West Creek’s playoff hopes are about as thin as paper.
Kenwood’s shot is quite the opposite.
The Knights haven’t had the best of luck. They’ve scored a lot of points, rushed for a ton of yards, impressed a lot of teams and at times, have impressed themselves. But it hasn’t always resulted in wins and that’s what has Kenwood in such a delicate situation as the regular season begins to wind down.
The Knights are still in the playoff chase and could take a huge step to solidify a spot with a win tonight as Kenwood travels to face West Creek at 7 p.m. A victory would push the 3-4 Knights to 3-3 in district play and with Clarksville High facing undefeated Dickson County tonight, Kenwood could leapfrog the Wildcats in the league standings with a win against the Coyotes coupled with a CHS loss.
Rossview currently sits in front of Kenwood in the district standings but the Hawks play in the 6A postseason, along with Dickson, while the rest of the district moves into 5A in the playoffs.
Tonight would seem like a potential lopsided game in Kenwood’s favor. No team in the district boast as many backfield weapons as the Knights and Kenwood has the points to prove it. It has put up back-to-back 50-plus-point games, beating Northwest (52-6) and knocking off Springfield (54-24) last week. The Springfield victory was more impressive considering the Yellow Jackets are about as athletic a team in the district than anyone.
But Kenwood’s quadruple threat of Maleek Hall, Sam Lipsey, Michael Sutherland and quarterback Malcolm Perry have been too much for most teams to handle. Both Perry and Hall are on pace to break 1,000 yards. Hall has 856 rushing yards while Perry has 708 and Sutherland is not far behind with 636 yards on the ground. Lipsey sits at 600. That’s four backs that are at least 400 yards from rushing for 1,000.
Kenwood won’t throw it much but have been effective when going to the air. It helped the Knights keep pace with Rossview in a heartbreaking 38-36 loss and it kept Kenwood on the scoreboard against Dickson County when the Cougars were the only team to corral the Knight runners.
But it’s been Kenwood’s defense that has struggled this year. The Vikings scored only six points against Kenwood but Northwest has failed to score more than eight points in all but one of its games. Page was the only other impressive defensive effort when Kenwood won 22-10 to start the season. The rest of the year, Kenwood has had to play in shootouts.
West Creek isn’t scaring many teams with its 0-7 overall record. The Coyotes have talent but lack enough of it to get past a difficult district that features the usual suspects in Henry County, Dickson County, Northeast and Clarksville High and also features a resurgent Rossview Hawks and offense-happy Kenwood Knights. Only Springfield and Northwest have joined West Creek toward the bottom of the standings.
Yet the Coyotes are capable of scoring. Anthony Ledet has played both running back and quarterback this season while Devin Anderson is used primarily in the passing game. Terry Lee is the top offensive target when coach Jon Offutt goes to the air and he’s also a dependable yardage eater to spell Ledet in the ground game.
But like Kenwood, defense has been an issue for West Creek. The Coyotes have allowed at least 33 points or more in all but one game and the one contest it held its opponent under 33, was a 25-17 loss to Franklin-Simpson (Ky.) in the second week of the season.