Third-ranked Blackman travels to second-ranked Oakland on Thursday night to decide the District 7-AAA championship.
Both teams enter undefeated at 8-0.
Here is the matchup from A to Z.
A – Antonio Allen, a Blackman senior linebacker, is the reigning District 7-AAA Defensive MVP. He and teammate Austin Mosier have teamed up to form one of the better linebacker duos this season.
B– Blue Army. It’s the nickname that has been given to Oakland’s student section this season. It will be loud and out in full force Thursday night.
C – Championship. The winner of this game will be the District 7-AAA champion, and have a chance to earn a top seed in their quadrant when the Class 6A playoffs kick off.
D – Defense. Oakland has given up just 89 points this season. Blackman has given up 96. That’s the best in District 7-AAA and ranks second and third in Class 6A behind top-ranked Maryville.
E – Emmanuel Smith. The Oakland senior and Vanderbilt commitment has been a key cog in Oakland’s secondary this season.
F – Fred Wade leads Oakland with 913 rushing yards in his first season back after missing 2012 with an ACL injury. No other running back in this game has more yards.
G – Goal line. Both teams are dangerous at the goal line. The Patriots often bring in its smokestack lineup and have a triple-I with a lineman as the lead blocker. Blackman has stayed more traditional, using both quarterback Jauan Jennings or the Blaze’s running backs.
H – Halftime. Blackman coach Philip Shadowens and Oakland coach Thomas McDaniel will make their share of adjustments at halftime.
I – Injuries. Neither team has been hit hard with injuries. Oakland has the most significant injury in athlete Tyler Black, who is out with a broken ankle. Blackman defensive end/tight end Jevon Shanklin missed part of Friday night’s game with Smyrna, but may be able to play this week.
J – Jauan Jennings, Jack Jones and Josh Smith. All three juniors have multiple college football offers from major FBS programs. Jones, an Oakland lineman, has committed to Tennessee.
K – Kevin Prather. The Patriots’ two-year starter at linebacker has been the top defensive player for the Patriots this season. He has 80 tackles, six forced fumbles and three fumbles recovered this season.
L – Luck. Let’s be honest. It takes luck to get to this point and be unbeaten and be as injury-free as both has been. That luck may pay huge dividends on Thursday.
M – Murphy Fair. The self-proclaimed prep football guru will be the sideline reporter during tonight’s televised game on WUXP-30.
N – Notgrass, Cole. Notgrass is the Blaze’s leading rusher in 2013. Notgrass, who had more than 1,000 yards in 2012, has rushed for 765 yards this year.
O – Offensive line. Both offensive lines pride themselves in being dominate at the line of scrimmage.
P – Poll. This week’s Associated Press’ Class 6A statewide poll has Oakland ranked second and Blackman ranked third. By rankings alone, it should be the biggest prep football game in the state.
Q – Quen Hardy has 13 catches for 250 yards for Blackman this season with a pair of touchdowns catches. That ranks second on the team this season.
R – Ray Hughes Stadium. Be sure to get to Oakland’s football stadium early Thursday. There is expected to be a capacity crowd.
S – Sharks. The Oakland defense has called itself land sharks this season with the way they play.
T – Ticket. Game ticket is $7. If you want to beat the crowd, you can purchase them at either the Blackman High or Oakland High front offices this week.
U – Undefeated. Both Blackman and Oakland enter the game unbeaten at 8-0. The winner will be the last remaining undefeated team in Rutherford County.
V – Victory formation. The winning team that lines up in victory formation Thursday will have won perhaps the most physcial contest of the season. Both teams have dominated the line of scrimmage this season.
W – Watson, David. The Blaze offensive line coach is in his fourth season. He is also a former lineman for both Oakland and MTSU and is in the Oakland Football Hall of Fame.
X – X’s and O’s. What you see is what you get with Oakland and Blackman. There will be few secrets when the game is kicked off on Thursday. Both have extensive film of the other.
Y – Yates, Caleb. The Oakland right guard is one of two Mercer commitments for the Patriots. Yates is a three-year starter for the Patriots up front.
Z – (Red)
Zone. Touchdowns should be a premium for both teams. Each trip inside the 20-yard line will be a premium.