T.J. Carter all over the field in Stratford's win

T.J. Carter all over the field in Stratford's win

Gallery

T.J. Carter all over the field in Stratford's win

By

Stratford running back T.J.Carter, center, runs the ball between Marshall County's Tre Crutcher (10) and Donathon Tears (31) after pulling in a pass reception during second half of a high school football game on Friday, Sept. 23, 2016, in Nashville, Tenn. Stratford won 28-21.

Stratford running back T.J.Carter, center, runs the ball between Marshall County’s Tre Crutcher (10) and Donathon Tears (31) after pulling in a pass reception during second half of a high school football game on Friday, Sept. 23, 2016, in Nashville, Tenn. Stratford won 28-21.

Week 6: High school football recap
Tom Kreager and Katie Myers recap Week 6 of the high school football season.
Mt. Juliet football defeats Wilson Central
Mt. Juliet football defeats Wilson Central
Gallatin 34, Station Camp 27
Highlights and interviews from Gallatin’s 34-27 victory at Station Camp.
Stratford vs. Marshall County
Stratford’s T.J. Carter scored three touchdowns and the Spartans’ defense held Marshall County to a season-low 21 points.
Smyrna vs. Siegel
Smyrna’s Blake Watkins and John Turner discuss how others have stepped up with tailback Casey Perkins out for the season.
Pope John Paul vs Nashville Christian Game highlights
Pope John Paul vs Nashville Christian game highlights.
Page vs. BGA
Page’s freshman Donald Johnson rushes for two scores to propel the Patriots over Battle Ground Academy 45-7.
Dickson County vs Rossview
Highlights from Dickson County’s game against Rossview

Stratford senior T.J. Carter has been making his presence felt all season long.

Whether it be on offense, defense or the return game, the versatile 5-foot-11, 175-pound Memphis commitment has been the driving force for the unbeaten Spartans.

That was no different in Friday’s 28-21 win over Marshall County.

“Anything for the team,” said Carter, who transferred to Stratford from Hendersonville last spring. “Even if the ball is not in my hands I’m going to go 110 percent. The coaches make the call.”

The coaches called his number a lot Friday as Carter had 33 touches and scored three of his team’s four touchdowns  in the the narrow win for Stratford (6-0).

“Amazing,” Stratford coach Maurice Fitzgerald said of Carter’s performance. “He’s just a tough player. Just a tough, tough player, and he’s always been that way, so nothing has really changed. He just works hard.”

In addition to hauling in three receptions for 48 yards and the eventual game-winning, third-quarter touchdown from 29 yards out, Carter, No. 9 on The Tennessean’s 2016 Dandy Dozen, also carried a season-high 26 times for 174 yards and a pair of scores

“The offense just executed,” Carter said. “The line blocked perfectly, opening holes for the backs, we made big plays when we needed them on third and fourth downs and we just never backed down.”

And while Carter made the biggest impact on offense, he also helped key a Stratford defense that limited Marshall County to a season-low 21 points — zero in the second half.

“First half there were a lot of busted coverages,” said Carter, a cornerback. “Guys weren’t getting the right coverages, and we weren’t communicating good. At halftime we made adjustments and we didn’t make the same mistakes twice.”

The Tigers (5-0), led by Kamron Liggett’s 69-yard, two-touchdown rushing performance, managed just 40 yards from scrimmage in the second half.

“Hats off to Stratford,” Marshall County coach Thomas Osteen said. “They were more physical than us and their defense was phenomenal. We didn’t make enough plays, and when you’re playing in tight games you have to make big plays.”

Carter has committed to Memphis to play defensive back, but with the number of impact plays he’s been making on offense this season, Fitzgerald isn’t too sure where he’ll end up.

“It makes you wonder,” Fitzgerald said. “He’s scoring of kickoffs, punts, receiving and rushing. It’s obvious he can do a lot of things when he gets his hands on the ball.”

Reach Michael Murphy at 615-269-8262 and on Twitter @Murph_TNsports

PREP FOOTBALL WEEK 6

MOST POPULAR STORIES

BCBST’s exit from 3 Obamacare markets sends shock waves

Wilson County man not recommended for exoneration

GOP lawmaker seeks probe into alleged abuse in Speaker Harwell’s office

Brentwood teen seriously injured after SUV goes airborne in violent I-65 crash

Nashville fairgrounds gun show operator appealing judge’s decision

Latest

More USA TODAY High School Sports