High-powered offense versus a physical defense.
One will give way tonight.
Fifth-ranked Siegel (2-0) travels to Blackman (2-0) for both teams’ District 7-AAA opener. Kickoff is at 7 at The Inferno.
It’s the first big test for each teams, especially the Stars, who have annihilated their first two opponents. Siegel whipped Franklin 53-7 and then routed Lincoln County 49-0.
“They are a very talented team that has running backs, quarterbacks and receivers,” Blackman coach Philip Shadowens said. “They’ve got them all. Obviously, we’ll have to be discipline on defense. Their tempo gives people problems.
“We’ve got to get better at playing high-tempo teams.”
The Blackman-Siegel contest is one of five games scheduled involving are teams. Oakland (1-1) plays at La Vergne (0-2), Riverdale (2-0) plays at Smyrna (0-2), MTCS (0-2) plays at Cascade (2-0) and DeKalb County (2-0) plays at Cannon County (0-2).
Siegel enters the contest averaging 51 points and 465 yards a game. Only Riverdale (481.5 ypg) is averaging more yards a game among District 7-AAA teams.
“We’re just going to play Blackman football,” Blackman defensive tackle Austin Singleton said. “We’re going to play Blackman defense and try and shut them down.”
Blackman’s defense has been a strength for the Blaze this season, allowing 128 yards a game. That’s tops among 7-AAA teams. But like Siegel, Blackman has yet to face a team as talented as the Stars.
“I think it’s probably a test for both teams,” Siegel coach Greg Wyant said. “This isn’t meant as any offense to their opponents, but this is probably the first quality team they’ve played as well. It should be a great atmosphere (tonight).”
Wyant said Thursday that Siegel quarterback Brent Stockstill, who sat out this past week’s game with Lincoln County, will start today against Blackman. Stockstill sat out from an undisclosed injury.
Stockstill’s return adds to the Stars’ passing game. He was 16-of-20 passing for 288 yards with two touchdowns in Siegel’s win over Franklin. Quarterbacks Jay Melton and Dakota Crane combined to throw for 105 yards on 5-of-6 passing against the Falcons.
Siegel’s offense may have overshadowed two strong defensive efforts by the Stars. They allow just 146.5 yards a game.
The Blaze have struggled to get on track with their passing game, but have been effective running the game.
Running backs Cole Notgrass (71 rushing ypg), Dee Mathers (52.5 rushing ypg) and fullback Antonio Allen (45 rushing ypg) all have ran the ball well at times.
La Vergne must try and slow down an Oakland offense averaging 251 yards a game on the ground if it is to pick up win No.1. The Wolverines are giving up 294 yards a game on the ground.
The biggest task for La Vergne will be stopping running back Travon Willis (121.5 rushing ypg).
“I think he’s the best back we’ve and the worst match up for us,” La Vergne coach Stanton Stevens said. “I had a friend saying how strong of a runner he was over the summer. He likes to punish people, and the take off running.”
Smyrna faces a Riverdale team that’s won 12 straight regular season games.
Despite the Bulldogs’ struggles during the first two weeks of the season, coach Matt Williams said one thing they have done well is play nearly turnover free.
“We’ve had one turnover, an interception, so far,” Williams said. “We’re hanging on to the football.
“But we’ve got to find ways to move the football.”
Smyrna is averaging just 123.5 yards a game through two games.