MURFREESBORO Ron Aydelott is still searching for the offensive identity of his Riverdale football team two weeks into the season.
That identity better be found quickly.
The eighth-ranked Warriors, who are coming off a 34-20 debacle to unranked Franklin, play at sixth-ranked Blackman at 7 p.m. Friday at The Inferno on opening night of Region 2-6A play.
“We just need to play, period,” Aydelott said. “We have not played very well on the offensive side all year.”
The game is one of four 2-6A games, three of which involve Rutherford County teams. Siegel plays at fourth-ranked Oakland. Smyrna is at Coffee County.
It also marks the first week of region play in Region 5-5A. La Vergne plays at Columbia. And Stewarts Creek hosts Franklin County.
Riverdale (1-1) has averaged just 14.5 points and 271 total yards through the first two weeks of the 2015 season. The Warriors averaged 33.3 points and accumulated 340.1 yards a game last season.
Aydelott used two quarterbacks, Brandon Bea and Christian Souffront, against Franklin in an attempt to get in a rhythm. But it never happened.
“It’s several items,” Aydelott said of his team’s offensive woes. “We’re trying to find out who our quarterback is. We lost our best threat at running back (Jerry Young to injury). And we’ve had two offensive linemen out the last two weeks.
“We’re trying to find an identity, and we are painfully making progress.”
Aydelott said senior offensive linemen D.J. Johnson and Jonathan Conyers will play this week against the Blaze.
After struggling to find their offense in Week 1 against nationally-ranked Clay-Chalkville, the Blaze (1-1) moved the ball with ease in a thrilling 44-42 win over McCallie.
Blackman had over 500 yards of total offense. Blackman running back Taeler Dowdy had a career-high 184 rushing yards on 24 carries in the win. Quarterback Miller Armstrong added 218 passing yards.
But Blackman’s defense has struggled, giving up 503 yards a game.
Smyrna (2-0) is the lone Rutherford County Class 6A program that is undefeated.
However, after a pair of wins over North Rutherford rivals La Vergne and Stewarts Creek, the Bulldogs enter league play with more at stake.
While all Class 6A teams qualify for the playoffs the next two years due to the new TSSAA playoff plan, region seeding is important. The TSSAA placed the top 32 enrollments in Class 6A this year with all getting playoff berths.
The top four seeds hosts a first-round playoff game.
“We had two big rival games and were lucky to come out with victories,” Smyrna coach Matt Williams said. “But as big as those games were, there are no bigger than region games.
“Region games determine seeding. Our goal is to have a home playoff game. We want to finish in the top half.”
Reach Tom Kreager at 615-278-5168 and on Twitter @Kreager.
Week 3 Schedule
Smyrna at Coffee Co.
Franklin Co. at Stewarts Creek
East Robertson at Eagleville
Riverdale at Blackman*
Siegel at Oakland
La Vergne at Columbia
Cannon Co. at Grundy Co.**
Jo Byrns at MTCS
*WGNS (1450-AM, 100.5-FM)
**WBRY (1540-AM, 96.7-FM)