Some takeaways after Week 1 — the second week — of high school football in the Midstate …
Unstoppable force: Pearl-Cohn and KeShawn Vaughn — not necessarily in that order — are going to be a load for somebody to handle this fall. The Firebirds are 2-0 and averaging 57 points per game, while Vaughn, the No. 12 player on The Tennessean’s Dandy Dozen, is on track to match or surpass his junior campaign. After rushing for 2,407 yards (10.8/carry) and 30 touchdowns while helping his team to the second round of the Class 4A playoffs, Vaughn has 501 rushing yards on just 21 attempts (23.9/carry) with six TDs. The 5-foot-11, 207-pounder had 224 yards on eight carries with three scores in a season-opening 55-7 win over Glencliff, then added 277 on 13 rushes with three more touchdowns in Friday’s 59-7 win at Kenwood. Next up is the Firebirds’ home opener, a District 10-AA clash with Stratford.
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Hang together or hang separately: Overton has gotten off to a tough start under first-year coach Steve Williams, dropping a pair of close contests to Father Ryan and Centennial. Beyond any offensive, defensive or special-teams performance concerns, though, the Bobcats may have some issues with cohesiveness that could stand in their way. It’s tough to think a team with proven, explosive offensive commodities like Ugo Amadi, Kimlee North and Nick Fuqua can manage just six touchdowns (five on offense) through two games.
Best still to come? Centennial, following a 41-7 win in its opener against Northeast, held Overton to 147 offensive yards in a 28-21 road victory. The Cougars gave up just two offensive touchdowns along with a 94-yard kickoff return. Defensively, Centennial is still without junior linebacker Tyrel Dodson and senior defensive lineman Bryce Whitman. Dodson, a 6-2, 225-pounder who is starting to generate some buzz in recruiting cycles, suffered a meniscus tear during the preseason but is expected back for Friday’s District 11-AAA opener at Brentwood. Whitman (6-2, 210), the team’s top returning tackler, is nursing a shoulder injury and could be back this week but is more likely for Week 3.
Got their stingers out: With season-opening wins over Greenbrier and Gallatin, Springfield has already matched its win total from last year and is 2-0 for the first time since 2010, when the Yellow Jackets won three straight to start. Extending the streak will be a little tougher, as Springfield takes on visiting Northeast to open District 10-AAA play, but the Eagles come in at 0-2. Behind versatile senior Timmie Barbee (164 rushing yards, two TDs), the Yellow Jackets’ 17-14 win over Gallatin was their first in the series since 1981.
Confidence-building loss: Roc Batten may have found out more about his Battle Ground Academy team in its 28-20 loss last week to unbeaten Father Ryan than it did in its season-opening 52-28 win against Coffee County — which lost to Rhea County last week for its 13th consecutive defeat. The Wildcats scored twice in the second half and were driving for a potential game-tying touchdown before an interception stopped the rally. Clayton Beathard has thrown for 503 yards and six TDs for BGA, which goes to Goodpasture this week.