After last week’s emotional thriller that left Rossview coach Ron Lambert in near tears, the third-year football coach proclaimed his running back, Isaiah Johnson, was the best in District 10-AAA.
Justifiably, Lambert made the remark after a 38-36 victory in which the Hawks scored in the final seconds for their first district win in two years and Johnson led the team with more than 200 rushing yards in a physical game that seesawed throughout last Friday night. Lambert was proud of his team and his back who, at times, hoisted the team’s offense on his back.
Now Lambert will get a chance to show Northwest why he thinks he has the best in the district when the Hawks face a struggling Vikings team at 7 p.m. tonight at Hawks Stadium.
Judging from the the past few weeks, it would seem as though Rossview (3-2, 1-2) is set up for an easy win. Northwest has put up virtually no offense with consistency this year as the team adjusts to new coach Chris Austin. The Vikings haven’t scored more than eight points in any one of their first five games although their schedule was front-loaded with Clarksville High, Henry County and Dickson County the past three weeks.
But Rossview isn’t taking anything for granted. The Hawks have won two straight after starting the season with a victory then suffering two straight losses. It leaves Lambert’s team 3-2 with a good shot at making the 6A playoffs. Only Rossview and Dickson move to the 6A playoffs while the rest of District 10 plays the postseason in 5A.
And Johnson has led the way.
In a league full of big time runners, Johnson is among the best having already rushed for 814 yards with seven touchdowns. He’s also two receptions away from tying for the team lead and co-headlines an offense that averages 418 yards a game and 348 yards on the ground.
Quarterback Charles Talleyrand ran has been nearly as impressive with 525 rushing yards and six TDs on the ground. His short touchdown run with 12 seconds left last week was the game-winner for Rossview as the Hawks picked up their first district win of the season. Talleyrand has been brilliant throwing the ball as well with an identical 525 yards, completing 43 of 76 passing attempts (a 131.97 QB rating) four scores and no interceptions.
Northwest (0-5, 0-3) made the shift at quarterback to Markel Kea during the Clarksville High loss three weeks ago but back-to-back games against Dickson and Henry counties (with the Patriots ranked fourth) have stunted the Vikings’ growth. With Kenwood and Springfield awaiting in the coming weeks, a victory now would be ideal.
Austin has praised his team’s willingness to work to get better, however, the results have not shown itself in the win-column as Northwest battles to avoid going winless this season.