After Week 3, here are seven surprises among Middle Tennessee high school football teams.
Wildcat runs wild
Donelson Christian Academy senior running back Jayden Walker carried his squad to victory against Franklin Road Academy last Friday. Walker rushed for 375 yards and three touchdowns on 29 carries, helping the unbeaten Wildcats to a 48-34 victory. Walker was coming off of a 293-yard, four-touchdown performance in a 36-9 win over Jackson Christian and has compiled 779 yards and seven touchdowns this season, averaging better than 11 yards per carry.
An abrupt turnaround
Rossview entered its contest at Brentwood last Friday winless, while Brentwood was coming off of a 45-10 victory over visiting Ravewnood, scoring 35 unanswered points after halftime of a game that was postponed 24 hours. However, the Hawks managed to knock off the Bruins in the Region 7-5A opener between the two teams.
Ending a 22-game losing streak wasn’t enough for Goodpasture. Behind the rushing tandem of sophomore Julius Elders and senior Jermaine Mason, the Cougars followed up a 28-13 victory at White House with Friday’s 14-7 win at Greenbrier. Goodpasture limited the Bobcats to 184 total yards and will look to extend the streak to three games with a contest at Franklin Road Academy on Friday.
The fifth-ranked Bulldogs have won their first three games in impressive fashion, outscoring its last two opponents by a combined margin of 121-30. In last Friday’s 56-10 win over visiting Coffee County, Smyrna piled up 535 total yards while limiting Raider standout Alontae Taylor to 59 yards on 17 carries. Taylor, a Tennessee commitment, rushed for 583 yards over the team’s first two games. Smyrna will get tested by the top-ranked team in Class 5A – Independence – on Friday.
Despite returning just seven starters from last season’s 6-4 campaign, Battle Ground Academy is off to a 3-0 start, having won its last two games – against Friendship Christian and St. Benedict – by a combined margin of 75-7. The Wildcats have managed to keep teams out of the end zone with a bend-but-don’t-break defense, and junior quarterback Drew Martin has led the offense, completing 28 of 46 passes for 531 yards and six touchdowns.
Panthers push forward
After opening the season with a 19-0 loss at unbeaten Stratford, Maplewood has reeled off back-to-back wins over East Nashville (16-13) and Springfield (27-13). The Panthers forced five turnovers and limited an experienced Yellow Jacket squad to 207 total yards. Maplewood – which won just three games last season – plays at nearby Whites Creek on Friday.
It appeared as if seventh-ranked Ensworth might be back near the top of the Division II-AA East/Middle Region hierarchy after opening the season by playing nationally-ranked Trinity (Ky.) to a seven-point contest. However, the Tigers dropped a 17-7 affair at top-ranked Baylor on Friday. Next week’s matchups include McCallie/Montgomery Bell Academy and Brentwood Academy/Baylor, and they should lend clarity to the pecking order.
Reach Craig Harris at firstname.lastname@example.org . Follow him on Twitter @CHTennessean.