By SAM McGAW | Photos By DEB SCALLY
Teams have run all over the Nolensville Knights this season, and their matchup against Summit Friday was no different.
Led by running back Tai Carter’s 175 rushing yards and three touchdowns, the Spartans slayed the Knights 41-17.
“We came in knowing that they’re young and we wanted to punish them early,” Carter said. “We wanted to see how mature they were and how well they work as a team.”
Carter exposed the Nolensville’s run defense right out of the gate, taking the game’s first snap 50 yards for a touchdown.
Summit totaled 347 rushing yards on 49 carries. Running back George Odimegwu contributed a large chunk with 18 carries for 102 yards and a score.
Nolensville allowed an average of 257 rushing yards per game entering the contest.
“We continue to give up the big play in the run game,” Nolensville head coach Will Hester said. “Everybody that plays the wing-T knows the double handoff is a tough play, but we weren’t close for most of the night on it. We have to do a better job of getting those guys on the ground. Tai Carter is a great back and he had a great night tonight, but we need to stop being every good back’s great night.”
Zach Campbell led the Knights with 75 receiving yards, 24 rushing yards, a receiving touchdown and a 95-yard kickoff return for a touchdown.
“With (running back Colton Dooley) out, we wanted to make sure we did a better job of stretching the field horizontally and vertically, and Zach is that threat for us,” Hester said. “He made some great plays for us tonight.”
Nolensville responded to Carter’s game-opening touchdown with a lengthy drive to the Summit 1-yard line. However, a fumbled snap gave the ball right back to the Spartans.
Early in the third quarter, Nolensville turned the ball over on downs at the Summit 15.
Despite his team’s key defensive stops, Summit head coach Brian Coleman wasn’t pleased.
“We were sloppy,” he said. “We let them drive, and we did bow our necks towards the end, but we can’t let them drive the field that much. We knew Nolensville was going to fight in the second half. For such a young team, Coach Hester has those guys fighting. We have to clean a lot of stuff up.”
Odimegwu pushed Summit ahead 14-0 with a 9-yard touchdown run with 12 seconds left in the opening frame.
The advantage extended to 21 points when quarterback Ethan Cash connected with Christian Jolley for a 25-yard touchdown pass with just over three minutes remaining in the half.
Nolensville kicker Luke Jenkins hit a 44-yard field goal as time expired to cut his team’s deficit to 21-3 at the break.
Campbell scored on an 8-yard pass from Brandon Wharton to close the gap to within 11.
“We came out flat after halftime,” Carter said. “When we got up 21-0, we kind of felt like we were just going to roll over them. We can’t take anybody lightly, no matter what grade they are or what team. We can’t come out flat anymore.”
After Carter scored on a 2-yard touchdown run with 8:34 left in the game, Campbell took the ensuing kickoff to the house.
Carter added a 14-yard touchdown dash and Quinn Slaugenhoupt scored from 35 yards out with just over a minute left.
Nolensville hosts Lawrence County Friday, while Summit hosts the undefeated Columbia Lions for a Region 5-5A clash.
Sam McGaw is the sports editor for Brentwood Home Page, Franklin Home Page, Nolensville Home Page and Spring Hill Home Page. Follow him on Twitter @SamMcGaw_.