BY CORY WOODROOF
The Christ Presbyterian Academy Lions ended October with a perfect 10-0 record, and the Page Patriots finished 9-1.
From here on out, that zero might not go anywhere, neither might the one.
If you look at all the teams in Williamson County this fall, the best teams have been CPA and Page. There are lot of schools having strong seasons, like Brentwood, BA, Ravenwood and BGA, and they’ll rack up a few playoff wins between them.
Though, when you look at their classes, you see teams that might be bigger, stronger, better. It’s the playoffs, so anything can happen, as you know. Though, looking at the county teams, what they’re capable of and their competition, it’s CPA and Page that look most capable of going to Cookeville.
Lions could roar to state title
Let’s look at the Lions first. The team’s offense is prolific and dangerous, and has the ever-so-key feature of a strong ground game. Kane Patterson, Sam West and Andrew Madden are all capable of going off for a hundred in any night, and teams that struggle on defense just can’t do a lot to hold this rushing attack. Few things are as important in the playoffs than a ferocious run game, which gives the Lions an easy edge in all situations.
Plus, senior QB Ryan Eledge and WR Noah Henderson have been building to this for their entire careers. The two have an electrifying chemistry and could haul off a big play at any time. This offense is lethal.
The defense could be a bugaboo against another potent offense, and no one wants to get into a shootout in the postseason. As long as the Lions can get off to a strong start, ride the run game and get stops just enough on defense, they can make it to state in Class D-II A.
Though, teams like Lausanne (9-0), Notre Dame (8-1), ECS (8-2) and even BGA (8-2) could hold them back.
Patriots marching on
For Page, it feels like everything is breaking the right way. Outside of playing up a class against a powerhouse like Ravenwood, no one has been able to topple the Patriots this season. They seem to get better each and every week, that Shelbyville Central win a showing of what this team is capable of.
There’s something in the water out in Rudderville, and it’ll be fascinating to see how far these good vibes can take them.
The Pats have added a better rushing attack as of late, and QB Cade Walker and WR Michael Burdick have both been splendid this all team. The defense is also opportunistic and stout.
This team has the goods to make it all the way this fall, though the four-month playoff process will be grueling for any and all in Class 5A, no matter how far they go.
David Crockett (10-0), Daniel Boone (8-2), Knoxville Fulton (9-1), Knoxville Central (8-2), Oak Ridge (8-2), Henry Co. (9-1) Kirby (9-1) and Shelbyville Central (8-2) could all be in the team’s path at some point or the other, Henry and Shelbyville the most immediate threats.
It’ll be a long road for the Pats if they have Cookeville aspirations, though with the way the fall schedule has gone so far, never count them out, no matter who else is over there. This team feels like it’s destined for something great.
BA: The Eagles have everything they need to win a state title. But so do McCallie and MBA. It’ll just be any given Friday for the perennial state contenders, but not being at home is admittedly a challenge.
Brentwood: The Bruins took 6-6A and have navigated a tough season to accomplish some great things. How far can this young team go in the treacherous 6A?
Ravenwood: Ravenwood’s takedown of Independence on the road should be a signal for any and all Class 6A teams that Matt Daniels’ crew could be just getting to their best ball. If they are, they’re going to push far this November.
Independence: That Indy offense is dangerous, but is the Ravenwood loss a fluke or a sign they’re not quite where they need to be?
BGA: The Wildcats will have to get past CPA at some point to win a state title. Can they get revenge, or even navigate that class past a week or two?
FRA: Can the Panthers push forth to send Lance Wilhoite, Tymon Mitchell and Brogan Wilson off in style? It’ll be tough in their state bracket.