Showdown in Smyrna: Winner gets No. 1 seed

Showdown in Smyrna: Winner gets No. 1 seed

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Showdown in Smyrna: Winner gets No. 1 seed

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Smyrna beats Riverdale at Riverdale, on Friday Oct. 23, 2015, with a score of 21 to 14, as fans cheer on their favorite teams.

Smyrna beats Riverdale at Riverdale, on Friday Oct. 23, 2015, with a score of 21 to 14, as fans cheer on their favorite teams.

Oakland's JaCoby Stevens (7) runs the ball against Riverdale. Oakland travels to Cookeville on Friday.

Oakland’s JaCoby Stevens (7) runs the ball against Riverdale. Oakland travels to Cookeville on Friday.

Blackman wins their homecoming game over Smyrna 28-7, on Friday Oct 2, 2015.

Blackman wins their homecoming game over Smyrna 28-7, on Friday Oct 2, 2015.

Blackman wins their homecoming game over Smyrna 28-7, on Friday Oct 2, 2015.

Blackman wins their homecoming game over Smyrna 28-7, on Friday Oct 2, 2015.

Smyrna's Jordan McCroskey and Ikenna Okeke celebrate a saftey during the first half of the La Vergne vs. Smyrna game at La Vergne on Friday, Aug. 21, 2015.

Smyrna’s Jordan McCroskey and Ikenna Okeke celebrate a saftey during the first half of the La Vergne vs. Smyrna game at La Vergne on Friday, Aug. 21, 2015.

SMYRNA — A region championship and top seed in the Class 6A playoffs are on the line at 7 tonight at Robert L. Raikes Stadium.

That only adds to the intensity of a showdown between second-ranked Oakland and eighth-ranked Smyrna.

The two Rutherford County programs meet to determine the top three seeds from Region 2-6A for the TSSAA’s Class 6A playoff bracket.

If Oakland (8-1 overall, 6-0 in Region 2-6A) defeats the Bulldogs then Oakland is first, Blackman (7-2, 5-1) is second, and Smyrna (7-2, 5-1) is third. If Smyrna wins, the Bulldogs own the tiebreaker of most wins by their opponents. In that scenario, Smyrna is first, Oakland is second, and Blackman is third.

Childress expects quick night figuring playoff brackets

“It’s what you are in this business for — playing for a championship,” Oakland coach Kevin Creasy said. “A lot of people talk state championship, but you have to take care of business first in your own region.

“So, our first goal of the year is to win the region. We have to win Game 10 in order to do that.”

Oakland's Justice Dingle (21) and Lazarius Patterson (4) celebrate Oakland's first touchdown of the game against Riverdale at Oakland, on Friday Oct. 16, 2015. Oakland's Jacob Frazier (54) moves in to join the celebration as Riverdale's Marquise Cantrell (4) walks off.

Oakland’s Justice Dingle (21) and Lazarius Patterson (4) celebrate Oakland’s first touchdown of the game against Riverdale at Oakland, on Friday Oct. 16, 2015. Oakland’s Jacob Frazier (54) moves in to join the celebration as Riverdale’s Marquise Cantrell (4) walks off.

And that means beating Smyrna for a fourth time in the past four years.

Oakland’s dominating defense has remained the constant this year despite Creasy replacing former coach Thomas McDaniel in the offseason.

Opposing teams have averaged 13.6 points and 217.9 yards through nine games this season. That number drops to 10.7 points and 207.8 yards against region opponents.

And everything starts up front for the defense.

“They are very big up front,” Smyrna coach Matt Williams said. “The mixture of speed and size is something we haven’t seen. Independence was fast, but they weren’t necessarily big. Oakland is both.

“It will take a great effort from our offensive line.”

Defensive ends Turrell Ward (61 tackles, 9.5 for loss) and Ty Nix (38 tackles, 12.5 for loss) are the book ends for the defensive front. Tackle Chris Onwumere (64 tackles, 14 for loss) has also been active up front.

Smyrna has been bothered with injuries in recent weeks. Running back AJ Carter, Devin Smith and freshman Blake Watkins could see an extended amount of playing time in the backfield. Watkins has been a wide receiver for much of the season. Smith, a linebacker, was recently cleared medically after sitting out recent weeks due to a concussion.

However, the best matchup could be at the receiver in Smyrna’s Ikenna Okeke versus Oakland’s JaCoby Stevens. Both also play in their respective secondaries.

The two rank second and third in the county in receiving yards. Okeke has 41 catches for 597 yards. Stevens has 22 catches for 541 yards.

Stevens has 53 tackles, four interceptions and two fumble recoveries. Okeke has 51 tackles and two interceptions.

Contact Tom Kreager at 615-278-5168 and on Twitter @Kreager.

Friday’s Games

(All games at 7 p.m.)

Oakland at Smyrna*

Cookeville at Riverdale

Coffee Co. at Siegel

Blackman at Warren Co.

Lincoln Co. at Stewarts Creek

Community at Eagleville

Independence at La Vergne

Cannon Co. at DeKalb Co.

*WGNS (1450-AM, 100.5-FM., 101.9-FM)

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Showdown in Smyrna: Winner gets No. 1 seed

Second-ranked Oakland battles eighth-ranked Smyrna at 7 p.m. Friday

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