This isn’t the time to fall into a midseason slump.
But that’s where two of Murfreesboro’s elite football programs appear to be entering Week 6.
Both sixth-ranked Riverdale (4-2 overall, 1-1 in 7-AAA) and Blackman (3-3, 0-2) have lost back-to-back games. It marks the first time since 2008 since the Warriors have lost two straight.
Riverdale hosts La Vergne (2-4, 1-1) and Blackman hosts Smyrna (1-4, 1-1) at 7 p.m. Friday. It marks the final game before fall break.
And now they both face a sense of urgency to fix what has gone wrong quickly if they have any intention of making the playoffs, and doing something in the postseason.
“We’re just going to have to work harder, and shake it off,” Riverdale senior Peyton Phillips said. “We need to come in on Monday with our heads up and act like we have amnesia. We have to give it our best and start looking at La Vergne.”
Hendersonville upset the sixth-ranked Warriors 23-20 Friday at Tomahawk Stadium, scoring 20 points in the final 7:39. Riverdale’s defense struggled to get the Commandos off the field. Hendersonville ran 44 second-half plays, which led to Riverdale having the ball for just five second-half possessions. And the final possession came with just 20 seconds left after Hendersonville scored the game winner.
“We didn’t do a good job at stopping them,” Riverdale coach Ron Aydelott said. “Still with that, they had two minutes to go and 60 yards. We didn’t do a good job of making plays.
“This is two weeks in a row where we have not made the plays to win football games. That’s two weeks in a row where we’ve been in real physical games. And we aren’t handling that very well at this point.”
Blackman lost at Bradley Central 23-21 on Friday. Blackman football coach Philip Shadowens didn’t fault his team’s effort. However, the Blaze made too many turnovers.
“It’s one of those stretches where the ball is not bouncing our way,” Shadowens said. “The kids are fighting. Eventually, we will turn it around.”
Shadowens said the Blaze still are in good shape. However, Blackman likely needs to win three of its final four games to make the 6A playoffs.
“Right now we’re just worried about the next game, Shadowens said. “We’re not in panic mode. We can only control one game at a time.
“We’re not losing games because of effort. We just have to keep believing in ourselves.”
However, Aydelott said his team needs to fix its problems quickly.
“There has to be a sense of urgency,” Aydelott said. “As I told them, they are going to have to want to do it. There is no coach that can suit up and play for them. When everything is going well, I think kids have a tendancy to overlook some of the things that get them to that point.
“I think we’ve overlooked the foundation and we have to get back to that foundation and do some things right.”