DNJ Midseason report card

DNJ Midseason report card

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DNJ Midseason report card

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DNJ prep editor Tom Kreager has crunched the numbers from the first half of the 2013 high school football regular season. Here is his report card for the nine Rutherford County prep teams that are TSSAA members at the halfway point of the season.

No grade was given lower than a ‘D’; no grade was higher than an ‘A.’

BLACKMAN

OFFENSE

Quarterback Jauan Jennings leads a Blaze offense averaging a 7-AAA best 42.4 points a game. Jennings, a first-year starting quarterback, is averaging 169.4 total yards a game. As a team, Blackman (5-0) is averaging 385.6 total yards a game — 281.8 on the ground and 103.8 in the air.

However, the Blaze haven’t been challenged in the past three weeks.

GRADE: A

DEFENSE

Second-year defensive coordinator Steve Williams has the Blaze defense playing at a high level thus far, thanks in part to standout play up front and at in the linebacking corps, which includes leading tackler Austin Mosier. Opponents are averaging 14 points a game and giving up just 235.4 yards. Like on offense, one must consider that the past three weeks the Blaze have played teams with a combined four wins. The Blaze did give up 388 yards in a win over Brentwood.

GRADE: A-

OVERALL

Blackman is well-balanced and has all of the makings of a District 7-AAA championship team. The Blaze could make a deep playoff run.

GRADE: A

LA VERGNE

OFFENSE

La Vergne’s return to a spread offense has produced more points and yards than a year ago. The Wolverines are averaging 27.6 points and 355.8 yards a game. C.J. Fore leads a passing attack that is averaging 225 yards a contest. But interceptions and lost fumbles on offense have been back-breakers on offense. Turnovers and penalties have likely cost them two wins, and possibly a third.

GRADE: C

DEFENSE

La Vergne’s defense has had its share of problems this season. The Wolverines are giving up 33 points a game and 329 total yards a game. Opposing running backs have had huge games against the Wolverines. They are giving up more than 226 yards a game on the ground.

GRADE: D

OVERALL

La Vergne is 1-4, but had opportunities in three other games to win. The Wolverines have a rough stretch ahead with games at Blackman (Oct. 4), with Oakland (Oct. 18) and at Siegel (Nov. 1). All three teams have strong ground games.

GRADE: D+

OAKLAND

OFFENSE

It’s no secret that the Patriots’ success relies on their play up front. Oakland is averaging 262.8 yards a game on the ground and 344 overall, paced by running backs Fred Wade (135 rushing ypg) and Darryle Hood Jr. (82 rushing ypg). However, the Patriots’ air attack has improved as the season has advanced. Quarterback Rhett Stacey has thrown for more than 100 yards in three of its past four games. Oakland (5-0) is averaging 34.8 points a game.

GRADE: A-

DEFENSE

Oakland’s defense — led by linebacker Kevin Prather — has been perhaps as big of a strength as the Patriots’ run game. The Patriots are giving up just 10.8 points a game this season and 177 total yards per contest. The run defense has held teams to just 75.4 yards a game.

GRADE: A

OVERALL

Oakland took a big hit in the lineup with the loss of Tyler Black (leg). The Patriots’ secondary can’t take another loss in personnel. If they stay healthy, Oakland is not only a District 7-AAA title contender, but also a threat to go deep in the playoffs.

GRADE: A

RIVERDALE

OFFENSE

The Warriors (1-4) showed glimpses of the past when they racked up 403 yards of total offense in their first win of the season last week. It marked the second straight week Riverdale had amassed more than 300 yards.

But thus far the Warriors are averaging 19.4 points and just 272.4 yards a game. Austin McGrone (49.8 rushing ypg) and Austin Bryant (44.2 rushing ypg) lead the ground attack. The offense has been skewed partly because of playing three ranked opponents.

GRADE: C-

DEFENSE

Riverdale has struggled to get off the field when it has needed to throughout the season. The defense is giving up 35.6 points and 358.6 yards a game thus far this season. Defensive lineman Travis Martin has 27 tackles and two sacks with two forced fumbles. Ben Wells has a team-high 36 tackles.

GRADE: D

OVERALL

It’s definitely a rebuilding year on Warrior Drive. Starting a freshman at quarterback has led to growing pains. And depth has hurt the defense.

GRADE: D+

SIEGEL

OFFENSE

The Stars’ offense is as explosive as any in the county, averaging 40.4 points and 457.2 yards a game. Siegel (3-2) has been balanced, rushing for 1,104 yards while passing for 1,182 yards. Dakota Crane is averaging 276.8 total yards and has 12 passing touchdowns with three rushing TDs. Teammate Denzel Harding is averaging 119.8 total yards.

GRADE: A

DEFENSE

Siegel has given up 193 points in five games this season. That’s more points than the Stars allowed in 14 games in 2012. Siegel’s defense has faced multiple high-powered offensive attacks. And all of the Stars’ opponents to date have been ranked, which must be considered in handing out a grade. But the Stars must find a way to get off the field.

GRADE: D

OVERALL

Siegel has overcome a porous defense with a quick-scoring offense. But at some point the defense must begin making stops if the Stars want to be a serious contender to do anything in the playoffs — if they reach the postseason.

GRADE: B

SMYRNA

OFFENSE

After starting off quickly, the Bulldogs’ offense has slowed down over the past couple of weeks. Smyrna (4-1) had 224 yards against second-ranked Oakland a week ago and is averaging 275.6 yards a game. And running back LaDarius Summers is averaging 118.8 total yards himself. Smyrna’s 31.2 points per game has been helped by scoring 56 points in a Week 0 rout of La Vergne.

GRADE: B

DEFENSE

A year after giving nearly 30 points a game, the Bulldogs have made significant improvement here. The Bulldogs are giving up just 16.8 points and 266.8 total yards a game. D.J. Williams has four interceptions in five games. And linebacker Taylor Gardner has 34 tackles.

GRADE: B

OVERALL

Smyrna has made significant improvement, but how much is hard to tell. Smyrna’s four wins comes against teams with a combined 6-13 record. A dominant run game was held to hardly anything against the Patriots last week.

GRADE: B

STEWARTS CREEK

OFFENSE

The first-year Red Hawks (0-5) have been able to run the ball at times in 2013, averaging 313.4 yards a game in what has been a balanced attack. However, capping drives with points has been a problem. Stewarts Creek is averaging just 14.4 points a game this season. Quarterback Mason Hall has been a bright spot, averaging 151.4 yards a game in the air.

GRADE: D

DEFENSE

The defense has showed how youthful it is this season, giving up 50 points a game. Johnny Waters leads the Red Hawks with 25 tackles. Teammate Clay Griggs has 20 tackles and an interception.

GRADE: D

OVERALL

The downfall of having a first-year school playing a varsity slate in year one is that team will normally take its share of lumps that inaugural season. Stewarts Creek’s young players have improved during the season and may have their best chance to win this week against Summit. If the Red Hawks don’t win this week, a first win this season looks bleak.

GRADE: D

CLASS 2A EAGLEVILLE

OFFENSE

The Eagles’ offense isn’t as diverse as it was a year ago. But running back Chris Hale (151.6 rushing ypg) has helped carry the load with 10 total TDs. However, quarterback Ryan Jordan has yet to get on track after seeing his top five receivers graduate from a year ago. Eagleville (4-1) is averaging 274.4 yards a game and scoring 24.2 points.

GRADE: B

DEFENSE

Eagleville has been stellar on defense, giving up 10.2 points and 236 yards a game. The Eagles have been opportunistic too, picking off eight passes. Wes Vallance has three of those interceptions.

GRADE: B

OVERALL

Perhaps the best reason why Eagleville has just one loss is turnover margin. The Eagles are plus-7 through five games in that area. The Eagles have turned the ball over just twice (one interception and one lost fumble) this season.

GRADE: B

MTCS

OFFENSE

Quarterback Justin Winn has the Cougars clicking offensively. The Cougars are averaging 30.2 points and 366.4 yards a game this season. Winn is averaging 168.8 yards a game in the air. But the Cougars’ four wins come against teams with a combined three wins. The offense scored just 12 points in Fayetteville, the Cougars’ lone opponent with a winning record.

GRADE: B

DEFENSE

Three shutouts in five games can’t be ignored. The Cougars’ defense is giving up just nine points a game and 213 total yards a game. Defensive ends Sam Mathis and Nick Merritt are a big reason for that success..

GRADE: B

OVERALL

The only thing that keeps the Cougars’ grade down is strength of schedule. While that isn’t necessarily the Cougars’ fault, there must be a slight curve considering their first-half schedule. That schedule will begin to toughen after this week’s game with Whitwell (1-4).

GRADE: B

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