For the Smyrna high school football team the 2021 playoffs are beginning a week early. Huh?...What the What?...The TSSAA roll to the BlueCross Bowl does not begin until November 5. Where is this coming from?
In reality, the second season does not begin until next Friday. But these Bulldogs (6-3) have quite a bit at stake when Overton (7-3) comes to Robert Raikes Stadium on October 29. The winner of this regular season finale will secure a home playoff date in the opening round while the loser must travel. It also means the winner would not have to face region champion Cane Ridge until the third round should each advance.
“I really think our playoff season started the week after fall break”, says Bulldog head coach Matt Williams. “When we went to Dickson County our kids understood if we wanted to realize our goal of playing a first round playoff game at home we had to win out. We have taken care of business the last two weeks so now we have a chance. There is a lot on the line but we are excited for the opportunity.”
One of the things that has the Bulldogs riding a bit higher the last two weeks has been the play of running back Arion Carter. The tough running junior has put up some huge numbers. In the 49-20 road win at Dickson County Carter bolted for 280 yards and 5 touchdowns. He followed that up with another big night in the 49-28 mangling of McGavock. Rolling for 184 yards against the Raiders, Carter found paydirt 3 times on the ground and hauled in 1 TD pass.
“Arion has been fantastic but a big key to his success has been the improved play from our offensive line”, says Williams. “They are giving him a chance and he has taken advantage. Some of those yards have been really tough yards. I think we are starting to see just how good this kid can be.”
The Bobcat offense will come to Smyrna with their fair share of offensive playmakers as well. Averaging 26.9 points per game, Overton has been equally dangerous through the air and on the ground.
“We need to keep getting better at what we do”, says Williams. “It’s no secret we want to run the football. On defense we have to eliminate the big plays. We’ve had a good week of practice and now we have to perform on Friday night.”
Kickoff is slated for 7 pm on the campus of Smyrna high school.