houston County and the Academy have one district loss, and the only scenario that would throw District 10-A into a frenzy would be for Jo Byrns to suffer the same fate.
Such a scenario is possible as the Red Devils take on Clarksville Academy at 7:30 p.m. today at the Academy Sports Complex.
Clarksville Academy (6-2, 3-1) knocked off Jo Byrns last year in an emotional game that all but wrapped up last year’s district championship for the Cougars. Jo Byrns will likely be looking to avenge that loss but more importantly, stay out of a dreaded first-place tie with Clarksville Academy. Houston County would be sitting just a half-game out of first place — assuming the Fighting Irish can knock off McEwen tonight — because the Irish will have played only four district games compared with Jo Byrns and Clarksville Academy’s five district games to date.
Jo Byrns has been the unquestioned dominate force in District 10-A for several years. The Academy’s 10-2 season last year broke up that streak but the Red Devils are never really out of the district discussion each season. The district somehow always runs through Adams and the Academy has always been aware of that.
The Cougars are coming off a 28-20 loss to Houston County that coach Todd Hood would admit his team gave away. Clarksville Academy surrendered 22 points in the final quarter to drop its first district game of the season. The loss was the second in three games for Hood’s team.
Yet, The Academy can take solace in that its offense continued to put up points. Quarterback Jacob Rugen and running backs John Anderson and Jaleel Stubbs continue to provide the kind of consistency that has made the Academy a threat the past two years. Hood’s no huddle offense runs at such a quick pace that most opposing coaches don’t bother to simulate it in practice.
And this will be the Academy’s final game before its bye week next Friday. After that, the Cougars will wrap up the regular season against McEwen — a game Hood’s team should win.
Jo Byrns is coming off its bye week, having beat Houston County two weeks ago. The Red Devils responded to a 14-0 first-quarter deficit to nip the Fighting Irish 20-14 and face a similar team in Clarksville Academy that likes to run the ball and control the clock.
The Red Devils’ defense has pitched two shutouts with only three teams scoring more than 20 points against them.
Meanwhile, Clarksville Academy has put up points in bunches. Aside from the 49-0 loss to Portland two weeks ago, the Cougars usually set up shot in the end zone. Clarksville Academy is averaging 36.8 points