The last week of the regular season is upon us. It’s been a long road to get to this point, but for many the real contest is just beginning. Some teams will have a difficult challenge playing against tough opponents in the final week as they head into the playoffs.
Oakland (8-1) at Smyrna (7-2)
Smyrna comes into this game with some confidence after knocking off both Cookeville and Riverdale. They’ve enjoyed a quiet successful season with star player Ikenna Okeke who is being recruited and has multiple college offers. This will be a tough game for Oakland playing on the road. The Smyrna crowd will be loud and intense, a much needed advantage for a team facing off against Oakland, the 6th best team in all of Tennessee . Smyrna will look to control the time of possession and keep the ball away from Oakland’s offense that averages 38 points a game. Oakland will look to the same formula for success that has worked all season. Strong defense and efficient offense is key to victory for the Patriots as it always has been. The Bulldogs have a tall task but a very winnable game at home.
Knoxville Central (8-1) at Fulton (8-1)
This is a very intriguing matchup. Both teams are 8-1 but more importantly, Knox Central is undefeated on the road while Fulton is undefeated at home. Both teams are relatively even in the passing attack but Fulton’s ground game is outstanding. They manage the game well but can score in a flash. The key for Knox Central will be their defense. They’ve had average play so far from the unit but they will need excellent tonight against the Falcons. Both teams flare out in second half scoring so expect it to be close until the very end. It could come down to whoever has possession last.
Independence (9-0) at LaVergne (6-3)
A possible upset could be looming, as No.3 Independence travels to take on LaVergne, a team looking to pull off what would be “impossible” to most. There is no better time to rise to the occasion for LaVergne. The have a very dominate passing attack and go to the air often. As for the rushing attack, they like to run the option with a duel-threat quarterback. However, Independence has all the confidence in the world, and why wouldn’t they? They are 9-0 and threatening to be the best team in the state. They key for the Eagles will be the defense. If they can lockdown the air-raid, they take away a massive part of LaVergne’s offense. Expect a shootout possibly as both teams have high octane offenses and average nearly 40 points a game. The only downside, LaVergne hasn’t performed well at home so the pressure is on. Look for Fridays’ contest to be a key match-up as both teams want to end the regular season strong.
To contact Interim Sports Editor Connor Ulrey, email firstname.lastname@example.org