Donelson Christian Academy lost a last-second game five weeks ago at Friendship, but things evened out for the Wildcats in last week’s 27-20 win over Battle Ground Academy.
Shannon Fayne’s 2-yard touchdown run with seven seconds left put DCA (10-2) in the Division II-A semifinals for the second straight year.
The Wildcats visit St. George’s (8-3) tonight.
“When you win a game like that, obviously, it’s a great feeling, especially when your kids battle back and play with great heart and great character at the end,” DCA coach Dennis Goodwin said. “The moment that you’re in is what you’ve got to live in. I was really happy for our kids to bounce back because we had lost one like that.”
Friendship’s A.J. Long threw a TD pass with two seconds left to beat DCA 52-49 on Oct. 18.
Quarterback Will Reddick, a baseball prospect as a catcher, is leading the way for DCA with 1,593 passing yards and 14 touchdowns.
“He’s had a great season, running our offense and being a leader for us,” Goodwin said. “He’s had great stats, but really his leadership has been so vital for the success of our team.”
Another defensive matchup: Oakland and Blackman are averaging 37.3 points, but the Oakland won a defensive game 9-3 when the Murfreesboro powers met one month ago.
They will meet again in the Class 6A quarterfinals at Oakland tonight.
“I think there are two really good defenses playing against each other,” Blackman coach Philip Shadowens said. “I don’t know that it will be 9-3 (again). I think it could be a few more points scored than that, but I certainly think it will be another defensive battle, for sure.”
Oakland (12-0) was ranked second in the final Class 6A poll, and Blackman (10-2) was fifth.
“We can’t turn the ball over,” Shadowens said. “We had numerous turnovers (in the first game). And from a defensive standpoint, we’ve got to find a way to get off the field on third down. They were able to convert on numerous third downs, some of it through penalties and jumping offsides, and some of it they just executed better than we did.”
The Patriots shut out their first two playoff opponents and haven’t allowed more than seven points in their past six games.
Quick road to playoffs: Fayetteville (6-6) has made it to the Class 1A quarterfinals in its first year as a varsity program.
The Tigers will visit five-time state champion South Pittsburg (10-1), led by Mr. Football finalist Jajuan Lankford.
“The first two years we were JV,” Fayetteville coach Alvin Palmer said. “(The playoffs) are what we strived for. We’ve got some great kids and great athletes. All of us thought it would be great to make it to the playoffs our first year, and we did it.”
Palmer coached at Franklin, Page and Hazel Green, Ala., before arriving at Fayetteville.
The Tigers have been a resilient team. Tailback Dorian Thompson broke his ankle on his first carry last week against Monterey, but Fayetteville still rolled to a 41-22 win.
“We started out this year with about 30 players and we had some quit, and now we’re down to 24,” Palmer said. “Only having that many players, when you lose one it’s like losing seven or eight because we’ve got so many kids that play both ways and also in the kicking game.”
Nearing school record: White House linebacker Taylor Wood made 16 tackles in last week’s 21-14 win over Lexington, giving him 349 for his career.
That puts him nine away from breaking Kevin Jackson’s school record of 357.
“Taylor is our leading tackler with 139 ,” Blue Devils coach Jeff Porter said. “He’s been a really smart football player. He’s not the biggest guy in the world, but he plays with tremendous intensity.”
Houston questionable: Giles County tailback/linebacker Brandon Houston is questionable because of a knee injury for tonight’s Class 4A quarterfinal at White House (10-2).
“He’s got some meniscus damage and a sprained MCL,” Bobcats coach Walt Smith said. “There’s still a chance he might play, but I’m not sure right now.”
Houston hurt his knee in last week’s 23-7 win at Pearl-Cohn. Houston leads the Bobcats with 651 rushing yards and seven touchdowns. He is one of the team’s top tacklers with 46.
“We rotated backs a lot during the year anyway,” Smith said. “He’ll be missed more on defense.”
Punishment extends to basketball: Goodpasture senior running back/linebacker Jaylen Moore will miss his first two basketball games after being ejected for an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty in last week’s 31-19 loss at Trousdale County in the second round of the Class 2A playoffs.
Cougars basketball coach Adam Sonn said there might be an appeal.