Five games are in the books for all the area prep football teams. Only five games remain for some squads. Here are five things we know at the midway point of the high school football season:
Siegel best of show
Siegel has stolen the headlines with its high-powered offense and improved defense. On Friday night, the Stars dethroned defending District 7-AAA champion Riverdale. Siegel is now officially on everyone’s target. Siegel’s fast-paced offense is giving defenders trouble. It leaves opponents gasping for air and trailing behind a strong group of receivers.
Siegel enters the halfway point averaging 48 points a game, which is the most of any 7-AAA team. And the Stars are giving up 9.8 points, which also leads 7-AAA.
Five serious playoff contenders
Five games in, five Rutherford County teams can honestly consider themselves in the hunt for a playoff bid.
Siegel (5-0), Riverdale (4-1), Oakland (3-2) and Blackman (3-2) are all bidding for playoff spots from District 7-AAA. And Eagleville (2-3) is searching for a spot in District 9-A. The top two teams in each district are guaranteed a spot in their respective playoff classifications. After that, the playoff brackets are determined by a list of criteria, starting with most wins.
In Class 6A, every team that has won six games in the regular season has advanced to the playoffs. And a handful of five-win teams have reached the playoffs. In Class 1A, four wins could put the Eagles in the playoffs and five should guarantee it.
Blaze offense getting settled in
Blackman appeared to be making progress with its offense the past couple weeks, as new starter Chase Smotherman is beginning to get comfortable at quarterback. He has the ability to scramble and pick up yards. His passing touch has also improved. Perhaps even more important is the emergence of receiver Quindell Cousin, who could be one of the top receivers in District 7-AAA this season. The more he gets the ball, the better the Blaze run game will also be.
Year of the QB
Quarterbacks Brent Stockstill and Dillon Woodruff are on pace for phenomenal seasons for Siegel and Riverdale, respectively. Oakland quarterback Emmanuel Smith has shown his ability is tough to defend. And Eagleville quarterback Ryan Jordan is on pace to be better than a year ago at Cannon County, without the interceptions that haunted him last season.
Stockstill and Woodruff each had over 300 total yards a week ago. And Jordan had over 300 yards passing in the Eagles’ win at Community.
Injuries mounting up
Eagleville’s injury report seems to grow each week. Injuries hit Oakland before the season even began. And now Riverdale has been hit at a crucial position by a potential serious injury. Such is life in high school football.
Running backs Chris Hale, Dakota Durand and Jordan Siler all sustained injuries a week ago, which could force the Eagles to play a freshman some if the trio can’t go. Linebacker Blake Solomon is likely out until after fall break.
Riverdale defensive lineman Rakis Ivy has an MRI today on his injured knee. Oakland has played the entire season without projected starter Fred Wade. His replacement, Travon Willis, has also been hurt. Willis is recovering from a high-ankle sprain, which has limited his playing time.