by Monte Hale, Jr., Sports Editor, The Murfreesboro Post & All Sports Talk Host
Host Stewarts Creek set the tone from the get-go on Friday night against Blackman in the annual Rutherford County Jamboree.
The Red Hawks marched 70 yards on 14 players on their first offensive series against an experienced Blaze defense en route to winning the two-quarter battle 14-7.
Senior quarterbabck Chris Dye capped off the drive with a 7-yard TD strike to tight end Gary Lance with 6:09 remaining in the opening quarter. The ball was tipped by a Blackman defender, but Lance made an outstanding catch and found his way into the end zone. Johnathan Sneed's PAT was good to give the Red Hawks a 7-0 advantage.
Stewarts Creek's Cynterius Lyons intercepted a Blackman pass on the its first series, and three plays later, Zacchaeus Long ripped off a 60-yard run to put the Red Hawks up by two scores.
"It's a jamboree and we know that," said Stewarts Creek coach David Martin. "But, I'm very proud of the way we came out focused. The first drive we were very consistent, very methodical, and I felt good about our preparation.
"We were not playing Blackman tonight; we were playing ourselves. They're a great opponent, but we have to do what we do well. It does set the tone, and I think it gave our kids some confidence."
Blackman scored with 11:10 left in the second quarter when senior receiver Darius Simple caught a 15-yard pass.
Stewarts Creek opens the season Friday at home against John Overton, while Oakland faces Clay Chalkville, Alabama, on Saturday in the Middle Tennessee Football Classic at MTSU.
Riverdale 13, Smyrna 0
The thing coaches fear the most in jamborees is injuries.
Unfortunately for Riverdale, it happened early against the Bulldogs.
Sophomore running back Jerry Young went down with an early knee injury, and his status won't be known until next week.
"We'll know something Monday or Tuesday," said Riverdale coach Ron Aydelott. "I'm glad the jamboree is over. That's what you worry about."
Neither of the first units managed to score, and each had a turnover in the first quarter.
Riverdale sophomore quarterback Christian Souffront helped engineer two second-quarter drives, with each being capped off by 1-yard runs by senior tailback Artavious Collier.
"I was pleased with what they did," Aydelott said of the back-ups. "But we didn't finish drives in the first quarter, which has kind of been our M.O. this fall."
Riverdale opens the season Friday night at Ooltewah.
Siegel 21, Summit 7
The Stars showcased their weapons early as senior tailback Greedy Howse raced 70 yards for a touchdown on the second play of the game.
Summit tied the scored at 7 on its first series, but Howse scored again on a 22-yard run, and kicker Jacob Smith added the PAT to make it 14-7. The Stars added another touchdown when Michael Roper took a short pass from Middleton and took it 60 yards for at touchdown.
The Stars racked up more than 250 yards in total offense in the two quarters, led by the Howse and Middleton.
"It's a bunch of yards, isn't it?," said Siegel coach Greg Wyant. "They probably had as much as we did, though. What they do gave us problems, but we didn't prepare for them. We've been preparing for Ravenwood (next week's season-opening oppponent).
"(Howse and Middleton) should be the leaders on offense. They're both seniors and they only play one way."
Wyant told his team after the game that they better know Ravenwood inside and out on Monday.
"We've been working on them all week," he said. "They were runner-up in the state last year. We've really got to prepare for next week."
La Vergne 6, Oakland 0
The Wolverines scored the only points of the game in the second quarter when quarterback Keianthony Conner connected with receiver O'shea Benjamin on a 26-yard TD strike on fourth down.
The Wolverines had reached the 16 yard line, but jumped offsides on first down. After an incompletion and an 11-yard sack, Conner found Benjamin for a great catch in the corner of the end zone on fourth down.
Oakland, meanwhile, didn't show much offensively , but the La Vergne defense was stingy against the run.
"We did some good things," Conner said, "but we slacked up on a lot of things with penalites. We've got to get better, but it was a good start."
La Vergne hosts rival Smyrna on Friday night, and even though the two teams are no longer in the same district, it won't diminish the importance of the game.
"We want to beat them for the second time," Conner said. "We're going to go out and do the best we can."
Sports editor Monte Hale Jr. may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org