Normally when Ingle Martin is in Cheatham County, he’s heading for the Cumberland River to go fishing.
But he has a different destination tonight.
The Christ Presbyterian Academy football coach will be leading his team to Ashland City to face Cheatham County in a Class 3A quarterfinal showdown between 12-0 teams.
“I’ve driven by the high school a few times on my way up to go fishing but never played there, so I’m looking forward to getting out there and playing in front of their crowd,” Martin said. “There’s a ton of striper fishing right there at the Cheatham Dam, and I’ve been going up there for a couple years with a guy who takes us. There’s some really good fishing in that river.”
Martin will be thinking about ways to stop the Cubs’ running game instead of striped bass on this trip. Desmond Sweatt, Mitchell Potts and Dakota White have combined for 4,234 rushing yards and 56 touchdowns out of the split-back veer offense.
Cheatham County made four turnovers — three interceptions and one fumble — during a 17-7 loss to CPA in the first round of last year’s playoffs.
“We cost ourselves the game,” Cubs coach Cody Finley said. “You can’t turn the ball over and beat good people. We fumbled the ball on the (CPA) 1-yard line with about five minutes to go, which could have made it a 17-14 game.”
Loretto injury: Loretto lost quarterback Matt Rosson to a broken wrist in the first quarter of last week’s 21-7 win over White House-Heritage.
Junior Ryan Ward will start for Loretto (8-3) in tonight’s Class 2A quarterfinal at Adamsville (10-1).
“It’s tough any time you lose a quarterback, especially one with numbers like Matt,” Mustangs coach Lee Boyd said. “Fortunately, (Ryan) is pretty experienced and he saw some time last year. He’s played quarterback since the junior-high level and knows the system real well.”
Rosson has passed for 740 yards and run for 337. Loretto, which went 4-46 from 2006-10, is making its first quarterfinal appearance since 1996, when Boyd was a senior lineman for the Mustangs.
“I think it’s only the third time in school history we’ve been (to the quarterfinals),” Boyd said. “We’re hoping we can do this perennially. That’s our goal around here. When I came in, my main thing was to change the culture of the program for this community.”
Turnaround: Nashville Christian (10-2) takes a nine-game win streak into tonight’s Class 1A quarterfinal at Collinwood (9-2) after losing two of its first three games.
“We didn’t panic when we were 1-2 and knew it was going be a little while getting together,” Eagles coach Jeff Brothers said. “The playoffs were always the goal. Undefeated is never the goal. Being good at the end of the year, and making the playoffs and getting hot at the right time — that’s what usually proves to be the best.”
Eagles running back Phillip Booker has rushed for 1,537 yards and 25 touchdowns. Furman, Samford and Austin Peay have shown interest in the senior.
The Eagles are making their first quarterfinal appearance since 1998.
Aerial attack: Brentwood Academy will face one of Division II-AA’s top quarterbacks in Memphis University School’s Jordan Rodgers in tonight’s semifinals.
The Mr. Football finalist has passed for 2,500 yards and 33 touchdowns.
“The thing about him is he can extend the plays,” BA coach Cody White said. “They’re great at the scramble-drill stuff, and his receivers can get themselves open. They find the windows and the holes. He’s got good receivers, a good offensive line, and they’re able to run the football.”
Rodgers has committed to play baseball at Tennessee.